From his beginnings in Florence, Italy, Guccio Gucci couldn’t possibly imagine the industry juggernaut his brand would eventually become. What started out as a venture in leather goods and cotton canvas handbags nearly a century ago, became an internationally recognized iconic brand revered by celebrities and fashionistas, and inspiring generations of fashion designers.
While their fashion line are what made them one of the superstars of the fashion world, it is their foray into art and decor that has transformed Gucci into a new type of luxury brand. Both initiatives were the brainchild of Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s celebrated creative director. Having honed his ideas during his time with Fendi and Tom Ford, Gucci’s CEO and president, Marco Bizzarri, granted him the latitude that would allow Alessandro’s incomparable vision to flourish. In the two years since he became creative director, he has won four awards for his work. With his affinity for objets d'art, antiques, vintage decor and a keen eye for art, he has transformed Gucci into a phenomena. But he didn’t stop there.
Last year, Gucci announced that it would launch Gucci Décor; the line of home furnishings sold at select shops and online. Though not the first fashion brand to break into the home decor market, Gucci offers a unique experience; one immersed in a kind of luxury that’s almost spiritual in nature. Rather than modern stark designs, Gucci creates furnishings that are more than decorative; their products share a symbiotic relationship with customers.
Alessandro Michele reopened the Gucci Museo in Florence earlier this year, with fresh curated items that are to die for. It seems blasphemous to call it a “gift shop”, but that’s exactly what it is. The ground floor boasts the Gucci Garden shop, an immersive environment where Alessandro’s talents truly shine. Items in the shop are exclusives, meaning you’re not likely to find them online or at any of their other shops.
In the last few years, under Alessandro’s capable hands, Gucci has managed to seamlessly and successfully merge the complimentary ideals of both art and design. In addition to having breathed new life into the Gucci’s fashion line and creating Gucci Décor, he’s enlisted the work of several artists who, prior to catching the eye of their benefactor, were virtually unknown. Last December, Alessandro collaborated on a project with Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal entitled "Utopian Fantasy". This is just one of many collaborations, including ones with Coco Capitán, Petra Collins, and British painter Helen Downie (aka unskilled worker). Together they created dresses, bomber jackets, GG Marmont shoulder bags and more; all parts of a forty-piece capsule collection.
Alessandro Michele seems to have pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat for Gucci, and one wonders what he’s got up his sleeve for the future of the company.
Hailing from New York City, Patrick Chappelle is the Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Kingdomz X Magazine. A computer geek from day one, Patrick was on the forefront of social communities and has served as a Technical Advisor for NING, Social Media Manager for SiteSuites Software Development, and Community Manager for Gen Y Hub. When he's not scouting local talent, he's either at the health club, or enjoying the sights, sounds, and culture of the city.