Watch him shut down the Italian house’s South Korean extravaganza right here
A$AP Rocky has a long and storied relationship with Gucci, with the rapper going as far as starring in a stellar ad campaign alongside Tyler, The Creator, Iggy Pop, and a highlighter green parrot back in 2021. Tonight, he took it one step further and landed on stage in Seoul to shut down the Italian house’s South Korean Cruise 2024 extravaganza.
Fresh from sending social media into a tailspin when he posted a photo dump of his and Rihanna’s bouncing bebé RZA in honour of his first birthday, Rocky raced from the FROW to the show and blasted out tracks including “LSD” and “Praise the Lord” on a tiny stage. For a moment, it was as if the fashion crowd forgot its commitment to remaining stony-faced, unphased, and aloof at all times.
The 2024 Gucci Cruise show is the latest in a long line of landmark international events which have seen editors, influencers, and celebrity guests whisked across the world at breakneck speed. Just a few days ago, Chanel beamed guests all the way to Los Angeles, where it staged a sequin-strewn 80s-a-thon and had Snoop Dogg perform and Paris Hilton behind the decks. Next up will be Dior later this week: after taking over Mumbai’s iconic Gateway to India just a couple of months ago, Maria Grazia and co. are heading for Mexico, before Louis Vuitton takes over an Italian island close to Como at the end of the month.
Before all that, though, there is the small matter of a Gucci spectacular to unpack. In case your invite got lost in the post, we have you covered: here is everything you need to know – including a video of Rocky’s performance in full.
THE INVITE WAS A SWEET SLICE OF SOUTH KOREAN TRADITION
#AliaBhatt shares a glimpse of her invite for the Gucci Cruise show in Seoul. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/v0vhMf4uNo— Filmfare (@filmfare) May 15, 2023
Gucci invites are always pretty major – think back to the house’s cosmic 2022 Puglia show, when the house named a star after each of its guests – and this time around it was business as usual. Before they could collapse on the bed after mammoth long-haul flights, editors were greeted with a big box laid out waiting for them. The invite was fastened within a traditional Bojagi wrapping cloth, which is a time-honoured art form used to mark special occasions. Seoul-based digital artists designed the kaleidoscopic print, which was inspired by the colours of the Gyeongbokgung palace – palm trees, butterflies, and roses.
THE FROW FROWED
…I mean, this is a Gucci show we’re talking about, so do I really need to spell that out for you? Taking their seats at the side of the catwalk were Gucci girls Jodie Turner-Smith, Dakota Johnson, NewJeans star Hanni, and musician and actor IU, and Gucci boys A$AP Rocky and Squid Game star Lee Jungjae. Joining then were the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Jay Park, Elizabeth Olsen, and legendary Oldboy director Park Chan-wook who all rubbed shoulders and chit-chatted about whatever it is celebs chit-chat about as they waited for the show to kick off.
IT TOOK OVER THE CITY’S LANDMARK GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE
…AKA one of the city’s most important heritage sites. Built way back in the 14th century, the palace has been the home of generations of Korean royals, but probably unsurprisingly has never hosted a fashion show before. It goes without saying that, even without longtime Gucci showman Alessandro Michele at the helm, the Gucci team still has a penchant for dramatics. Inside, the palace’s grounds had been dotted with tiny flashing lights which glittered fiercely when the show’s thumping drum soundtrack – this season created by legendary Korean composer Didi Han – struck up. With the sun blazing orange and almost red before seemingly sinking into the murky depths of the Han River, the traditional wood spires of the palace roof clashed with the jagged jungle of tower blocks in the hazy distance. It was a fitting scene for the Cruise show, with the backdrop mirroring Gucci’s clash of heritage and futurism.
THE COLLECTION WAS A MISH-MASH CLASH OF KOREAN STYLE
The Gucci design team – which is still across all of the house’s collections until Sabato de Sarno takes the reins in September – looked to the streets of Seoul for inspiration and beyond when it came to the 2024 Cruise offering. Party girls in sparkly cropped sequin jackets and slinky pencil skirts stomped down the catwalk with GG-emblazoned chrome skateboards tucked under their arms, while guys in blown-up, oversized shirts and XXL pants carried gleaming Gucci surfboards.
Elsewhere, models were wrapped up in bows like extremely chic presents, form-fitting second-skin wetsuits complete with skull-hugging hoods were layered under marshmallow pink chiffon gowns that billowed out behind their wearer in the cool evening breeze, and loads of looks were finished with water-tight little booties you’d more likely see at the beach rather than traipsing down the street. Best of all for the Tom Ford stans among us, the house has gone all-in on the former Gucci designer’s mid-00s Horsebit bag, which was first resurrected at the AW23 show in February. This time, it came in sequins, sparkles, and pumped-up swollen iridescent leather, with each new iteration more covetable than the last.
A$AP ROCKY SHUT IT DOWN
After Jay Park got the crowd warmed up with hits “On Air” and “Joah”, Rocky took to the tiny sweaty Gucci stage in a white shirt, navy baseball cap, and camel overcoat from the AW23 Gucci menswear collection to perform hits “LSD” and “Praise the Lord”. After that indie sleaze legend Mark Ronson – surely the official Gucci DJ now he’s got two Cruise shows under his belt – got behind the decks, dropping (at the time of publishing) Sean Paul, Cardi B, Drake, and Lauryn Hill.