Gucci Garden: Raising the Bar for Luxury Experiences

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The Gucci Garden

Luxury fashion retailer Gucci is redefining its customer experience with the Gucci Garden Galleria, its new retail space that marries haute couture and haute cuisine inside the hallowed walls of a 14th-century palazzo in Florence, Italy.

The multi-level concept designed by curator and critic Maria Luisa Frisa features a “bazaar-like” retail space—six spaces, in fact—replete with exclusive items, tags and packaging, along with items from the Gucci Décor collection and magazines and books.

Designed like a branded museum, Forbes notes that one room showcases “the allure of the double G,” vintage and contemporary renderings of the logo; another features recurring motifs—the horsebit and the red/green/red stripe; a 30-seat cinema; and a natural history-inspired space paying homage to Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s “penchant for the iconography of animals and gardens.”

Gucci Osteria, a restaurant from three Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura, occupies the ground floor. The 50-seat Gucci Osteria serves Italian classics, like Parmigiano Reggiano tortellini, pork buns, and mushroom risotto.

The museum costs 8 euros ($10) to enter and half of each ticket sale is donated to restoration projects in Florence, home of the famed brand since 1921. “Gucci isn’t just looking to feed consumers—it’s future-proofing its ‘normal’ in luxury retail,” the South China Morning Post observes.

On the second floor of the #GucciGarden Galleria ‘De Rerum Natura’, two rooms that more than anything resemble museums of natural history, explore #AlessandroMichele’s penchant for the iconography of animals and gardens. The displays of clothing, accessories and objects show how his interest has been fuelled by the fact that these motifs have been part of the Gucci narrative since its inception, and how they have always informed the design pendulum at the House, expressed in a manner that swings between the natural and the hyper-artificial. Nature bursts out in these rooms, as seen with the 1960s drawings of Vittorio Accornero showing dense floral bouquets and insects, just like with the modern #GucciTian motif. Discover more through link in bio. #AlessandroMichele Gucci Garden Galleria opening hours: ‪10.00 – 19.30‬

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“The effort is a grand example of experiential retail, the new normal for coercing shoppers back into brick-and-mortar stores,” adds Forbes. “It also serves as a powerful marketing tool, immersing shoppers and brand fans in the lore of Gucci. The more skeptical among us may roll our eyes at the idea of paying Gucci to be marketed to by Gucci, but, hey, at least some of that dough will be invested in preserving history.”

The rationale for the enriched retail experience is to elevate shopping fun and memorable, Michele commented to Vogue UK.

“Now is the time for fashion to open the doors to something different than dresses, otherwise the market will collapse. It’s clear now that the world is not interested in things, which have no soul or meaning,” he said.

“When you go onto social media, you can see how people criticise everything: they don’t want to eat something just because you cooked it. They don’t care. They can live without you. With this store I was thinking about somewhere I would love to go, and somewhere to have fun. It’s more accessible than our other stores.”

Michele has elevated the Gucci brand to the ‘It’ luxury brand since he took over in 2015, and recently added a home décor line featuring snakes, tigers and other animals.

As The South China Morning Post notes, “In an age where consumers prioritise experience over possession, products and logos alone are no longer enough. Having understood that bricks-and-mortar is still a key piece of the retail puzzle, luxury brands are learning that to drive foot traffic and to retain attention, they need to excite consumers. This is true for fashion as the appetite for traditional luxury fashion goods declines.”

Speaking of his latest luxury construct, Michele told Vogue, “It’s not serious! I mean, this is not Colette. It’s completely different. It’s like when you when to Florence in the past and you went back to London with a piece of paper. It’s not pretentious; it’s just to have fun.”


Gucci Garden
Piazza della Mercanzia 4
Bologna, BO 40125 Italy 
€8 admission
10:00am-7:30pm daily
January 10-March 31

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