Gucci announced today that it will merge its men's and women's runway presentations into one, following a gender-mixed format already adopted by houses like Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, and Tom Ford, and most recently, Vetements.
“It seems only natural to me to present my men’s and women’s collections together," creative director Alessandro Michele told WWD. "It’s the way I see the world today. It will not necessarily be an easy path and will certainly present some challenges, but I believe it will give me the chance to move towards a different kind of approach to my story telling.”
It's worth mentioning that Michele is no stranger to this kind of format. Since his Fall 2015 debut for the house, his collections—both menswear and womenswear—have been coed. In that regard, the announcement is simply a confirmation.
Marco Bizzarri, Gucci's president and CEO, broke the news of the label's unilateral move at the New York Times International Luxury Conference in Versailles, where he noted that moving to one show per season will help to simplify the business. "Maintaining two separate, disconnected calendars has been a result of tradition rather than practicality," he said.
The Italian label is working with Milan Fashion Week organizer Camera Nazionale della Moda to determine an appropriate calendar date that will support Gucci's commitment to a "see-now, buy-later" model, which is in contrast to brands like Proenza Schouler, Monique Lhuillier, Paco Rabanne, and the aforementioned houses, who have hopped on the immediacy-focused direct-to-consumer bandwagon.
Gucci's move is a big one, and is in line with the Kering-owned label's recent evolution since Michele took the reins. Could this be a step toward fixing the "broken" fashion system? Maybe so, but one thing's for sure: When it comes to runway shows, one seems much more appealing (and convenient) than two.