Androgyny and a subversion of traditionally masculine and feminine ways of dressing have been themes of Alessandro Michele's Gucci collections since his first in 2015; he likes to cast a few men in his women's runway shows, and vice versa.
But the Kering-owned brand is now taking its ungendered approach to fashion a step further by combining the men's and women's runway shows into a single presentation each season in 2017. CEO Marco Bizzarri made the announcement at the The New York Times International Luxury conference in France on Tuesday and the brand confirmed. "Maintaining two separate, disconnected calendars has been a result of tradition rather than practicality," said Bizzarri at the conference.
A single show will streamline event and marketing costs, but exactly how Gucci plans to cater to men's and women's press and buyers at the same time is yet to be determined. (As is the question of how buyers and press with already strapped budgets will handle having to send representatives to Europe twice each season.) The brand also has yet to announce whether it will show during the men's or women's fashion weeks — or not on either schedule, as is the case with similar runway changes to be implemented at Vetements. But the first unified show will take place at Gucci's Milan headquarters.
In February, Burberry also announced it was combining its presentations in addition to moving its schedule to a "buy now, see now" schedule. But unlike Burberry, Gucci will retain it's current schedule and present collections six months in advance.
"It seems only natural to me to present my men's and women's collections together. It's the way I see the world today," said Michele in a statement released by the brand. "It will not necessarily be an easy path and will certainly present some challenges, but I believe it will give me the chance to move towards a different kind of approach to my storytelling."
The Times says Kering is treating Gucci like a "test case," meaning other Kering brands with collections for both genders (Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and more) may follow suit.
This story has been updated with a statement from Gucci.