Gucci is currently facing a plagiarism controversy after a Central Saint Martins student accused the brand of stealing his concept.
Last week, Gucci teased its new fall campaign with a series of alien-inspired Instagram videos, which student Pierre-Louis Auvray says are very similar to ones seen on his Instagram account. Auvary also replaces models on high fashion runways with alien-like creatures.
Auvray took to the app to complain, reposting Gucci with the caption: “Young creatives struggle enough without big companies shamelessly stealing from them.”
Speaking to BoF, Creative Director Alessandro Michele responded: “It’s not true, it’s something that makes me feel really sad. People build a story around nothing.”
Michele told BoF that he only came across Auvray’s after the allegations came out, and that he has been working on the campaign before Auvray’s first Instagram post. He also refutes the similarities between the two aliens, saying pointed ears are “obvious” when designing aliens.
Michele then took a shot at Saint Martins for the confusion, stating: “I’m so sad, because I think it’s not a good idea for a teacher at a school like this to push a young guy to destroy, in a way, his creativity.”
He continued: “Creativity [is] not about the fame. I mean, it could be possible that you are thinking something that is in the mind of someone else. The idea that I’m 45 doesn’t mean that I have no creativity. I’m like a student, it’s the same, it’s not a war!”
The Central Saint Martins Fashion BA Instagram had previously defended Auvray, with a post reading: “wherever your influences come from, it is vital to credit. Young emerging designers and artists only have their ideas to trade #CREDITYOURINFLUENCES #PAYYOUNGCREATIVES.”
Finally, the creative director lamented the role of Instagram today, saying that when he was a student he saw similarities between his work and established designers but “didn’t think that someone was borrowing my work. Instagram is transforming reality.”
Now, meet the Parisian street style star who only wears pink.