Gucci opens new store in Meatpacking District, reflecting a new design direction
With its slick 1970s mirrored interiors, suspended pendant lighting, lush green carpeting, and upcycled vintage furniture, Gucci's splashy new Meatpacking store may evoke a grittier New York era, such as the one depicted in David O Russell's 2013 black comedy crime film, American Hustle. Make no mistake, though, the 9,000 square-foot store, which opens today in New York, is geared at the multi-cultural shopper with deep pockets and nods to the brand's Florentine roots while promoting an environmentally friendly retail space.
Located at the mouth of the cobblestone-paved, converted former factory and meat processing district at 14th and 9th Avenue near Soho House and a spacious Apple Store, the new space will stock the full range of Gucci goods. The store will offer a hearty selection of men's and women's shoes, handbags, and luggage on the first floor. Gucci Beauty, whose sales have topped $500 million according to industry analysts, also sits on the ground floor, while the second level houses ready-to-wear and an exclusive private appointment salon decked in the aforementioned green carpeting.
Gucci's hometown of Florence is also given props at the new location while paying homage to the former industrial center in New York. Grid-patterned metal mesh ceiling juxtaposes the mirrored curved staircase and u-shaped display cases for a New York touch, while painted cement flooring recalls historic Florentine marble and columns drawn from classic Italianate architecture.
The design is a tangible example of the brand's (and its parent company Kering's) commitment to sustainability expressed in its retail stores. Besides restored second-hand furniture, materials such as Demetra—an animal-free 78% plant-based textile pioneered by the brand—which appears as wall coverings are eco-friendly. The flooring has been made with Silipol, a new recyclable cement made from natural elements. Fitting rooms are swathed in upcycled, leftover heritage fabrics from past collections. LED lighting uses 100 percent renewable energy. Collectively these elements have led to the luxury brand being the first in its category to receive LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a status that recognizes sustainability in constructed spaces.
Topping off the circular nature of the store is the Vault's Gucci Continuum, the brand's program to breathe new life into archival Gucci items and deadstock fabrics by inviting brands, artists, and makers to incorporate them into their future designs. The practice reduces waste and encourages circularity.
As the brand's first Meatpacking store—a neighborhood that houses a major art museum, popular luxury shops, and trendy, if somewhat tarnished, dining and nightlife options—the space could potentially be a precursor for the mood of the house under Sabato De Sarno's direction. Much like the intermediate Fall/Winter 2023 collection shown in Milan that was neither Michele's nor De Sarno's that was full of Gucci's past, present, and future, the new store holds the key to what and where the brand will go next.
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