Have New Zealand's criminals triggered a worldwide fashion trend?

People with face tattoos.
Two criminals, two Gucci models. Photo credit: Image - The Project/NZ Police/Facebook/Gucci

This story was first published in June 2019.

One of the world's leading designers appears to have been inspired by New Zealand police mugshots with Gucci's latest fashion show including a look which has been styled by some prominent Kiwi criminals for years.

The Gucci Cruise 2020 show featured models wearing fake face-tattoos extremely reminiscent to those of criminals recently in the media.

In 2017, ex-inmate Mark Cropp rose to fame after taking to social media to complain that his facial tattoo, featuring his nickname "DEVAST8", was stopping him from getting jobs.

Hauraki Hira was on the run from police in October 2018 despite featuring the word "HASTINGS" across his face. In November 2018 Reuben Riddell, who broke his bail conditions in Northland, had the word "BLOOD" tattooed across the lower half of his face.

Now, Gucci has adopted the trend but with the words "GUCCI", "ROMA" and "AMORE" emblazoned across the faces of multiple models.

Designer Alessandro Michele included a number of political references as part of the collection's presentation that may give a hint at what the tattoos' true intentions were.

The slogan "My Body My Choice" was written on the back of one blazer, one dress featured an embroidered uterus with blooming pink flowers for ovaries and the date (May 22, 1978) of the day abortion became legal in Italy was on another.

Gucci models
Photo credit: Facebook/GUCCI

Website thecut.com speculated that the tattoos were meant to look like silencing tape across the mouths of models but some of our own local critics may have other ideas.