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Gucci creates wintery, fantastical land in new Aria campaign

December 1, 2021

K-pop star Kai stars in the newest Aria campaign. Image courtesy of Gucci K-pop star Kai stars in the newest Aria campaign. Image courtesy of Gucci


Italian fashion house Gucci is tapping into its equestrian roots and expressive ethos in a new film for the Aria collection.

The latest sensual spot stars K-pop boy band EXO member Kai and showcases items from the collection while maintaining the cinematic and dramatic aura often tapped for Aria short films. Capped with a surreal and fantastical landscape, Gucci invites consumers to be a part of its dreamy, expressive world featuring familiar tropes.

“This campaign is all about the Gucci ethos: unexpected, controversial, enticing,” said Thomaï Serdari, director of fashion and luxury MBA at NYU Stern and author of Rethinking Luxury Fashion, New York.

“It draws attention to Gucci’s efforts to amplify a multiplicity of voices and approaches to living life, without judgment about how a person presents themselves to the world,” she said. “No box is left unopened when it comes to Gucci envisioning a new world, in which we all thrive as we discover who we truly are.”

Winter wonderland
The vignette opens with a diamond-encrusted anatomical heart floating from the sky into the hands of Kai, set to a stunning, soothing piano soundtrack.

Kai, a Gucci ambassador since 2018, places the heart into a Gucci handbag and reaches his arm rhythmically towards the sky to feel the falling snowflakes.


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The new campaign was promoted on social media

He then begins dancing rhythmically and fluidly with the music, completely immersed in his expressive movements while surrounded by a breadth of snow-covered trees.

As the setting transitions to night and the sky becomes purple, Kai approaches two white horses.

Both the K-pop star and the horses looked awe-inspired by the falling snow and overall setting.

With disparate camera angles and closeups, Kai not only showcases the Gucci ethos of self-expression but also showcases various products from the Aria collection, including boots, trousers and more.

Everything comes together to create an otherworldly feel, a free arena for Kai to dance, emote and express himself.

“This campaign is dreamy and capitalizes on everyone’s seasonal wanderlust — this deep desire to be in the perfect snowy landscape, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life,” Dr. Serdari said.

The vignette ends with Kai lifting the diamond-encrusted heart back into the air, a symbol of the freedom for expression that the space allowed him.

Following Gucci themes
With Aria campaigns, Gucci continues to go emotive, sensual routes.

In September, Gucci explored human desire in its new film for the Aria collection.

Creative director Alessandro Michele looked to Gucci’s own history as inspiration for the short film, as well as philosophy and pop culture. The campaign also played with themes of androgyny and erotica, while staying within the context of the brand’s heritage (see story).

As seen in the latest campaign, Gucci is no stranger to honoring horses. The house previously kept with creative director Alessandro Michele’s metaphysical musings and otherworldly interpretations.

Horses are front and center in Gucci’s 2020 campaign, “Of Course a Horse” (see story). The animal and other equestrian motifs, along with bejeweled anatomical hearts, also appear in April’s Aria runway show (see story).

The latest Aria vignette continues Gucci’s encouragement of self-expression, as the label continues to provide fantastical and limitless worlds in its marketing and through its products.

“Kai’s outfits are gender-neutral, equally attractive to all genders,” Dr. Serdari said.

“They are created with a lot of imagination and juxtaposition,” she said. “Different textures put together, different details that completely destroy traditional ideas about specific garments — i.e. the ostrich feather finish on the sleeves of the office jacket or pairing the little sparkling clutch with a preppy sweater — all contribute to creating a very fresh take on Kai’s personality.”