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Come Together: Viva & Gucci Spotlight 4 Dynamic Locals Making Waves Now

Creative connections are what make our city a vibrant and exciting place to be.

Tāmaki Makaurau is bursting with inspiring figures contributing to the vitality of art and culture in the community. With Gucci’s newest New Zealand store now open in the luxury precinct of Westfield Newmarket, we invited four enigmatic locals to take to the streets in pieces from its ‘Aria’ collection — demonstrating the flair, charisma and creativity that have made them part of the zeitgeist, and discussing the luxury of creative expression.

SARAID DE SILVA

The actress and writer has been working on her debut book Amma (she has already won the inaugural Crystal Arts Trust Prize) and is one of the co-creators of the influential and important podcast Conversations with My Immigrant Parents. With an impressively singular sense of style drawing from myriad influences, this idiosyncratic Gucci ensemble suits her well — and is right at home in the charming surrounds of Time Out bookstore, an iconic retailer in Mount Eden village shops.

 

Saraid de Silva wearing Gucci shirt, vest, shorts. socks and shoes. Makeup by Emily Zganiacz. Photo / Lula Cucchiara

What do you think about when getting dressed?
Mostly I think about what one thing I want to wear that day and pick the rest of my outfit around it. Even if it’s just a pair of earrings, there’s usually one item I feel like and then the rest is whatever goes with it.

What's fueling your creativity now?
Perhaps there’s a kind of loneliness fueling my creativity right now? As we’re all inside more, for the third year in a row, I think most of my work is an attempt to reach out, and find an understanding or some common ground.

How do you connect with others creatively?
By sharing songs, shows and books that I love with them. Sharing works that makes me think of them.

When do you feel most luxurious?
When I get more than eight hours sleep.

What's a luxury to you?
Uninterrupted time with someone I love or eating my favourite food alone.

Saraid de Silva wearing Gucci shirt and vest. Makeup by Emily Zganiacz. Photo / Lula Cucchiara

Where’s your happy place?
Reading in bed with my cats.

What’s the soundtrack as you walk down the street?
'He', Jai Paul.

What are you excited about now?
I’m excited about finishing my book, I’m excited about feijoas and winter clothes and the new season of Top Boy.

Why should we be coming together?
I don’t know if we should be physically coming together right now! But we should certainly be staying as close as we can emotionally through all the, you know, terror of Covid.

Look out for release dates of Saraid's debut book 'Amma'. She's currently working on the third season of 'Conversations With My Immigrant Parents' with co-creator Julie Zhu, and they are looking for people to be involved. Registrations are open until March 21.

ROB TENNENT

An image-maker whose work explores form, sensuality and nature, Rob has pushed creative conversations forward, most recently with the release of his second book I’m Going to Miss You. Captured by Viva the day before he decamped to Sydney, he finds a moment of calm in front of one of his favourite buildings — the surrealist sky-like wall providing an expansive backdrop for this luxurious green Gucci suit.

Rob Tennent wearing Gucci suit, glasses and shoes. Necklace by Spacey Gemz. Photo / Lula Cucchiara

How do you connect with others creatively?
I love to go to exhibitions, parties and meet new creatives. I think the community is very open to helping and collaborating so naturally we are all connected through social media.

When do you feel most luxurious?
When I am laying in a robe in a freezing hotel room eating whatever I want.

What’s a luxury to you?
Sleeping in is really nice. Or treating myself to a three course meal alone.

Where’s your happy place?
The ocean.

What’s the soundtrack as you walk down the street?
Recently it’s been 'Can’t Touch This' by BIA.

Rob Tennent wearing Gucci suit, glasses and shoes. Necklace by Spacey Gemz. Photo / Lula Cucchiara

How does the urban environment inspire you?
I am inspired by architecture and colours. I find beauty in a lot of little things. Window sills, tile placements, roofs. I love architecture.

What are you excited about now?
I just touched down in Sydney. I am planning to be based here for the next wee while, so I am excited about my new life here.

Why should we be coming together?
Because we are powerful when we work together.

Keep up to date with Rob's work on Instagram.

YORDANOS BERHANE

She’s the fearless advocate for safe spaces of self-expression, and for Yordanos Berhane, creating local nightlife event Looped was a vital part of celebrating communities feeling disconnected during lockdowns. A space for everybody to enjoy, Looped was purposefully focused on Black communities in Auckland to feel safe and to improve the Black experience in the process. Having completed a Bachelor of Hospitality with a major in events management and a minor in HR, Yordi is well versed in creating experiences and events where people can come together and connect. By giving back to her community and using her skills to create an environment of belonging and acceptance, Yordanos is able to create a legacy that is helping Black Aotearoa thrive — and we are here for it.

