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Emilio Pucci takes whimsical look at aesthetic transition

December 31, 2015

Image from Pucci's Pilot Episode campaign Image from Pucci's Pilot Episode campaign


Italian fashion label Emilio Pucci is delving into the new vision of creative director Massimo Giorgetti through a dedicated microsite.

“The Pilot Episode” centers on the designer’s first collection for the house, which is now available for sale, creating a space for consumers to explore the inspiration behind the apparel and accessories. As Pucci’s aesthetic shifts along with the creative talent behind the brand, providing context around this first collection will help consumers make the transition.

"This is a beautiful fusion of pop culture and fashion," said Romey Louangvilay, chief curator and director of digital marketing at Curate Directive, New York.

"Mr. Massimo Giorgetti has stated previously that he is a fan of serial TV, which is aligned with our consumers today feel about serial programs of having the ability to watch broadcast at their own demand," he said. "It's only fitting that Mr. Giorgetti would introduce to the world, a Pilot Episode, to bring his direction for Pucci to life.

"Pilot episodes signify a new show in the traditional television sense, and in that same notion, Pucci's "Pilot Episode" signifies a new beginning for the brand with his creative direction."

Mr. Louangvilay is not affiliated with Pucci, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Emilio Pucci could not be reached before press deadline.

Past meets present
Pucci’s The Pilot Episode microsite launched in December, at the same time that the brand’s capsule collection of the same name became available.

In June, the brand introduced the modernized vision its new creative director Massimo Giorgetti has planned with a multi-faceted event.

Pucci The Pilot Episode backstage

Backstage at Pucci The Pilot Episode

The Pilot Episode, a reference to the first taped television show in which the tone is set, began as a capsule collection presentation during Florence’s Pitti Uomo Imagine trade show, and continued online in the form of an artsy video (see story).

Now, Pucci is building on its previous effort with a microsite that similarly celebrates the idea of Mr. Giorgetti’s arrival as a blank slate for experimentation. Much like a television pilot, this first edition is meant to represent what’s to come.

The minisite, created for Pucci by its ecommerce service provider Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, opens with a short video. A kaleidoscope of prints and icons of the house, including Florentine structures, are intermingled with models wearing The Pilot Episode capsule.

In a tongue-and-cheek touch, models pop out of cathedrals as if they were birthday cakes. A black-and-white photograph of the label’s namesake founder also makes an appearance in the array.

Emilio Pucci - A New Vision

Below on the same page, visitors can shop the collection via editorial images. In addition to ready-to-wear, the line includes accessories and small leather goods.

An email sent Dec. 29 to Pucci’s newsletter subscribers, with the subject line “Logo a-go-go” highlights the updated logo used throughout the collection as a “manifesto.” The “blasone,” an update to the Pucci interlocking E and P’s with a more streamlined, bolder typography, makes an appearance on many of the collection’s pieces.

Emilio Pucci Blasone email

Email from Emilio Pucci

Providing a background on the merchandise, Pucci includes a section on Mr. Giorgetti’s inspiration within the microsite. Here, the brand talks of his prints, some of which are designed after cartoon strips.

While the creative director did take Pucci’s heritage into account, it was in a decidedly modern way.

The brand explains, “Florence as a value. Respect for the past as the essence of progress, no nostalgia attached.”

For a limited time while supplies last, Pucci is including a white t-shirt signed "Emilio Pucci" in with every purchase from the Pilot Episode capsule, allowing consumers to own a piece of the brand's blank canvas.

Emilio Pucci The Pilot Episode microsite

Screenshot of Pucci's microsite

"The user experience of the microsite is targeting a younger, sophisticated consumer," Mr. Louangvilay said. "The way the Web site is designed similar to a magazine editorial layout that offers something whimsical since more users are online readers now.

"[Pucci's] Web site also allows for users to learn more about the brand from the video and then continues to engage them with several interactive key touch points of the looks that offer them to learn more or shop," he said. "Therefore, users are able to interact with the collection through the site's storytelling."

Making a switch
With new creative directors, there are bound to be changes in the look and feel of a brand, even if its heritage and codes are taken into account.

Earlier this year, Italian fashion house Gucci moved in a fresh direction with the first advertising campaign from newly appointed creative director Alessandro Michele.

The pre-fall effort captured intimate moments between couples within an apartment, conveying the brand’s “contemporary spirit.” When a brand is going through a creative transition, it provides an opportunity to play with house codes and portray a slightly different image to consumers (see story).

For Pucci, the consistency of Florence will likely make the creative shift less jarring for loyalists.

From its beginnings, Emilio Pucci has always had a strong appreciation for its hometown of Florence, taking inspiration for designs from the historic city, according to the brand’s CEO at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference April 23.

Paying back the city which has played a part in shaping its brand over more than half a century, Pucci announced it is embarking on a charity project to help restore a landmark it holds dear. Preserving its own heritage is intrinsically tied to saving its local landscape (see story).

This effort maintains a consistency with Pucci's historical look and feel.

"While the campaign targets younger consumers through the messaging of the brand, the microsite layout and user experience and overall interactivity on the site, the campaign maintains its respect to the brand's heritage," Mr. Louangvilay said. "Pucci is known for bright colors and use of kaleidoscope prints in its pieces, and these elements continued to be seen throughout the campaign.

"From the Pilot Episode, viewers are guided through the different women's interactions and pieces as if you were looking through an actual  kaleidoscope," he said. "It makes it fun and not so overtly in-your-face."

Final Take
Sarah Jones, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York