Cass Tech, Gucci partner to change cultural expectations

Luxury brand works with Detroit students

A mega-designer brand is getting some much-needed schooling from Detroit high school students.
A mega-designer brand is getting some much-needed schooling from Detroit high school students.

DETROIT – A mega-designer brand is getting some much-needed schooling from Detroit high school students.

After a slip-up caused a storm of bad publicity, Gucci partnered with Cass Technical High School for a long-lasting relationship that will change cultural perceptions.

In the spring of 2019, the luxury brand Gucci released a sweater that received backlash over its use of blackface.

The company recalibrated and instead of just issuing an apology, it looked for ways to figure out how it had gotten something so wrong.

During this time, Gucci looked at Cass Tech in Detroit.

Principal Lisa Phillips said she was able to meet the CEO and the company came to the school so students could see how it works.

It turned into an opportunity for both Gucci and Cass Tech as meetings with students and collaborations have continued through the pandemic.

The Changemaker brand was launched with a partnership with Detroit designer and Cass Tech graduate Tommey Walker. The collaboration parlays the Detroit vs. Everybody brand into an engine to drive donations into community outreach work.

While the students get to learn directly from one of the biggest brands, that luxury brand also is learning from the students.

You can watch Paula Tutman’s full story in the video above.


About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.