LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: It’s early August as the clement L.A. sun beats down over the Sunset Strip. The Chateau Marmont doesn’t offer any shade for supermodel Daria Werbowy as she plunges into the bungalow-style pool, a pair of interlocking Gucci GG bikini bottoms and gilded Marina Chain Jewellery dripping on her fresh-faced visage.
It’s here, in this historically glamorous (albeit slightly sordid) setting that Gucci’s newly appointed creative director Sabato De Sarno has set the stage for his ambitious vision for the heritage Italian luxuriate.
The Gucci Marina Chain Jewellery campaign is the first under De Sarno’s helm, and as the nascent designer teased on Instagram in the lead-up to its launch, it fuses the label’s inimitable history with his own.
The casting of Werbowy as his first muse was no accident. “Daria, we started together in this business in 2003, and here you are with me at the beginning of this new adventure,” De Sarno wrote in the caption of his Instagram post back in early August. “David [Sims] you pictured her at the debut, now you are behind the camera for her comeback,” the designer added.
This collection is a cocktail of the experiences and serendipitous moments that led De Sarno to this tenure, bringing along people he met at the beginning of his journey to the zenith of his career.
The Marina Chain is also a pertinent starting place for De Sarno, especially with the campaign his entrée before the main course that is his inaugural collection presented during the Spring/Summer 2024 season of Milan Fashion Week.
The oversized, interlocking structure of the jewellery is a new shape for the house, inspired by archival references. We don’t have to draw the connection between the bijoux featured and De Sarno’s experience, it’s in broad, Californian daylight.
What this collection hints at is rather than following the delicious maximalism of his predecessor Alessandro Michele, De Sarno may strip Gucci’s design vocabulary back to the sensual minimalism woven by Tom Ford in the 90s.
Could De Sarno be dipping his toes into this stripped-backed, sexed-up aesthetic? Or, like Werbowy, is he diving straight into Gucci’s past for a tried-and-tested model securing the brand as the prized jewel in Kering’s crown?
It’s too early to say—though we don’t have much longer to wait until De Sarno’s vision is fully realised on Friday, September 22. If we were to ask De Sarno himself, he would tell you what he revealed in a recent interview: “Gucci is the opportunity to fall in love with fashion, ancora.”
Until then, fall head-over-heels with Gucci’s new Marina Jewellery Chain and watch De Sarno’s past unfold in the present through familiar faces and fresh ideas.