Julia Garner, A$AP Rocky, and Elliot Page walk onto a set…
It sounds like the beginning of some kind of story with a funny punchline, however, it’s actually the beginning of the new Gucci Guilty Pour Femme and Pour Homme fragrances campaign. Today, March 1st, welcomes a new era of Gucci Guilty, with Garner, Rocky, and Page stylishly leading the way (all while smelling good, too). The campaign is an ode to self-acceptance, friendship, and love in all its forms—making the trio the perfect mix to personify its message. Each star has gone through their own massive period of growth in the past few years: Garner, both a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress catapulting into the spotlight; Page, an Oscar nominated actor, director, and producer forging his own path and soon, to tell his story, via an upcoming memoir; and Rocky, a Grammy Award nominated musician, who recently became a father.
Via the campaign, the star-studded trifecta co-create a world of open-hearted bliss and share moments of connection that are captured on camera. They gaze at each other—truly seeing one another, creating an ambiance of ease and care within a safe space. “In this space of imagination, they celebrate the countless iterations of love, embodying complete self-acceptance and showing how openness unleashes the purest form of expression,” Gucci explains via press release.
“I met both of them for the first time on that shoot, but it didn’t feel like it. Within the first ten minutes, it felt like we all knew each other for a long time,” reveals Garner on her campaign co-stars before adding, “Humor is such a big quality for me, and they both have such a great sense of humor. It was such a special memory.” The synergy in the video and the shoot shows the connection, the vibe—something, no matter how good of an actor you are, you can’t force. Paige shares, “I had never done a campaign before, so I felt a tad shy at the beginning to be honest, but Rocky and Julia are the loveliest people, and upon meeting them, my nerves evaporated. They are big-hearted, kind, sincere, hilarious, and grounded.” The song, Life Is But A Dream plays in the background as the three dance, laugh, and simply be with one another. Something that given their level of stardom, is most likely more a privilege than a regularity. Combined, the three have over 23M followers on Instagram—almost three times the population of New York City. Rocky states, “It just felt normal. It didn’t feel like I was with two other celebrities, I didn’t feel like a celebrity.”
Featured in the campaign and advertisement are Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum Pour Femme, an energizing, spicy, and refreshing scent featuring notes of pink pepper, lilac, and Mediterranean Mandora citrus, with a strong, warm base of amber and patchouli. It quietly commands your attention. The Ying to its Yang, Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum Pour Homme generates a deep sensuality, embracing a base of patchouli, leather, and incense, while deviating from a traditional male scent profile with uplifting notes of orange blossom and neroli. And though the bottles are binary, the fragrances themselves are not, interchangeable between the sexes with the scents marinating and marrying with individual pheromones, versus a gender profile. “I prefer the feminine one,” Rocky reveals unabashedly. He continues, “To me, the liquid in here smells better on my body,” as he holds up the shimmering gold bottle where Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum Pour Femme resides.
In my head, I applaud this declaration, particularly as the musician has recently been the topic in public discourse and memes, regarding his role in his relationship with his billionaire girlfriend, or “lady” as he affectionately calls her. I inquire about how he doesn’t succumb to the societal pressures of gender roles and being, “A$AP Rocky is overly confident and that’s the problem,” he says of himself, speaking in the third person, which is peak main character energy. He continues, “Some people may say I’m delusional, but I’m just comfortable. I don’t really care about anybody else’s preconceived notions of what they think I should be doing or how I should carry myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin.” He agrees with me regarding the fluidity of the fragrances, “I really appreciate the fact that this seems genderless. It’s not really ‘his’ or ‘hers’—it’s all of ours and I like the fact that I’m a part of that.”
And of course, it’s not an interview with the fashion killa himself, if style doesn’t come up. When asked about what kind of impact and legacy he’s trying to make in the industry, he shares his desire to disrupt all categories. I’m pleased. Disrupters are changemakers and change is what we need to move the culture forward. “When I go shopping, I don’t really like to go into the men’s departments. I go to women’s because most men won’t shop there. Therefore, I’ll have exclusive pieces, so to speak. They [men] aren’t gonna fuck with the ladies’ section. So I go over there and get some pieces that can fit and call it a day,” he reveals, putting me onto fashion game. I make a mental note that the next time I’m in Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdales, to peruse the men’s section. It has nothing to do with fluidity and everything to do with fashion. Style is genderless. Page shares with me, he prefers the masculine scent—“I like the earthiness of it, the balance and the notes that give it that sensual vibe,” he ruminates, “The cedarwood, perhaps?”
As I easily discuss with both Rocky and Paige about the fragrance, I can’t help but wonder why it’s so difficult for some to understand gender identity and its complexities—similar to the layers of notes that make up a fragrance. I mention to Paige how Bella Ramsey recently made headlines for navigating the topic of gender identity and ask what advice or tips he has for any young person navigating the spotlight or even day-to-day and their identity. “My advice would be to love yourself with all of your might. You don’t need to have all the answers right away and no one should pressure you to give them. Figuring out who you are while so many are watching, offering their thoughts and opinions, can be not just challenging, but dangerous and painful. It is important to be gentle and kind with yourself. If you have people who you trust and can turn to for support, do that, community changes the game and you are not alone,” he answers, his words feeling like a warm hug. He adds, “I tortured myself for so long with toxic questions stemming from internalized transphobia/queerphobia, holding myself back, instead of letting go of all that noise, taking a deep breath, and allowing myself to fully exist in the here and now.”
