Gucci and The North Face have released a new campaign titled “Pioneers of the Past” to highlight the monogram puffer, chainlink bucket hat, and knitted beanie from their new collaboration. The semi-abstract images celebrate four individuals who are rethinking and recalibrating how Black images are presented in fine and contemporary art spaces.
For this campaign, Gucci partnered with A Vibe Called Tech, a UK-based initiative founded by Charlene Prempeh, which has worked with Gucci before for a series documenting Ghanian culture, gender fluidity, and the Jackie 1961 bag.
This time A Vibe Called Tech sought out Black archivists, researchers, and curators who are challenging established preconceptions of Black images in the digital space, and the art world at large. A Black History of Art founder Alayo Akinkugbe, Italian-Ghanaian visual researcher Theophilus Imani, Black Archives founder Renata Cherlise, and art historian, curator and critic Osei Bonsu, were invited to shoot self-portraits in the new collection, which were subsequently edited by British collage artist Jazz Grant to reflect the collaboration’s theme of exploration and discovery.
You can listen to Akinkugbe, Cherlise, Imani & Bonsu discuss the implications of their work in more detail on the latest episode of the Stance podcast.