Fusing personal experiences with a spontaneous sense of composition, Coco Capitán’s signature hand-written prose, poems and aphorisms reflect a culturally pertinent tone, defined by its oscillation between irony and sincerity, naïveté and knowingness, relativism and truth, optimism and doubt.
Catching the eye of creative director Alessandro Michele while Capitán was still in art school, Gucci featured a selection of her otherworldly musings on a limited- edition collection of apparel and accessories, which organically grew into a multi-faceted collaboration between the emerging artist and the globally recognizable luxury brand.
A marriage of her witty and ironic take on the world with Michele’s contemporary, eclectic romanticism, Capitán personally designed a Fall 2017 capsule collection of Gucci apparel and accessories including tote-backpacks, belt- bags, sweatshirts, t-shirts, hoodies, knits and coats featuring her gnomic axioms in a range of playful colors, which she also photographed for the brand’s advertising campaign.
By using Gucci products as a canvas, even defacing the iconic Gucci logo, Capitán achieved a new level of cultural relevance – a reinvention of the way we are used to looking at luxury.
“I think words are very precious, and if put together in the right order they can create a linguistic masterpiece that feels like your favorite painting.”
Debuting the collection during Milan Fashion Week, Capitán’s text extended beyond the runway and was interwoven throughout the immersive experience. Guests of the Gucci hub in Milan were introduced to her artworks from the invitations – vinyl records featuring Capitán’s unique handwriting – to a large-scale wall display as they entered the show space. Michele even wore one of her t-shirts to take a bow and close out the show, adorned with the message ‘I want to go back to beliving in a story.’ The spelling is intentional, reflecting the artist’s desire to ‘be living in’ a more ideal world.
To ensure a seamless collaboration with a level of consistency across all touchpoints, Capitán photographed Gucci’s collection campaign, which was released across all major print and social media outlets in tandem with the product launch. The far-reaching campaign received over 150,000 likes per image on Gucci’s Instagram and the hashtag #guccicococapitan was used over 3,000 times.
“One thing I really appreciate about Gucci [x Coco Capitán] is how it managed to create a consistent visual narrative throughout Instagram, digital, and its collections.”
Gucci has plastered buildings around the world with its expressive ‘Art Wall’ series in recent seasons, celebrating creatives such as Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović and Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal through colorful large-scale works.
Furthering their synergistic collaboration, Gucci featured Capitán’s musings as text-based murals on its iconic urban canvases on Lafayette Street in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, and on Largo la Foppa in the lively pedestrian Corso Garibaldi district of Milan, serving as both a destination for Capitán devotees and a happy discovery for passersby.
When it came time to design a new store in Miami’s Design District, Michele featured Capitán’s mural on its façade, ensuring that the exterior of the shop would parallel the neighborhood’s creative characteristic. Painted exclusively for the flagship location, Capitán’s hand-written prose was celebrated with an unveiling during Art Basel and complemented by an art wall in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood and two exclusive pieces featuring the artist’s work; a yellow drawstring backpack and a belt bag.
“As a result of Michele’s undeniable creativity, the Miami boutique is one that is sure to entice and feel personal to Gucci’s devoted shoppers.”
The subject of a retrospective at only 26 years old, Capitán’s solo exhibition at the Seoul-based Daelim Museum in Seoul, Korea, ‘Is It Tomorrow Yet?’ was curated as an immersive journey into a decade of the artist’s universe and featured over 150 works including photographs, paintings, writings, videos, and installations.
Visited by a record-breaking number of art fanatics, teens, and photography lovers over a six-month period, the exhibit included a ‘Gucci Room’ that featured the sold-out collaboration product and artwork – over a year after its launch – and new works created by Capitán inspired by Gucci and Michele.
“I think that in the context of fashion, it’s really easy to create images, or content in general, that are empty of meaning. In this collaboration specifically, because it’s text in an industry that mainly works with images, the most important thing is that you are delivering a message.”
To celebrate the opening of her exhibit, Gucci fêted Capitán with a private dinner at Seokparang, one of Seoul’s most historic restaurants, celebrated for its Korean table d’hôte. The brand gathered 50 tastemakers, ambassadors, and influential customers together in the celebrated restaurant’s tranquil garden and traditional villa in the artist’s honor.
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