Gucci Trumped Balenciaga on Social Media Over Creative ‘Hacking’

Miles Socha
·2 min read

The creative “hacking” of Demna Gvasalia’s designs from sister label Balenciaga that debuted at the Gucci Aria show did not significantly boost impact on social media — and the latter brand won more mention than the former.

According to data compiled by data and insights firm Launchmetrics, the Aria film that was released on April 15 yielded $20.9 million in Media Impact Value, of which only $2.9 million mentioned Balenciaga. The overall MIV was on par with GucciFest, the Italian megabrand’s last collection reveal that involved filmmaker Gus Van Sant.

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At WWD’s request, Launchmetrics reviewed social media mentions through April 23, excluding Chinese channels, as it had no comparative data for GucciFest from that geography.

The data suggests that the press covered the Gucci/Balenciaga tie-up more than another voice on social media, considering Gucci-branded channels, celebrities, influencers and partners. “Very few influencers mentioned Balenciaga, and even fewer celebrities,” Launchmetrics noted.

The show was talked about globally, but Europe and Asia took the top places, it added.

Branding experts and luxury analysts gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up to the rule-breaking tie-up, calling it more subtle than cobranding and predicting it would burnish the desirability of the Gucci brand.

The top celebrity voice around the Aria show was Miley Cyrus, yielding $1.8 million in MIV with two posts, and Nagita Slavina was the top influencer with $1.3 million in MIV generated by her two posts.

Slavina’s mention of Gucci far outstripped Maria Minogarova’s mention of Balenciaga, valued at $49,000 in MIV. Gucci mentioned Balenciaga the most, with Hypebeast a runner-up.

Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele described the creative experiment as “playing with possibly the biggest sacrilege,” blending distinctive elements and logos from two very recognizable brands, “getting out of the closed-in atelier. Creativity means dialogue, continuous experiment and freedom.”

Gucci has yet to detail how this will translate into production and distribution, and underscored that it was neither a collaboration nor a capsule.

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