Arctic sea ice declining. Oceans warming. Global temperatures rising. Oceans acidifying. Snow cover decreasing. Extreme events increasing. Glaciers retreating. Sea levels rising. There are a lot of reasons for a young person to get down in the dumps these days, but there are some who are taking that energy and transforming it—like so many solar panels—into usable cultural capital. Take the Gucci Gang, four Parisian teenagers who gained notoriety through their DGAF-infused [Don’t Give A F@*$] Instagram feeds, and for shaking tsunamis into the fashion world this year when two GG members, Thaïs and Angelina, showed up on the Cannes red carpet (in the company of Thaïs’ father, director Cédric Klapisch) dressed in Chanel. Like many disrupting technologies, the Gucci Gang has no leader, only a mission statement: “Be yourself and know that that’s good enough.” Which is, fittingly—at least for a generation who were born post-Windows 98; who [CTRL-C]’d and [CTRL-V]’d before they learned how to ride a bike; where everything is always a sly reference to something else—a line from Frank Ocean’s Blonde.
Alors, le gang: 14-year-old art student Crystal Murray seems to be the brains behind the operation. “I’m searching for an original identity in my clothes,” she told us, “I believe I might be trying to make an original statement that is a rebellion to the proposed implementation of places like H&M or Forever 21 that make people want to look all alike.” In contrast, 16-year-old Thaïs Klapisch, who is studying applied arts, and seems to be the pragmatic nucleus of the group, says about her approach to fashion, “I shop in thrift shops mostly because I like vintage pieces and I hate when I buy something in stores like H&M and then I see everybody having the same clothes as me. Also, thrift shops are really cheap.” 16-year-old Annabelle Ferrera doing general studies, who could stand in for the ingénue from les filmes noire, told us in regard to the possibility of endless summer or nuclear winter that: “If it gets this bad, then I’ll pick nuclear winter, I think there’s a more warm and romantic vibe to it (the winter, not the nuclear aspect). Plus, I hate sweating and I’m allergic to the sun.” And16-year-old Angelina Woreth, who is studying acting, and has been modeling for seven years—landing the cover of L’Officiel last March—is the steam engine that keeps the gang running the streets.
Having been heralded by i-D as “our future” and Dazed as the epitome of their generation, it would be easy for that pressure to get to the gang, but they don’t mind. As Crystal puts it, “They don’t know the real life secrets of a teenager living in a big city, especially in 2016.” And while it serves to mention that youth is it’s own country, with it’s own language, and customs, the girls are mindful of the future. Says Thaïs: “I don’t want my children (or anyone) living in a destroyed earth.” As to what they think should be done, Thaïs is no-nonsense: “I really believe that we need to make some efforts and slow down our consumption.”
The future has never looked better.