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Female Rappers Are Fueling Pucci's Renaissance

Flo Milli gave fans the visuals they’d been wanting for “Never Lose Me” earlier this year. In the video for the viral single, she’s decked out in a full Pucci catsuit, an iced-out watch and fire-red acrylics. Styled by Jenna Tyson, this look is not only symbolic of the rapper’s continuous rise in music, but it’s also part of the momentum fueling the Italian fashion house’s renaissance of late.

Pucci was founded in 1947 by Emilio Pucci in Florence, and became renowned for its instantly recognizable bright, graphic prints on timeless silhouettes, favored by everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna. In the following millennium, though, it experienced a bit of a slump, lacking innovation and a recognizable creative leader to push it forward. In 2000, LVMH acquired a majority stake in the brand, which then saw a revolving door of creative directors through 2017 (including Christian Lacroix, Matthew Williamson, Peter Dundas and Massimo Giorgetti). It went without a full-time head designer until 2021, when LVMH purchased the house’s remaining shares and appointed Camille Miceli as artistic director. 

Today, the brand’s comeback is well underway — but it’s about more than a new designer or the post-pandemic dopamine-dressing trend or simple nostalgia. What’s perhaps made the biggest impact is how, under Miceli, Pucci has savvily built a roster of modern muses, with artists like Cardi B, JT from the City Girls, Flo Milli, Ice Spice and Alicia Keys.

“It makes so much sense that the resurgence of Pucci would be with female hip-hop acts and female rappers, [who are] these really dope, powerful women making their own lane in a male-dominated space,” Marissa Pelly, who styles Ice Spice, tells Fashionista. “Having a female creative director at such a legacy brand is really amazing to see. I feel like Camille just gets the girls.”

Since Miceli took over, Pucci has been featured in music videos for Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s “Barbie World” and Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Bongos”; Flo Milli also wore the brand during her 2023 Coachella performance. The brand is also getting more name drops lately from the likes of Drake and Gunna. (It helps that Pucci rhymes with Gucci.) But what about the label and its aesthetic make it right for hip hop?

“It was always the resortwear brand — my mentor is Misa Hylton, and she was always a Pucci girl,” Tyson says of the legendary stylist who helped define hip-hop and R&B artists’ looks since the 1990s. “I always remember her having archival Pucci. It was always something that she wanted to pull. [Misa] loves everything that’s bold, colorful and that could play on those lines between proper fashion and ghetto fabulous. Because Pucci is so bold and has such vibrant colors and patterns, it gives life to the hip-hop world that we would often create.” 

This is part of what influenced her to put Pucci on Flo Milli for “BGC”: “It’s bright, it’s colorful, it’s different and it’s not typically what you would assume that she would be in. You could see her cleavage, so she still feels young, but it’s fun. It’s something that you wouldn’t think that a 23-year-old girl would wear, that still gives fun and sexy.” 

Flo Milli performing at Coachella 2023 in a full Pucci look.

Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

For her part, Pelly is enamored with the “really iconic prints that resonate with a lot of hip-hop artists” as well as the silhouettes of this modern era, like bodysuits and jumpsuits that are “sexy, but still ladylike.”

“Hip hop and fashion intersect on a level that’s all about storytelling and self-expression,” Pelly adds. “When I was working with Ice, it was really important to me that she was always perceived, especially being from New York, as a girl who demonstrates a level of fashion knowledge and taste. Especially thinking about Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim and all of the fashion icons and female rappers from New York, I really wanted to make sure she followed suit.”

The Pucci aesthetic not only aligns with the spirit of hip hop: Stylist Anna Trevelyan explains it’s also ideal for the stage.

“Artists need to stand out on stage in a huge stadium, so this approach works really well for those tour looks,” she says. “Camille knows how to create looks that flatter every female form and are comfortable at the same time, which is such a big win.” (Accordingly, Trevelyan put Alicia Keys in custom Pucci looks that combined Afrofuturistic references with “a bit of a psychedelic ’70s feeling” for her tour last summer.) 

Another big draw for performers and their teams is the manner in which Miceli and her team work, according to the stylists Fashionista spoke with. Tyson remembers how, shortly after Miceli was appointed artistic director, she reached out to the brand with a custom look request for an upcoming music video. 

“We got invited to the showroom, and we brought Gunna, Future and Flo Milli, and that’s really what helped this resurgence,” she says of the 2021 meet-up, which led to years of collaboration. “They started inviting us to the shows, and we started really flooding social media with it. They allowed us to pull, and they treated us like family and really helped us be able to do a lot of cool custom things.”

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Pelly recalls a similar experience, working on Ice Spice’s “Princess Diana” music video. It felt “very in line with Pucci,” according to Pelly: “It was sexy, it was playful, it was very feminine.” She sourced a Pucci bikini top and shorts in an “iconic Pucci print,” but didn’t actually work with the brand directly — when the visual dropped, though, Pucci reached out and started to build a relationship. 

“A brand can just email you and say thank you, but for a brand to say thank you to your face and say ‘come to where we are, see the show, let’s do another look’… It’s so old-school now. I feel like everything’s via email these days or phone. That just felt really good,” Pelly remembers of going to the Spring 2023 show with Ice Spice, who wore a custom look that took notes from Marilyn Monroe’s hair flip and the brand’s archive. 

Working with a label like Pucci doesn’t just elevate the artists wearing the brand — it opens a door for stylists by aiding in their craft. 

“Working with a brand that holds so much history, I start doing way more research and then coming up with better references,” Pelly says. “It really stimulates your creativity. It’s such a beautiful part of our job.”

Cardi B wearing Pucci at a private event.

Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

Rappers have always been style influencers, and today’s generation proves how the energy of their clothes can translate to personal confidence. Despite fashion’s historic tendency to exclude these artists, Miceli has proven to be intentional in developing relationships with them and their teams. 

“I love the hip-hop girlie archetype, but I think that it’s our job as stylists to really push that needle and do something that’s different,” Tyson says. “When I think of a Pucci girl, she may not look like what they first looked like, living life on the Italian Riviera back in the ’70s, but I think in 2024, [someone like Flo Milli is] that girl.”

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Source: Fashionista.com

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