American Marketer

Apparel and accessories

Prada, Gucci opt for cruise shows closer to home

April 4, 2017

Fondazione Prada Osservatorio. Photo credit Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of Fondazione Prada


Diverting from the destination-centric trend in cruise runway shows, both Gucci and Prada are staging events in Italy for the upcoming season.

High-fashion labels have recently been taking their cruise shows on the road, holding spectacles in locales such as Rio de Janeiro and Dallas, Texas. Staying local is giving the brands an opportunity to further their presence in their home markets, reinforcing their heritage to runway show attendees.

Sartorial staycation
For Prada, its 2018 collection will be its first cruise line to get its own runway show. In recent years, creative director Miuccia Prada has instead opted for alternatives, such as showing her resort designs with the men’s spring/summer collections or in a presentation format.

Rather than picking a far-flung location for its show, Prada is hosting a runway show in its hometown of Milan.

Per WWD, the May 3 show will be staged at Fondazione Prada’s L’Osservatorio, a recently opened photography exhibition space.

Florentine label Gucci is also looking to its hometown for cruise, staging its show at Pitti Palace’s Palatina Gallery. Scheduled for May 29, this will be the first time a fashion show is staged in the venue.

Inside Pitti Palace

Gucci’s show is part of a larger project aimed at restoring the Boboli Gardens. The label is donating 2 million euro, or about $2 million at current exchange, to the Uffizi Gallery over three years.

The Boboli Gardens were originally created in the 1500s. Featuring sculptures, architectural design and plants from various geographic locales, the 81-acre green space is situated behind Pitti Palace.

“Primavera di Boboli” is being funded partly by the Municipality of Florence with support from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism.

Boboli Gardens

With little details about the show available as of press time, Gucci promises that the event will involve more senses than sight.

"This collaboration represents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and sustain Florence's cultural splendour and I would like to thank all the institutions that are involved,” said Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci, in a statement. “Gucci is a global brand with strong roots in Florence. The success we have achieved in recent years through the vision of our creative director, Alessandro Michele, is reliant upon the skills, spirit of innovation, passion and abilities of the craftspeople and everyone else who works for the brand in Florence and the surrounding area."

“Following the presentation of the last two Cruise collections, in the art district of New York in 2015 and in the cloisters at London’s Westminster Abbey in 2016, staging the next Cruise collection show in the heart of Florence has special meaning, particularly as Alessandro is constantly inspired by the city's renaissance masterpieces."

Traveling for cruise shows not only reinforces the resort-ready theme of collections. It also gives brands an opportunity to celebrate a location through cultural affairs.

Last year, Gucci took its show to London to kick off a celebration of Britain that has included an advertising campaign and an exhibition (see story).