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Gucci’s ‘non-binary gift guide’ is ‘empty capitalist gesture’ that could do some good, says critic

Lily Wakefield December 7, 2020
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Gucci non-binary gift guide

Gucci's 2020 gift guide features a "for them" section, alongside the standard "for him" and "for her". (Gucci)

Gucci has released a holiday gift guide “for them”, and while it has been described as an “empty capitalist gesture”, it could still do some good.

For the festive season, Gucci has added a separate “for them” gift guide to its website, alongside the standard “for him” and “for her” lists.

Like the brand’s Gucci MX section, the “for them” guide features no new product, but merchandises styles that could appeal to all genders.

Designer and writer José Criales-Unzueta took to Instagram to discuss the “non-binary gifting guide”, noting: “This is the first time in my time in the industry I see a brand do this.”

“I bring this up because it’s a very interesting, and smart, approach at an ‘inclusive’ online Holiday gifting experience.

He added: “It is of course… an empty capitalist ‘diversity and inclusion’ gesture, and it is safe to say that it is most likely born out of a merchandising strategy to appeal to Gen Z and Millennial queer shoppers rather than a heartfelt effort to make the community feel included.”

But, Criales-Unzueta said, the gift guide inadvertently “ends up having both effects”.

“It both correctly approaches and includes a demographic that is always excluded in Holiday gifting,” he said, “and it exposes product in yet another way that makes it even easier to shop.”

Although the intention behind the “for them” gift guide is debatable and its execution is not perfect, commenters still felt that the representation made a nice change.

One wrote: “From a brand perspective, I feel like it’s good for them (pun intended) to be seen and noticed as a brand who cares about more than just the binary sides of the spectrum.

“Even if at the core it’s a decision based on the need to sell more (which is what most businesses want/need), it is good to take the lead in an industry where the biggest brands are not putting much effort.”

Another said: “I mean it’s definitely nice to have an option since I never have one, but does suck that the ‘them’ section is a photo of multiple people instead of a non-binary model.”

The gift guide follows on from the launch of Gucci MX earlier this year, a “gender-fluid” section on the Italian house’s website which aims to make shopping the luxury brand more inclusive.

However, apart from one redesigned handbag, the section of the site mostly sells products that already exists, shot on androgynous, very slim models.

 

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