Gucci creative director, Frida Giannini collaborates with Japanese Manga artist, Hirohiko Araki to produce the very first fashion comic book.
The artist has worked closely with the fashion house before. Araki created a one-shot manga for Japanese fashion magazine, Spur that led to his collaboration with Gucci. The October 2011 issue featured a super-powered manga artist, Rohan Kishibe, a spin-off character is Araki’s famed manga Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures. Rohan travels to Florence, Italy with a Gucci handbag that had been his grandmother’s keepsake. Subsequently, Araki contributed to an exhibition celebrating the brand’s 90th anniversary at Tokyo’s Shinjiku Gucci.
Araki reveals that he has always been fascinated by Italy. “Frida’s beautiful Cruise collection with its strong colors and graphic designs set my mind racing the moment she showed it to me. From there the characters and the storyline came into being so naturally. It was very stimulating to work together on this project.”
In the aptly titled “Jolyne, Fly High with Gucci”, Jolyne Cujoh, the eponymous heroine of Araki’s renowned series, inherits a keepsake from her mother’s Gucci collection. Propelled by the mystery behind her vintage treasure, Cujoh embarks on a surreal fashion adventure, astride a golden unicorn – all while wearing the current resort collection, of course.
The animated heroine will take over Cruise 2013 stars, Joan Smalls and Karmen Perdaru in store windows this season. Giannini is adamant that these “window installations will stop people in their tracks in cities around the world as they immerse themselves in the fabulous fantasy world he has created.” While snapshots from the story will appear in Gucci stores across the globe, the full manga will be unveiled exclusively in Japan’s Spur magazine and on Gucci’s Facebook page.
“This has without doubt been one of the most enjoyable collaborations I have worked on,” Frida confides. “The characters that Hirohiko has conceived combine an energy, sensuality and appeal that brings my Cruise collection to life in such a fun and compelling way.”