By now we've all witnessed Gucci's foray into interiors with the release of their kitchen white goods range, which, true to Gucci style, is anything but white or dull. Think zingy reds and yellow fridges, toasters, and kettles, all blossoming with other, equally-bright flowers.
With that in mind, it might not come as a surprise to hear that Gucci's creative director, Alessandro Michele has recently redesigned the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence (formerly the site of the Gucci Museo, dating 1337), to form Gucci Garden.
Not an actual garden, and much more than just a museum, the three-storey Gucci Garden includes an exhibition space, a premium restaurant and a boutique gift shop, all under one iconic roof.
The ground floor of Gucci Garden pioners real retail innovation as it sells slightly less-expensive-than-usual Gucci items, in a bid to enable more customers to buy into the brand, or indeed buy into the #guccification. The items on sale range from cushions and boxes, to notepads and books. The shop itself is a visual delight, filled with floral motifs and animal prints. Visitors can then climb the stairway of the ancient 13th-century palazzo to view the exhibition, which covers the upper two floors.
The Gucci Garden Galleria tells the story of Gucci's vibrant history via an exhibition that includes clothing, video installations, and of course multiple incarnations of the brand’s iconic emblem. The exhibition curated by Alessandro Michele and Maria Luisa Frisa.
According to Alessandro, “It’s clear now that the world is not interested in things which have no soul or meaning... 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.”
And it seems clear that Michele has achieved just that, making something that appeals to the museum-goer, food snob, and fashion obsessive alike.