The key takeaways from Gucci Cruise 2025

Gucci's Cruise 2025 collection, held in London's Tate Modern, marked creative director Sabato De Sarno's first destination show. 

At last night’s debut of the Gucci Cruise 2025 collection, it was all about contrast. Taking place in the austere surroundings of one of London’s most important cultural institutions, the Tate Modern, the show saw the space transform into a blooming oasis, greenery spouting from the iconic concrete. Not only that, but the stripped back aesthetics that made their way down the runway felt like a marked difference from the OTT stylings we’ve come to associate with Gucci. And that’s probably because creative director Sabato de Sarno is now at the helm — though he debuted his first collection for the house in September of last year, it was this collection which solidified Sarno’s subdued vision of the heritage brand. More than that, it affirmed that Sarno has his sights set not on proponents of high fashion and luxury, but a generation of “It” girls.

Descended on by an army of these Gen Z darlings – Kate Moss was rubbing shoulders with everyone from actor Paul Mescal to YouTuber Olivia Neill – those sitting front row last night weren’t just famous faces, but the ostensible target market for Gucci’s new, decidedly more wearable aesthetic. The opening look? Not a showpiece, but a blazer and some baggy jeans, topped off with Gucci’s take on an Instagram favourite, “Bayonetta” glasses. Co-ords were also a fixture on the runway. Though they had luxe Gucci flourishes – the house’s iconic Horsebit found its way onto several looks – they still felt like something you’d see popped on by an influencer like Devon Lee Carlson as part of a characteristically high-low fit. It comes back to that magic word: wearable.

The collection also confirmed which silhouettes are going to be a staple of Sarno’s Gucci: the co-ords were short in length, and often featured boxy, mod-esque jackets that we also saw in his first collection for the fashion house. This time round, however, they felt a little more inventive, and (surprisingly) like a hark back to Michele’s version of the Italian brand. 60s-feeling matching sets were followed by playful beaded fringe and laser-cut organza. That might seem surprising given how disparate Sarno and Michele’s Gucci are, but it makes sense: during Michele’s tenure at the house, their revenue soared. Since Sarno took over, however, sales have fallen by around 20%.

And why London? When Sarno spoke to The Guardian, he explained that he admired London’s eclectic style: “To me, it’s a place where people are sharing energies and ideas, no matter where they are coming from,” he said. “More than a specific style, what fascinates me about this city is the ability to bring opposites together, to make them coexist in a unique way made of conversations and exchanges”. You can see that in Sarno’s references for the show, which he hinted at via his Instagram — everyone from Princess Diana to revellers at Notting Hill carnival. London also played an intrinsic role in the early days of Gucci. It was in 1899 that founder Guccio Gucci went to work as a porter at the Savoy Hotel in London. Did that influence his starting out within the world of leather accessories? We reckon so.

Really, though, there is something in London being a special little hub to a certain brand of It girl. Adept at blending high and low (and cultural reference upon cultural reference) the Gen Z London-ites at last night’s show were the only audience that could be there. And it could only be held in the place they, by and large, call home.

WriterAmber Rawlings
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