Gucci’s launches new store in London

5 mins read

In a symbolic shift embodying the winds of change blowing through the realm of high fashion, Gucci, the iconic Italian luxury brand, has bid adieu to its longstanding Old Bond Street address and embraced the allure of New Bond Street. This transformation sees the venerable fashion house relocating its Mayfair outpost to a Grade II-listed former art gallery, setting the stage for a new chapter in its storied history.

The impending unveiling of Sabato De Sarno’s maiden collection as Gucci’s creative director later this month in Milan has heralded this fresh beginning. Although the boutique’s design is not the brainchild of De Sarno himself, it exudes an understated opulence—a departure from the flamboyant maximalism associated with former creative director Alessandro Michele, who departed the house in November 2022.

The boutique exudes an air of traditional Parisian salons, a setting that allows the “exceptional craftsmanship” of Gucci’s clothing and accessories to shine. The ground floor is currently adorned with the vibrant A/W 2023 collection, a testament to the brand’s in-house design team, showcased during Milan Fashion Week A/W 2023 earlier this year. Mannequins grace the space, exhibiting the colourful runway collection, while accessories are elegantly presented in glass and metal vitrines. This elevated approach extends to materials, with precious leathers, crystal- and diamond-studded accessories, and 18ct gold hardware being promised.

Ascending to the upper mezzanine floor, the boutique pays homage to Guccio Gucci’s roots in the travel industry, where his brand found its genesis after his tenure at London’s Savoy Hotel. Here, in a room reminiscent of a historic railway carriage, Gucci’s Valigeria travel collection takes centre stage. The collection encompasses suitcases, travel bags, and cases for accessories and toiletries, all showcased on wooden shelving adorned with lion’s heads—an emblematic motif from Gucci’s storied past.

‘The Tudor Room’, named for its meticulously restored wood-panelled walls, features pieces from Gucci’s archive in Florence, spanning the 1930s to the 1980s. On the other hand, the ‘Gucci Salon,’ an invite-only space reminiscent of traditional couture salons, offers a bespoke shopping experience. Each visit is meticulously curated for the client, evoking memories of the ‘Gucci Galleria’ in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, founded in 1977 and hailed as perhaps the world’s most opulent shopping destination, accessible via a crystal-and-bronze elevator and opened with a special leather key.

The boutique also pays homage to its heritage as a gallery, previously inhabited by art dealer Colnaghi since its inauguration in 1913. It now features select artworks artfully dispersed throughout the store. To mark its inauguration, art advisor and curator Truls Blaasmo have chosen a thematic focus on Italian artists, particularly those whose works incorporate geometric motifs, primary colours, and textural elements. These works include pieces by Liliana Moro, Franco Mazzucchelli, Alighiero Boetti, Matilde Cassani, Jonny Niesche, Massimo Uberti, Joshua Woolford, Simon Callery, and Tim Etchells. Blaasmo’s intention is to “facilitate a dialogue between young talent and established artists.”

The boutique plans to introduce new artworks throughout the year, mirroring the dynamic nature of a contemporary art gallery. Notably, during Frieze Week in October, a 1967 work by Argentine-Italian artist Lucio Fontana, extracted from his renowned ‘Concetto Spaziale’ series of monochrome artworks featuring slashed surfaces, will be displayed in the Gucci Salon.

This transition from Old Bond Street to New Bond Street signifies Gucci’s evolution and its commitment to remaining a dynamic and ever-evolving brand, reminiscent of the ever-revolving world of contemporary art galleries. The boutique stands as a testament to Gucci’s enduring legacy, melding heritage with innovation to create a compelling narrative for its discerning clientele.

As the brand marches boldly into this new chapter, it leaves behind a trail of tradition and embarks on a journey that redefines the boundaries of luxury fashion, artistry, and sophistication.