His name is Gerald Stratford, he is 72 years old, and he was already a star on social networks before Gucci, the Italian design firm, noticed him. And all because in February 2019 he decided to open a Twitter account with the intention of discussing horticulture and gardening, two of his great passions, with a small group of followers. The thing, however, escalated to unsuspected limits. So much so that in the microblogging network it already accumulates more than 285,000 ‘followers’ and in Instagram almost 10,000 people are still attentive to each of the snapshots it publishes.
And it is that this retired fisherman was soon nicknamed ‘The Vegetable King’ (‘King of Vegetables’), a nickname that he earned as he turned his accounts into a fantastic orchard, where he exhibits slender pumpkins, succulent potatoes and some huge carrots that he grows in his own garden. Not surprisingly, three of them received the second prize in a vegetable contest. “Little by little it has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger, people seem to like what I’m doing,” says the farmer.
Now her image has become even more viral and recognizable by becoming the atypical image of the new ecological clothing campaign that the Italian fashion firm has just launched in collaboration with Highsnobiety. Gucci Off The Grid (something like Gucci off the grid), the new collection, is committed to clothing and accessories made with recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials. Econyl, a type of nylon regenerated from fishing nets that have already served their purpose and old, gnawed rugs, is the raw material for these new garments.
Dressed in a brown beret, green jumpsuit and blue shirt, Stratford was not the one who donned the new designs, but the host. In the photographs and video of the campaign, in which Stratford gives advice to, for example, stimulate the growth of certain crops; This British septuagenarian poses, with obvious self-confidence – his little first steps had to serve as an agricultural ‘influencer’ for something – proudly showing the gigantic carrots that have made him famous, peeling potatoes under the watchful eye of a model or showing off the first shoots of some lettuces that are the right eye of this horticulturist. All in the fantastic setting of your garden. The publication says that Stratford taught these young people from the city to grow their own vegetables.
We do not know if the mannequins that participated in the session will be able to put what they have learned into action. But the man encourages them: “There is a deep satisfaction that comes from eating what you grow. That’s all the motivation I need to go out there and do it every day.
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