Book a flight to Florence and head straight to the brand new Gucci emporium.
Words by Lisa Walden
Gucci have opened a brilliant concept store, 50-seat restaurant and museum called the ‘Gucci Garden’ in the heart of Florence, Italy. As well as including Gucci designs from the brand’s rich archives dating back to 1921, there will also be a lively and interactive video and film experience.
Designed by Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele, the rooms feel like you’ve been transported to a bygone era. Expect references to plants, flowers, animals, graffitied walls and must-have Gucci items — and gosh, there’s a lot of them. ‘The garden is real, but it belongs above all to the mind, populated with plants and animals: like the snake, which slips in everywhere, and in a sense, symbolises and perpetual beginning and a perpetual return,’ explains Michele.
Take a seat on the pillowy petrol-blue sofas and order the tortellini in parmesan sauce for a treat. Food is served on pretty porcelain plates, all of which are decorated in the brand’s iconic paisley print. Cotton napkins are crisp and embroidered like a Gucci shirt, and the table setting is as charming as the clothes themselves. The tucked-away restaurant seats around 50 guests so book your table fast to avoid disappointment.
Elsewhere, the ground floor is home to one-of-a-kind creations, designed especially for the Gucci Garden. Here you can buy silk bombers, custom jewellery, brocade skirts and bespoke luggage pieces you won’t find anywhere else (items come in packaging exclusive to the store so be sure to snap them up fast). The shop will also sell stationary, postcards, plates, cushions and maps of Florence for visitors to take home.
All of Gucci’s designers, past and present, have a space in the garden. “The past is very much part of the present at Gucci, which is perfectly in keeping with Alessandro’s idea of the brand, and indeed his attitude of Florence, Gucci’s home, which he sees as a city where history is still vibrantly alive,” explains critic and curator Maria Luisa Frisa, who worked with Alessandro on the store.
Artists Jayde Fish, Trever Andrew (AKA GucciGhost) and Coco Captian (who collaborated with the brand for their AW17 collection) were invited to decorate the walls of the rooms. Large pineapples painted with the Gucci logo, pizza slices, snakes and funny faces are drawn onto the wall in a playful and youthful touch. Don’t leave without taking a look at their work either, which is situated in the room nearby. We promise you won’t be disappointed.