“Every small change they recommended allowed for movement and wear in the demanding role of the makeup artist.”
When Gucci, the top Italian fashion house, linked with global consumer-products giant P&G Prestige to launch the new Gucci Beauty range, the alliance commissioned London-based Jermyn Street Design to create chic company uniforms that captured the prestige and allure of these two global brands.
The new beauty collection was launched first in Milan and Hong Kong in September 2014, followed swiftly by New York, London and Paris. “From the start,” says Susanne Malim, the JSD Managing Director who won the contract, “it was made very clear to us that everything associated with the Gucci brand must be of the highest standard. And so the uniforms we created for the in-store beauty consultants had to be perfect – in terms of look, fit and functionality.”
Achieving that balance proved very exacting – but at JSD we were ready for that, and could draw on our experience creating beauty counter uniforms for brands such as Chanel, Guerlain, Givenchy, Decleor and Lancome. In an exciting design consultation process, we worked collaboratively with the Gucci Fashion House in Rome and Milan, and with P&G Prestige in Geneva (the company behind key fragrances like Gucci Guilty and Gucci Premiere.)
Early in the contract, it was agreed that the JSD in-house designers would take the existing designs worn by staff in the Gucci Boutiques and fashion stores internationally, and recreate them to achieve a corporate wear fit in high performance, fit for purpose fabrics.
The result is a minimal, slender uniform, which integrates stylish separates – jackets, trousers, cardigans and short and long sleeved blouses for ladies, and jackets, trousers, shirts, ties, polos and T-shirts for men. Because the uniform will be worn across three continents, there was a requirement for the JSD pattern cutters to adapt the UK regular fit – sizes 4 to 22 for ladies and 34 to 50 for men – to create both Asian and US fits.
And, being Gucci, it is naturally … black. “That very distinctive Gucci black – the deepest shade of black – is a huge part of the uniform impact,” explains Rebecca Rhoades, the JSD in-house who worked on this project. “We were required to match that black across five entirely different fabric types for all the garment types. It was a meticulous process and a great learning experience for JSD.”
Specifying fabrics that would prove functional and durable in a beauty counter environment saw JSD drawing on all our knowledge and experience. “The original designs, worn by staff at the Gucci fashion stores, specified 100% wool suiting fabrics, pure silk for the blouses and mother of pearl of buttons,” says Rebecca Rhoades. “A lot of changes were required to make the uniforms fit for purpose in the new context – and our recommendations came under very close scrutiny.”
A mill that JSD had worked closely with in the past copied the 100% wool suiting used for the existing Gucci uniforms, reproducing it in a poly/wool/ Lycra fabric that is durable and gives movement. Most important, it is in the darkest black, to match the Gucci brand! Pure silk was replicated in a polyester that satisfied the Gucci style criteria.
“It was a challenge to recreate some of the fabrics and comply with wearer needs and functionality,” confirms Veron Lynch-Booth, the JSD Account Manager handling this project. “But we always found a way to achieve the best compromise, that satisfied both Gucci and P&G Prestige. At each stage in the process we sent initial sketches, fabrics swatches and colour samples to the Gucci Fashion House for their approval. In terms of wearer trials, P&G Prestige were assigned to carry out the training sessions with international consultants and JSD provided full uniform sets for this training and then adapted samples following feedback.”
The first Gucci cosmetics store to launch was Milan, where the products flew out of the store. Response to the uniforms from the beauty consultants and clients alike was extremely positive. But perhaps most important, Gucci felt that they live up their brand!
“From the start of the project, JSD were always our preferred partner. We knew their experience and knowledge of the beauty world would be invaluable as we had worked with them on several other prestige brand uniforms for over a decade. The professionalism of JSD and their attention to detail at every step of the process was exceptional. Every small change they recommended allowed for movement and wear in the demanding role of the makeup artist, and both the Fashion House and our team were delighted with the results.”