Ever since Gucci launched a dedicated Instagram feed for beauty last fall, the industry has been anxiously anticipating Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s reimagined vision for the Italian house’s cosmetics range. After months focusing on fragrance — and a fun campaign to go with it — Gucci has turned its attention to makeup with a 58-piece lipstick collection featuring three different formulations.
On Sunday, Gucci released its latest beauty campaign, photographed by Martin Parr. Described in a press release as “a manifesto of beauty written by the house’s creative director,” the images feature Dani Miller, the lead singer of punk band Surfbort, as well as models Mae Lapres, Achok Majak and Ellia Sophia Coggins. The ’80s-inspired campaign is an homage to Michele’s off-kilter sensibilities and penchant for quirk; it’s meant to communicate that “makeup should not mask, but rather exalt, flaws and make them part of the language of beauty,” per press materials.
There is also an accompanying campaign film, shot by Chris Simmonds, which draws on the same vintage aesthetic and encourages the audience to be “bold, bright and beautiful,” via a voiceover.
The campaign, with its throwback graphics and gritty rawness, is certainly bold. It’s meant to “convey a clear message that authentic beauty lies in imperfection,” and it does so in part by showing close-ups of models and mouths that look different — less polished, less perfect, less bleached, far more realistic — than most of what the beauty industry visually sells consumers.
While some Instagram commenters shared their shock (and in some cases, disdain) for seeing such images from a beauty brand, others, like anonymous watchdog collective @EsteeLaundry, applauded Gucci for celebrating “dental diversity” in its campaign.