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Behind Gucci’s new experimental online space, Vault

By Rachel Douglass

27 Sep 2021

Retail

Image: Gucci

Formulated from the vision of Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, Vault aims to exist as a platform of many functions; an archive, a library and a meeting place.

Now live, the new multimedia store carries a colourful composition with an array of sensory exploration adjacent to a curious range of products. Pieces include a range of restored archival Gucci items, alongside creations of emerging designers, in an editorial-like format. Accessories, vintage clothing and homeware are part of the selection, including pieces from a number of 80’s Gucci porcelain collections.

Image: Gucci

Currently labelled Edition 1: Discovery, the platform looks to evolve with each additional version, expanding its offering and producing more experimental opportunities. Shoppers have to sign up to the exclusive store in order to purchase the items, with many Gucci pieces already selling out within the first day of launching.

“I asked myself: Why couldn’t a luxury house, with a creative director, have a space dedicated to expressive, aesthetic and social transmissions,” said Michele, in a statement. “I have created it with the most suitable medium of our time, this place where we can all go: the web. We have concocted a laboratory, a mine of ideas, curiosities, improbable encounters, since Gucci is a platform bringing together characters who, at first glance, do not seem to have anything in common”

He continued: “Vault is, therefore, a place where wonders hybridise and come together to bring new creations to life. At the end of the day, Gucci’ greatest talent is always evolving, never getting old.”

Conceptual exploration

The Vault concept is defined by three underlying categories that each further emphasise the values of the new online store. ‘Vintage Selection’ is its most evident category, featuring pre-owned, vintage Gucci pieces, handpicked by Michele and in-house expert archivists. Items included have been reconditioned and often customised by Michele himself.

Image: Gucci

“When I find these objects, to me they are like relics; mutant relics,” explained the creative director. “We cared for them and chose them because we heard the tone of their voice; we put them in this sort of display window and I also treated them with love because I looked at them all again, examined them, and they became wonders.”

Items for this edition included the 70’s vintage GG plus shoulder bag, Gucci’s 80’s leather wardrobe and classic printed scarves. Each individual product page comes with a complete profile covering the history of the item and the story behind its production.

Evolving conversation

Emerging designers make up the ‘Conversations’ category, highlighting an international variety of creators that have previously worked with the luxury label during GucciFest, back in 2020. The lineup currently includes the likes of Gui Rosa, Ahluwalia and Rave Review, with each designer selected for their ability to challenge the conventions of fashion.

Image: Gui Rosa

Every designer featured has a dedicated page briefing viewers on the story behind the label, the production process and the collection available. The platforms aim is to continue evolving this collaborative concept to push the boundaries of traditional shopping and continue expanding the designer offering as the site grows.

Finally, ‘Editions’ is a category that brings together the multimedia aspect of the store. Digital short stories, poems and more aim to both entertain and surprise viewers, with each new edition of the site offering new opportunities to experiment.

Image: Gucci

In its current edition, visitors to the site can watch whimsical videos on experts explaining the story behind certain vintage pottery, as well as a video examining autonomous sensory meridian responses using Gucci products. The platform also provides humorous styling advice and presents a number of self-portraits that include items from its archival collection.

The new digital concept store is a fascinating addition to the Gucci roster, allowing for both the possibility of circular fashion and the chance to bring to light upcoming names. It further enables Gucci fans and shoppers to generate a more concrete relationship with the label, through the fostering of a dialogue that aims to inspire and brings an imaginative story to the Gucci title.

Image: Gucci
Image: Gucci