Fashion has always been political, it's just become more blatantly so as of late. Brands including Dior, Jeremy Scott, Christian Siriano, Ashish, Missoni, and many more have expressed their views in sartorial form and now, another industry heavyweight has followed suit. Gucci's cruise 2020 collection supported reproductive rights in ways that were literally statement making, and in light of the string of restrictive abortion laws that have recently been passed across the U.S. and news that Missouri could become the first state without an abortion clinic, the messaging felt incredibly apt.
The collection showed at Rome's Capitoline Museum on May 28, offering up that kitschy cool goodness Gucci's been known for since creative director Alessandro Michele took over the brand. Lace gloves, '50s sunglasses, plaid suits, socks with metallic platforms, vintage prints, and velvet pants were among the standout pieces of the collection, but the true spotlight stealers were the ones that celebrated the female reproduced system and championed a woman's right to choose. "I am a free spirit, I have always been a free spirit born under the stars of freedom. My parents brought me up in that way and I have spent my entire life fighting for inclusion," noted Michele in an interview about the collection with WWD. "Nobody should have the right to decide about freedom of choice of any human being. No law should say to any person what to do or what not to do when it comes to very personal choices."
Michele's view on reproductive rights came across in two distinct ways, the more subtle of which took shape in the form of a beautiful gown that had been embellished with the female reproductive system.
More boldly, the words "My Body, My Choice" were stamped across both men's and women's pieces, most notably on the back of a gorgeous ultraviolet blazer. In a post uploaded to Instagram, Gucci wrote, "‘My Body My Choice’ is a feminist slogan from the 70s which appears on the reverse of this jacket seen before the #GucciCruise20 fashion show by @alessandro_michele. This piece echoes the Creative Director’s continuing vision of freedom, equality and self-expression. "
The post goes on to mention Chime For Change, which is a global campaign founded by Gucci, Salma Hayek Pinault, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter in 2013 as a means of fighting for gender equality. The campaign has raised more than $15 million that has gone to supporting projects and advocacy in 89 countries, affecting 570,000 girls and women globally. As noted in the post, "Gucci has a longstanding commitment to women and girls by funding projects around the world to support sexual and reproductive rights, maternal health, and the freedom of individual choice."
It's both empowering and emboldening that brands with the influence of Gucci are taking a stand for what they believe in all across the globe. In a time when women's rights are under direct attack, allies and support are monumentally important, especially from companies and individuals with far-reaching platforms. Hopefully, Gucci's cruise collection will inspire others to join in the fight in wanting to protect a woman's right to choose what she and she alone does with her body.