Yordanos wearing Gucci top and shirt. Makeup by Emily Zganiacz. Photo / Lula Cucchiara

What do you think about when getting dressed?
I think about making a statement. I want all eyes on me. Whether people like the outfit or not, they’ll be looking.

How do you connect with others creatively?
I’m constantly surrounded by creatives, so collaboration is second nature. There’s a lot of talent in my community, so there’s never a time I’m not inspired.

How does the urban environment inspire you?
Seeing Black people taking up more space, creating their own lane, getting recognised more and in turn, influencing the WHOLE WORLD is very inspiring to me.

What's fueling your creativity now?
It’s simple. A desire to create a safe space for my community and to continue to open doors that aren’t typically open for us.

When do you feel most luxurious?
I feel most luxurious after I’ve had a shower and done my skincare. Exfoliate, lather myself in oil and complete my seven-step skin care routine.

Yordanos wearing Gucci top and shirt. Makeup by Emily Zganiacz. Photo / Lula Cucchiara

What's a luxury to you?
Luxury is a feeling. It constantly changes and it differs for every person. It’s seasonal. But for me, it’s the way that someone wears their clothes. The most simple pieces could look so luxurious on someone. It is the freedom of expression.

Where’s your happy place?
My room. It’s the most peaceful place.

What’s the soundtrack as you walk down the street?
Bad Boy, 'Karma VS'.

What are you excited about now?
Being able to travel as the borders are gradually opening. I’m excited about working on future projects for my business and other endeavours.

Why should we be coming together?
Because there is power in unity. But also power in differences. Our different experiences and perspectives and ideas can only enrich something more. The finished product - whatever it is - will be more well-rounded and all-encompassing.

Stay in the loop with Yordanos' event's company

LULA CUCCHIARA

Hot off the release of her highly praised directorial debut Fiona Clark: Unafraid, photographer and filmmaker Lula returns to collaborate with Viva once more — this time both in front of and behind the lens. Donning a sherbert-pink Gucci suit with exuberant feathered detailing for a joyful moment in her lounge at home, this tailored flamboyance suits Lula to a T.

Lula Cucchiara wearing Gucci suit and glasses. Photo / Lula Cucchiara

What do you think about when getting dressed?
I would say I think about being and feeling comfortable, I also dressed based on the mood that I am in that moment. I’m quite flexible with what I wear and I don’t really feel like I dress based on a trend, I dress for myself to feel comfortable with who I am and how I feel.

What is fuelling your creativity right now?
Getting approached by people with special projects, or clothing brands that are keen to work with me because of my vision, is a massively rewarding feeling; that's what keeps my creativity going, and it makes me love what I do.

How does the urban environment inspire you?
I love people watching, dreaming up characters and imagining what’s going on in their day-to-day lives.

When do you feel most luxurious?
Since I became a mum, luxury hasn't been around that often in this household! However, I prefer finding one-off vintage pieces or items that I like to wear on special occasions.

How do you connect with others creatively?
Social media! I think it has its pros and cons. I use my social media for connecting and for work purposes. I find my algorithm sometimes quite inspiring and I get to connect with other creatives and start a conversation until eventually we can collaborate.

What’s luxury to you?
In terms of fashion, I feel like luxury is not about the price but it is about the quality. If I buy new clothing, I like to support brands that are environmentally and ethically conscious, that’s luxury to me.

Lula Cucchiara wearing Gucci suit and glasses. Photo / Lula Cucchiara

Where is your happy place?
South America and Argentina, which is where I’m from.

What are you excited about now?
In about one month, my wife, our toddler and myself are going to Mexico to meet my brothers and my parents for a six week holiday. We haven’t been all together in eight years and because of Covid, and no-one has been able to meet our kid yet, so we are VERY EXCITED about this trip.

What’s the soundtrack as you walk down the street?
'100% Pure Love' by Crystals Waters.

Why should we be coming together?
The world is more connected than ever before, from a digital point of view. The process of building communities  coming together with people across different cultures to share goals and ideas  is even more important now and we should keep encouraging it and supporting it.

Catch Lula's directorial debut 'Fiona Clark: Unafraid' in select cinemas now.

Photographer / Lula Cucchiara. Stylist / Tautahi Subritzky 

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