Will a Gucci-Balenciaga Collab Break The Internet?

    Gucci’s first collection of 2021 will be livestreamed in China. But are the rumors true that it will collaborate with Balenciaga?
    Gucci’s first collection of 2021 will be livestreamed in China. But are the rumors true that it will collaborate with Balenciaga? Photo: Shutterstock
      Published   in Fashion

    What happened

    According to market reports, Kering-owned Italian luxury brand Gucci is set to release a collaborative collection with its stablemate Balenciaga. In a year where Gucci is turning 100, this news is sure to upend an already fragmented, post-pandemic fashion industry. If true, the pairing will bring together two of the world’s most popular yet disruptive luxury brands through the creative forces of Alessandro Michele and Demna Gvasalia. Regardless, fans are eagerly awaiting the launch of the collection called Aria, which will be unveiled through a series of short films on Thursday, April 15. The show will be livestreamed in China, and the hashtag #GucciAria# already has 28 million views on Weibo.

    The Jing Take

    In a decade when literally anything could happen, this rumor has sparked excitement on Weibo as netizens call for other luxury partnerships: Louis Vuitton + Dior and Bottega Veneta + Saint Laurent. Therefore, as unexpected as this news might be, it makes sense as part of Kering’s attempt to reach new global consumers (including the Chinese) by tapping their propensity for mega collaborations?

    Both designers' aesthetics diverge widely, ensuring the range would be staggeringly sought-after. The China market already has very high expectations. Weibo user @玩皮的小钢镚儿 said what we are all thinking, writing, “I really want to see how these two blow up the industry.” Meanwhile, @阳阳Vlog said, “This combination represents our era.” As such, the product range will likely tilt entirely towards young consumers and Gen-Zers.

    Recently, many mainland shoppers have tired of Gucci’s business strategy. @仙人球博客儿 asked, “Can Gucci stop collaborations?” The house innovates in creating buzz, but its speedy rate of drops and new, trend-led products do not always have universal appeal. Sales have been sliding recently. Hence, a luxury pairing like this could reinvigorate bored followers. If it happens, let's hope the duo have sprinkled the line-up with enough classic and iconic pieces to assuage market demand while ensuring their continued relevance among savvy fans.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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