Scarlett Johansson and Gigi Hadid by Florian Meacci.

Scarlett Johansson and Gigi Hadid by Florian Meacci.

The Rise of the Sexy Cool Nerd

The new designer at Gucci has instigated an era of the sexy cool nerd. Our insiders are aghast and try to come to terms with geek chic the only way they know how – ALL CAPS.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. /Florian Meacci

A: I am in shock, darling! SHOCK! *Overacting face*

B: Don’t. It’s all too much. I have no idea how I’m going to ride this one out. 

A: Nerds are sexy now?!? Nerds are COOL? Oh, new designer at Gucci, if you only knew what you are putting us through!

B: Darling, his name is Alessandro Michele. He seems like a nice enough chap, but full-blown librarian chic is not what I was expecting from Gucci. Especially after the super glam Tom Ford-Frida Giannini era. And he banished supermodels from his runway! AND replaced them with quietly pretty new girls who all donned oversized glasses with their retro-tinged clothes. 

A: There were BERETS on the catwalk.

B: And sweater vests. And secretary blouses. Did I mention the glasses?

A: He quoted not one but TWO philosophers! Alessandro, don’t you know the fashion audience’s grasp of philosophy stretches to “whatever Miuccia Prada says post-show”?

B: Philosophers? I just saw Gwyneth Paltrow in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums.

A: I rest my case. *Smirk face*

B: It was like he was performing a reverse high school movie trick. The sexy Gucci girl is actually a cool nerd if you put a pair of glasses on her.

A: So true. And there were other geeky look examples, too. Look at Prada and Max Mara  – and most notably Gigi Hadid (the model of the moment) with cat-eye glasses and rucksack in tow.

B: But hello, it’s not just fashion that is becoming nerdy. The nerds are doing fashion, too! Just look at wearable tech and the launch of the Apple Watch. 

A: Honey. Look at my perplexed face. (Don’t count the wrinkles.) Silicon Valley? Isn’t that the place where ill-fitting jeans and polo shirts are considered de rigueur?

B: I’m perplexed, too, how is this possible?

A: *Agatha Christie face* (Again, don’t count the wrinkles.) MAYBE this is why fashion has to lead the way now, with its take on what a fashionable nerd looks like. After all, the real geeks have failed. Miserably.

B: *Blank face* Uh, do you have a celebrity example?

A:  Yes... we need to figure out the perfect woman to embody all of this. It needs to be someone who is nerdy, yet cool and sexy, wears an Apple Watch, a computer geek that likes fashion…

B: That’s easy! It’s Scarlett Johansson!

A: OMG, you’re so right. She is sexy, she was a nerd in Ghost World and she was the computer voice in Her. It makes COMPLETE SENSE. 

B: I understand you now, Alessandro! 

A: We’re sending the invoice right this second.


The identity of our gossip folk remains an enigma. The illustrator behind this drawing, however, is the brilliant Florian Meacci, a French illustrator based in London. 

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