Gucciaga Or Balenciucci; Call It What You Want, Just Don’t Call It A Collab

Um, it's a hacking, sweaty.

Gucciaga or Balenciucci; call it what you want, just don’t call it a collaboration. Following much industry speculation about a collaboration between the two Kerring backed brands Gucci and Balenciaga, the first Gucci collection of the year did indeed deliver. Titled ‘Aria’, the show marked Gucci’s centennial and featured a crossover between the Italian luxury fashion house, helmed by Alessandro Michele, and Spanish fashion house Balenciaga, led by Demna Gvasalia. 

You’ll also enjoy:
Explore The Balenciaga Fall 2021 Collection Through Futuristic Video Game Afterworld
Caught In Full Bloom With Gucci Bloom Profumo di Fiori
Gucci Pays Homage To Ken Scott With A Bold, Botanical Collection

With both brands no strangers to interesting collaborations (think Gucci x The North Face and Balenciaga x literally everyone), Gucci are adamant that Aria is not the product of a collaboration. Rather, Michele prefers the term ‘hacking’, with Gvasalia giving the former his permission to let loose with his intellectual property.

The result? A 100th-anniversary collection that fuses the design codes of both houses. Aria draws from archival Gucci like the souped-up sex appeal of the early aughts Tom Ford era as well as a nod to the house’s equestrian heritage, combining them with Balenciaga silhouettes and key design elements. 

The show begins with a homage (or a direct copy-and-paste, depending on how you look at it) to Tom Ford in the form of a red velvet suit with the addition of an equestrian-inspired (or S&M-inspired) leather horsebit harness. A few relatively tame looks later and the Balencification begins; shoulders take on outsized Balenciaga proportions while those signature Balenciaga boots get an all-over Gucci logo makeover. A stretchy ruched ice skater top from Balenciaga makes an appearance but emblazoned with the red and green Gucci stripe.  

Rather than use our very helpful suggestions of Gucciaga or Balenciucci, Michele went for the co-branding route, with both Balenciaga and Gucci logos coexisting on garments. A particular covetable standout was a diamond charm necklace spelling out ‘Balenciaga’, but with the Gucci double G logo in place of the ‘g’.

Models marched to a soundtrack of Gucci-themed songs, including ‘Gucci Gang’ by Lil Pump (obviously) and ‘Gucci Flip Flops’ by Bhad Bhabie and Lil Yachty. Perhaps the Aria collection will inspire the first Balenciaga themed song. Or at the very least, a Balenciucci one.

Words by Theo Rosen