Gucci has recently unveiled Gucci Artlab, a centre of industrial craftsmanship and experimentation laboratory for leather and shoes products. Rather than being exclusively devoted to goods production, the space performs as an archive of cultural references. Since 2015, Gucci has undertaken a drastic transformation, diverging completely from the previous direction. Alessandro Michele, the new creative director, revolutionised the brand, replacing the simple and clean lines designed by Tom Ford and Frida Giannini with an idiosyncratic narrative made of references, coming from outside the fashion world. The result is a harmonious assemblage of cultures, stories, passions and obsessions, apparently incompatible, yet linked together by a strongly personal curatorship.
The colourful pastiche proposed by Alessandro Michele, acquires three-dimensionality within the spaces of the Artlab. The 37.000 squares metres space hosts the prototyping process behind the leather products together with the development of new materials and stitching techniques. Embedded into the broad manufacturing spaces, there are a series of rooms for the visitors and for the exposition of Gucci products. Iconographic patterns, prints and photographs, Gucci Décor furniture contribute to transform the space in a displaced narrative, constantly inspiring the work of the 800 employees. The rigorous façade of the building is wrapped with murals by Ignasi Monreal, Angelica Hicks and Unskilled Worker, artists collaborating frequently with the brand.
Gucci Artlab manifest all the characteristics of an over-scaled Wunderkammer, a space in which the exploration of collecting as a form of art is possible. Within this specific case, the objects collage doesn’t represent the final output, but rather the raw cultural matter. Once digested, it becomes an accessory that support life. “Gucci ArtLab,” concluding with CEO Marco Bizzarri’s words, “is the perfect expression of the corporate culture that we have been building and nurturing within the company. It is the tangible expression of a place to learn skills and techniques, a workshop to generate ideas, and ideas are the lifeblood of culture.”
- Gucci Artlab
- Scandicci, Florence
- 37.000 sqm