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Gucci AW17 campaign teaser vs image from Pierre-Louis Auvray's instagram

No, we didn’t steal your aliens – Gucci responds to claims

The AW17 campaign teasers sparked some alien-shaped controversy

Following the release of its alien-cast AW17 campaign teasers last week, Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele has responded to claims that the idea was copied. The videos, posted on the brand’s Instagram under the hashtag #gucciandbeyond, were criticised by Central Saint Martins womenswear student Pierre-Louis Auvray who drew similarities between the characters in the videos and the alien-inspired digital fashion illustrations that he posts on his own Instagram account.

“I am just a student working hard on building my own stuff and the last thing we need as young creatives is to be ripped off,” he said in an Instagram post after Gucci’s videos were released. He received support from both student-run magazine 1 Granary and the course’s BA Fashion Instagram account. “Wherever your influences come from, it is vital to credit. Young emerging designers and artists only have their ideas to trade,” it posted.

However, speaking to Business of Fashion yesterday, Michele debunked any claims of plagiarism – explaining that he only came across Auvray’s work following the accusations and that any similarity between the students images and the campaign is purely a coincidence. “It’s about my memories, so movies from the 70s that I saw many times.” Although hailing from the 50s rather than 70s, the campaign videos do indeed draw clear inspiration from cult sci-fi movies like Creature from the Black Lagoon (here) and Forbidden Planet (here). 

Michele went on the say that with all of the planning involved in such a huge project, work on the videos started months ago – Auvray first started posting his images seven weeks ago, making any allegations of copying impossible. Still, he wants to reach out personally to the young designer to clear the air. “It’s something that makes me feel really sad,” Michele said. “The idea that I’m 45 doesn’t mean that I have no creativity. I’m like a student, it’s the same, it’s not a war!”