And if you thought the conversation couldn’t get any better, it does. Keep reading to discover more about the stars’ guilty pleasures, favorite scent memories, and more.
Do you have a favorite scent memory?
JG: My mom is of German descent. She’s not the best cook, but one of the things she can cook is schnitzel. It’s not a fragrance, but it’s one of my first scent memories’ and I associate it with home.
AR: It’s pretty random. It reminds me of my elementary school teacher. Every time I smell coffee and perfume in the morning, I just think about hard work and fluorescent lights and catching school buses and just terrible things that you don’t want to do in the morning when you’re a child. For the most part, it [the scent of coffee] brings me back to my childhood every time. In elementary school, everybody—the teachers, the principals, had coffee breath. Mix that with the fragrance of perfume and that’s my first-grade teacher right there.”
EP: My favorite scent memory is when I would steal some of my brother’s cologne from his room when I was a little kid.
Gucci Guilty—what is your guilty pleasure?
JG: Oh man, (laughs), yeah—anything Real Housewives. That’s my guilty pleasure. Anything really bad reality TV. Everybody always asks me, ‘Well, you’re in such great television—what do you watch?’ And it’s like, do you really wanna know?!
Do you have a favorite franchise or favorite housewife?
JG: “Probably Beverly Hills. I also like Orange County because it’s the original. I like them all. They all feel like my weird family that I never see. Favorite housewife? Probably Erica Jayne.
EP: Fancy hotel rooms are a guilty pleasure. I’ve been so spoiled with this job and all the places it has taken me.
AR: A guilty pleasure of mine is the fact that I’m a grown man and I love cartoons and cereal. I’m a cartoon connoisseur. I live for cartoons and animation. I think it allows you to never stop imagining. It helps you create. Fascination is key. You can’t really execute anything wonderful without imagining or dreaming about it first.
Speaking of cartoons, you’ll be watching a lot of them in the coming years with your son. What was it like—how did you feel when you saw your son for the first time?
AR: It was amazing. It’s unexplainable. I can never describe what it’s like to be a first-time father. It’s like one of those clubs that you hope to get a membership to. And finally, the only way to explain it is to be a part of it. But it’s nothing like seeing your child for the first time.
What scent reminds you most of home and why?
EP: The smell of the ocean, the lingering seaweed, the salt in the air, it always transports me back to Nova Scotia where I’m from. “Canada’s Ocean Playground,” it says on the license plates.
JG: When I think of France, for example, Paris, I think about all those flower shops and you kind of can smell it on the street, and then when I think about New York—it doesn’t. I’m from New York originally so it actually has a terrible smell, but I still love it because it smells like New York. Like right when you get out of JFK, you kind of just… >>inhales deeply<< It’s such a specific smell and I love it.
Rocky, do you have a scent that reminds you most of Rihanna?
AR: Yeah, her. She has this smell. She smells like…Fenty something.
>>We both laugh<<
AR: She smells great.
Elliot, I’d love to know what ending you want to see for your character in Umbrella Academy.
EP: Well, a lot of the plot later this season is still a mystery to me. I ultimately just hope that Viktor continues to feel more solid and comfortable in himself.
Julia, what’s your favorite role you’ve played and why?
JG: That’s such a hard question. Probably Ruth. But also Anna Delvey was an amazing role, for different reasons. Anna was more fun to play. It was a fun part. Ruth was—I learned so much from Ruth but I also think I learned from her because when I started playing Ruth, I was in my early 20s. I ended the show in my late 20s. So I grew up with her in a way, so I learned with her.
With playing Anna, you had to have an accent. Do you have a favorite accent to do? And what was it like preparing for that accent?
JG: The Anna accent is probably my favorite because it’s hilarious. And it was just so much fun to say anything in that accent, but the prep for that was the hardest accent prep I will ever do in my whole career. 1,000%. I know that because it’s such a mixture of accents. I don’t even really know what the accent is, to be honest.
A scammer’s accent!
JG: No—how many Europeans do you meet that are from all over? It’s that international accent, which is hard to do.
Eliott, what’s your favorite outfit you’ve enjoyed wearing this chapter in your life?
EP: I loved the Gucci suit I wore to the LACMA Gala. The way it looks, the way it fit. Who knew one could feel so good in a suit?
*This interview has been condensed for publication purposes.
Danielle James is the Digital Beauty Director of ELLE.com. Previously, she was the Fashion and Beauty Director of HelloBeautiful.com and MadameNoire.com. She’s bylined for The Cut, InStyle, Allure, Business of Fashion, Nylon, Essence, Good Housekeeping, The Grio, and Huffington Post. Danielle enjoys sailing, thrifting, Japanese whiskey, Naomi Campbell’s runway walk, and Rihanna in the comment section.