Pensioner, 72, who went viral with photos of his vegetables is new face of Gucci's latest collection


A pensioner dubbed the ‘vegetable king’ who went viral last year with photos of his impressive produce is the new face of Gucci’s latest sustainable collection.

Self-confessed ‘fanatical veg grower’ Gerald Stratford, 72, from west Oxfordshire, gained praise across the globe after posting photos of his potatoes, with his gardening Twitter account followed by nearly 280,500 people.

Now Gerald is the star of the luxury Italian fashion house’s The Garden with Gucci, part of its collaboration with Highsnobiety – the Gucci Off The Grid capsule collection.

The range pays homage to environmentalism by using only recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials. Garments are made mostly of ECONYL, a type of Nylon regenerated from abandoned fishing nets, old carpets, and offcuts.

Gerald gained praise across the globe after posting photos of his potatoes on Twitter last year

Gerald gained praise across the globe after posting photos of his potatoes on Twitter last year

Gerald is now the star of the luxury Italian fashion house's The Garden with Gucci, part of its collaboration with Highsnobiety - the Gucci Off The Grid capsule collection

Gerald is now the star of the luxury Italian fashion house’s The Garden with Gucci, part of its collaboration with Highsnobiety – the Gucci Off The Grid capsule collection

Gerald, who lives in the tiny village of Milton-under-Wychwood, is seen guiding a bunch of city dwellers through his famous garden and allotments, showing them how to cultivate their own food

Gerald, who lives in the tiny village of Milton-under-Wychwood, is seen guiding a bunch of city dwellers through his famous garden and allotments, showing them how to cultivate their own food

Images from the campaign and its accompanying video show retired fisherman Gerald guide a bunch of young city dwellers through his famous garden and allotments, showing them how to cultivate their own food. 

In another scene of the video, shot in his shed, Gerald shares ‘growing guides’, offering top tips like using old milk cartons to grow lettuce and playing music to your plants to stimulate them. 

The outdoorsy range features chunky backpacks and retro belt bags, duffle luggage and totes, as well as a gilet-style vest, trousers with gaiters, ski gloves, trainers and sliders.

Gerald, who lives in the tiny village of Milton-under-Wychwood, started a Twitter account in February 2019 with the help of his nephew Stephen, in order to discuss gardening with a small group of friends.

He went viral in May 2020 with a tweet about his first early rocket potatoes of the year, and rapidly had to become accustomed to his new status an online celebrity.

Gerald shares 'growing guides' as part of the campaign, offering top tips like using old milk cartons to grow lettuce and playing music to your plants to stimulate them

Gerald shares ‘growing guides’ as part of the campaign, offering top tips like using old milk cartons to grow lettuce and playing music to your plants to stimulate them

The Gucci Off The Grid capsule collection pays homage to environmentalism by using only recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials. Garments are made mostly of ECONYL, a type of Nylon regenerated from abandoned fishing nets, old carpets, and offcuts

The Gucci Off The Grid capsule collection pays homage to environmentalism by using only recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials. Garments are made mostly of ECONYL, a type of Nylon regenerated from abandoned fishing nets, old carpets, and offcuts

The Gucci Off The Grid capsule collection pays homage to environmentalism by using only recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials. Garments are made mostly of ECONYL, a type of Nylon regenerated from abandoned fishing nets, old carpets, and offcuts

Gucci Off The Grid, the House's sustainable collection, appears in a series of images created in collaboration with Highsnobiety

Gucci Off The Grid, the House’s sustainable collection, appears in a series of images created in collaboration with Highsnobiety

He said at the time: ‘My phone was going berserk, and I wasn’t sure what was going on, I phoned up my son-in-law and he said “you’ve just gone viral!”

‘It’s gradually got bigger and bigger and bigger, people seem to like what I’m doing! 

Gerald continues to share regular photos of his vegetables, which range from potatoes and cauliflowers to carrots and courgettes. He’s quite the expert in growing veg, and has won several awards for his exceptionally large produce.

He’s recently branched out to rhubarb, admitting he can ‘smell the crumble already’. 

Speaking to Highsnobiety, Gerald told how gardening has been a part of his life since he was a young boy following in the footsteps of his father, when in the years after the Second World War it was cheaper to grow your own produce than buy it.

Speaking to Highsnobiety, Gerald told how gardening has been a part of his life since he was a young boy following in the footsteps of his father. He's recently branched out to rhubarb, admitting he can 'smell the crumble already'

Speaking to Highsnobiety, Gerald told how gardening has been a part of his life since he was a young boy following in the footsteps of his father. He’s recently branched out to rhubarb, admitting he can ‘smell the crumble already’

‘I like to think [my father] was the greatest gardener in the world,’ he said. ‘He taught me so much in regards to the growing of things, mainly vegetables, and life in general.’

Since he retired, gardening has become more of a passion, with his interest in growing big veg stemming from his fishing. 

‘Being a fisherman, you always want to catch something bigger than the last one. Now I’m not fishing, I was looking at carrots and thought, “What would it be like to grow a bigger carrot or a parsnip?”,’ he said.

‘There really is a deep satisfaction that comes from eating what you grow. That’s all the motivation I need to get out and do it every day.’ 



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