Gucci’s Sabato De Sarno Debut Cruise Collection Lands In London

Gucci returns to London for the 2025 Cruise show.

Gucci Cruise 2025.

The House of Gucci and the city of London share a history that dates back to the late 19th century. In 1897, Guccio Gucci, the founder of the now-iconic brand, found work as a porter at the Savoy Hotel. This experience in the bustling city, rich with cultural diversity and a vibrant spirit, inspired him profoundly. Energized by London’s dynamic atmosphere, Gucci returned to Florence and opened a travel goods store. His ambition was to create luggage that narrated a new way of living, a vision that would eventually become synonymous with luxury and sophistication.

More than a century later, London remains a global cultural hub, a melting pot of influences that continues to inspire and innovate. This enduring spirit of cultural convergence mirrors Gucci’s ethos of perpetual self-discovery and reinvention, a narrative deeply rooted in its heritage.

Gucci’s current Creative Director, Sabato De Sarno, also has a personal connection to London. Reflecting on his decision to choose London for Gucci’s Cruise show, he acknowledged the city’s significant role in his creative journey. “We chose London for the Cruise show, knowing it was the right choice. I owe a lot to this city; it has welcomed and listened to me,” De Sarno shared.

Gucci Cruise 2025.

The chosen venue, Tate Modern, epitomizes the intersection of art, design, and fashion. It is a space where heritage and contemporary creativity coexist, much like the spirit of Gucci itself. De Sarno described his approach to exploring a creative direction as bringing oneself into an already-existing space and reshaping it through personal vision. “To explore a creative direction is to bring yourself into an already-existing space and show it through your eyes, working from room to room to reshape the building again.”

Gucci’s return to London for the Cruise 2025 collection is a homage to the city that once inspired its founder. The show, held at Tate Modern, transformed the iconic venue into a fashion runway, reflecting the city’s unique blend of historical and contemporary influences. The collection featured brown suede jackets and ensembles, often adorned with the signature Gucci horse-bit emblem, paired with chiffon blouses. The presentation included pleated gowns in pastel colours and designs with sparkling beaded fringes, emphasizing a romantic and slightly contradictory aesthetic.

Gucci Cruise 2025.

De Sarno’s collection encapsulated a sense of bohemia with a relaxed look, featuring roomy denim, oversized blousons, and chiffon bras under cotton blouses. The overall style was less polished and more tomboyish, resonating with London’s street style, subcultures, and eclectic fashion mix. The models, with their tousled long hair and flat shoes, embodied the laid-back yet sophisticated spirit of the city.

Gucci Cruise 2025.

This Cruise presentation was De Sarno’s third collection in his eight-month tenure at Gucci, and many hoped it would reveal his vision for the storied Maison. With Kering, Gucci’s parent company, facing revenue challenges, declining share prices, and a difficult first quarter in 2024, the pressure on De Sarno is immense. However, expecting a single designer to resolve these complex issues is unrealistic and perhaps unfair.

De Sarno’s designs have so far been characterized by a more egalitarian approach, focusing on wearable, high-quality clothing and accessories. While these pieces may not have sparked the same emotional response as John Galliano’s couture or set new trends like Bottega Veneta’s giant woven accessories, they have been well-received for their practicality and understated elegance. The brown suede and leather outerwear in the new Gucci Rosso collection, for instance, underscores a shift towards real, functional clothing that eschews unnecessary extravagance.

De Sarno’s decision to present the Cruise collection in London highlights his willingness to experiment and embrace the city’s vibrant landscape. While the collection may not redefine the fashion zeitgeist, it offers something for a broad audience, aligning with the current trend away from hype-driven fashion.

Gucci Cruise 2025.

The Cruise 2025 show at Tate Modern was a celebration of Gucci’s heritage and London’s enduring influence. It was a testament to the city’s role in shaping Gucci’s past and its ongoing impact on the brand’s creative direction. As De Sarno continues to navigate his role at Gucci, his connection to London and its cultural tapestry will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of the House. In this synergy of heritage and innovation, Gucci reaffirms its place at the forefront of luxury fashion, continually drawing inspiration from its storied past to inform its path forward.