Gucci launches digital concept store Vault
Despite having decided to host its runway show in Los Angeles rather than Milan this season, Gucci was nonetheless able to create a buzz during the Lombard capital's fashion week on Saturday, thanks to the latest project from its eclectically minded creative director, Alessandro Michele. Having expertly piqued its fans' curiosity about the mysterious "Vault" project via its Instagram account over the last few weeks, Kering's flagship brand finally unveiled its creation during a special event.
For the occasion, the brand completely transformed the Dazio di Ponente, a small 19th-century building which used to serve as a Milan customs post, into a fun and poppy space painted with large multicolored stripes that plunged visitors into an atmosphere of vintage fun. At the entrance of the venue there was a giant version of an old computer, inspired by the first IBM PC model developed at the start of the 1980s. With its oversized mouse, guests could play on the computer's maxi-screen.
This screen displayed the homepage of the brand's new website, vault.gucci.com, which was launched on Saturday. In the adjacent rooms, market stalls displayed the items available for sale on the new virtual boutique, which the Italian luxury house described as a veritable "concept store," a kind of digital cabinet of curiosities, where "past, present and future" intertwine. Dubbed "Vault," the site is a modern Ali Baba's cave.
The idea is to offer vintage Gucci pieces that have been hunted down by the house's archivists through collectors from across the world, reconditioned and, in some cases, customized by Michele. Notably, there is a selection of the brand's iconic bags, made between the 1960s and the 1980s, as well as suitcases, scarves and even tableware.
There is also ready-to-wear. With their exotic, floral prints, the pieces currently available on the site could easily be from Michele's own collections. In fact, the selection of skirts, dresses and pants is from the brand's Spring/Summer 1999 collection, designed by the label's creative director at the time, Tom Ford.
Around 30 of these unique, secondhand pieces will be selected and put on sale each month. Gucci has therefore savvily found a way to tap into the current popularity of secondhand luxury products, offering rare and authenticated archive pieces to consumers directly through its own e-commerce site. By bringing together these products from the past with new and creative propositions from today in a single virtual space, the label is also strengthening both its lifestyle universe and its image as a historic brand with a rich heritage, capable of constantly reinventing itself.
Indeed, on the same site, the house is also offering a selection of pieces conceived by emerging designers, namely the 13 young talents that the brand selected to participate in its GucciFest digital festival, which brought together fashion and cinema last November. These include Ahluwalia, Shanel Campbell, Stefan Cooke, Cormio, Charles de Vilmorin, JordanLuca, Yueqi, Rave Review, Gui Rosa, Bianca Saunders, Collina Strada, Boramy Viguier and Rui Zhou.
Finally, Vault will be regularly updated with editorial content, and the "project in progress" is also expected to host products from other brands related to the world of Gucci. Currently, Vault is available in Europe, the U.S. and Japan.
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