Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion and beauty industries. Enjoy!
Gucci launched its first makeup collection to great fanfare in November of 2014. A collaboration between then-Creative-Director Frida Giannini and makeup artist Pat McGrath (who served as the brand's global creative design director before going on to establish her own eponymous beauty brand), the color cosmetics range included lip, face and eye products heavy on the logos. It was luxurious and pretty, and people were excited about it. And then it went... not really anywhere. In fact, as plenty of designer fashion labels ramped up their beauty offerings, Gucci's cosmetics range seemed to fall somewhat by the wayside, at least when it came to marketing muscle and promotional visibility.
That may have been due, in part, to beauty-world business dealings: At launch, Gucci Beauty was part of Procter & Gamble's prestige sector; but in 2016, P&G sold off a number of those brands to Coty, including Gucci. So, it's possible that all the red tape and financial considerations caused the brand's makeup line to hit a period of stagnancy.
But the rest of Gucci's business over the past few years has been, well, the polar opposite of stagnant. Since being named creative director in January 2015, Alessandro Michele has revolutionized the brand, driving sales records and making Gucci one of Kering's most successful labels quarter after quarter. And while he has already gotten his hands on the fragrance category — debuting Bloom (along with a dreamy ad campaign) in 2017 and then reimagining it for Bloom Acqua di Fiori for Spring 2018 — cosmetics remain one of the few areas he hasn't yet been able to imbue with the Michele vision.
Until now, it seems. On Monday, Gucci announced its new beauty-dedicated Instagram account, appropriately called @guccibeauty. So far, it's an understatement to say that the feed is unlike any other beauty brand's. Rather than campaign imagery, swatches, vlogger videos or even a single product of any kind, it's full of historically significant works of art, accompanied by lengthy captions written by art experts conveying the stories behind them.
According to a release from the brand, the works featured "span across history, ethnicity, culture and geography — from life-like Egyptian portraits made 2,000 years ago, to faces of nobility from Elizabethan England, to an Afro hairstyle depicted by a contemporary African-American painter." The images chosen are intended to convey Michele's "vision of beauty," though in the future, the account will also be used to display "new launches in the beauty arena, together with fragrances, looks from the fashion shows and special collaborations with artists and talents."
All of this seems to hint, rather obviously, that Gucci Beauty is poised for a Michele makeover and a re-launch. And frankly, we can't wait. Just one request, though, if you're listening, Alessandro: In addition to whatever lipsticks and eye shadows you want to bequeath unto the world, do you think you could also give us some hair products that will help us finally be able to master the Michele look? Cool, thanks.