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Pepsi, GCDS Collab: All the Details on Capsule Collection, Special Can

Jul 22, 2023Jul 22, 2023

MILAN — After the unexpected collaboration with Barilla in 2019, GCDS is strengthening its ties with the food industry and partnering with Pepsi.

First teased last week when posts with the two brands’ logos standing out against a dark background started to circulate on social media, the partnership marks the launch of the Pepsi Zero soft drink in Italy and Southern Europe, including Spain and Portugal.

For the occasion, GCDS has reinterpreted the Pepsi can in a special limited edition, which will be promoted through a series of activations across Italy, and has developed a dedicated capsule collection of apparel and accessories.

Designed by GCDS cofounder and creative director Giuliano Calza, the 150-ml mini can will be gifted at itinerant pop-up stores that will be set up this month in cities including Milan, Rome, Naples and Palermo, to name a few.

The highlight of the project is the limited-edition capsule collection that includes GCDS's statement Morso heels, restyled to evoke the Pepsi logo both in the mule and pointy-boot versions. Introduced with the brand's fall 2022 collection, the fang-shaped heels have become one of the most distinctive designs by Calza, who last month also called out Shein on Instagram for knocking off the style.

Coming in Pepsi's signature red, blue and white colors, a biker jacket, a long-sleeved shirt, a heart-shaped minaudière bag, a baseball cap and logo-ed sweat socks add to the collection, which launches Wednesday at GCDS stores in Italy and on the brand's e-commerce. Prices will range from 45 euros for socks up to 1,100 euros for the Morso heels and 1,500 euros for the leather biker jacket.

The whole project will be promoted with a campaign developed under the claim "Quale è il tuo momento Zero?" or "What's your Zero moment?" in English, aimed at encouraging the audience to dare to dream bigger and celebrating pivotal moments in one's life.

To represent the concept, the two companies tapped a series of international talents to star in a short clip shot in Los Angeles and directed by the Morelli Brothers duo. Burlesque star Dita Von Teese leads the cast, which also includes model Veneda Carter and Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta, in addition to Calza himself.

Wearing pieces of the GCDS x Pepsi collection, talents in the clip appear in a traditional American diner while flicking through glossy magazines or writing the lyrics of a rap song, overall dreaming about what eventually became their respective jobs in real life. Calza interprets the diner's waiter, who in between taking orders sketches the Morso heels and imagines a life as a creative director in fashion. Characters’ wishes are fulfilled when Von Teese kicks off the "zero moment" by opening a Pepsi Zero can.

"I’ve always believed that success belongs to those who refuse to give up and carry on their dreams by facing their fears and daily challenges. It is through unwavering determination, resilience and constant commitment to work that we transform distant aspirations into extraordinary achievements," said Calza about the campaign concept. He confirmed he wanted "to tell real stories of characters showing their zero moment before achieving personal success through their passion and dedication."

The short clip will be promoted online and on social media throughout the summer, while billboards will mushroom in the different cities to coincide with the opening of the GCDS x Pepsi pop-up stores.

"Pepsi has always had a drive for innovation and for such a strategic launch like the one of Pepsi Zero in Italy we have decided to team up with GCDS, a reference brand in the new Made in Italy luxury, to create a relevant campaign that will develop throughout 2023," said Marcello Pincelli, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Beverages Italia, adding that the result "respected the initial mission of blending the values of both brands in the best possible way."

As reported, GCDS’ other collaborations have ranged from Barilla to Bratz and Wolford, all respecting the label's signature fun and pop ethos. In particular, for the Barilla one, Calza created both a clothing capsule collection and a customized version of the world-famous Barilla Spaghetti N5 box, wherein the classic blue tone was replaced with hot pink. The promotional video also counted a rich cast of talents, led by Italian movie icon Sophia Loren.

Similar to that occasion, when an exclusive dinner marked the official unveiling of the Barilla collab and relative products, an event on Tuesday in Milan will celebrate the launch of the GCDS x Pepsi capsule collection and limited-edition can.

Initially an acronym for "God Can't Destroy Streetwear" and later turned into "Giuliano Calza Design Studio," GCDS was founded by Calza and his brother Giordano in 2015. Debuted as a digital project, it evolved into a fashion company, with its first runway show held in June 2016 in Milan. At the end of 2020, Italian private equity firm Made in Italy Fund, managed by Quadrivio and Pambianco, acquired a majority stake in the label.

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