Gucci Aria ad campaign shot by photography duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott is here and it might be creative director Alessandro Michele’s most provocative ad campaign to date. Accompanied by Madonna’s I Want You, the ad campaign celebrating Gucci’s 100th-anniversary collection opens with supermodel Kristen McMenamy arriving at a hotel. Rocking an attention-grabbing braided hairdo and browless look (remember her redefining look of Anna Sui’s Autumn/Winter 1992 show?), the 90s original supermodel – whose norm-defying appearance and audacious attitude are on a par with Michele’s whimsy – dons in the iconic, shimmering Gucci x Balenciaga suit while carrying a black Gucci bag and whip. The short then transition into different cuts of love scenes happening in each of the hotel room as she walks through the lobby, joining Italian band Måneskin in the arousing campaign.
The campaign immediately calls to mind the “sex sells” era of Tom Ford at Gucci. The skin contact level of intimacy — the calling card of Tom Ford’s provocative campaign — is visible throughout the video. “The depth of human beings lies in their palpable flesh, in their skin. Existence is corporeal exhibition. It is Sexistence. Interiority always unfolds through a sexed body,” stated Michele in his notes on the Gucci Aria campaign, which makes reference to Sexistence by Jean-Luc Nancy. The campaign is also infused with Michele’s idiosyncratic lustfulness, turning up the heat with nose piercings, leather whip, glamorous frills, sheer fabric and equestrian harness.