Gucci unveiled its giant 4 lakh sq ft ArtLab in Florence
Gucci is the comeback kid of modern fashion. Helmed by its visionary Creative Director Alessandro Michele and CEO Marco Bizzarri, the unapologetically OTT renaissance of the brand Guccio Gucci launched in 1921 saw its sales jump a whopping 50 percent in 2017. With such insatiable demand, must come an equally brisk supply. Enter the Gucci ArtLab, about 4 lakh sq ft of space near the company’s headquarters in Casselina near Florence.
Imagined as a futuristic centre of industrial craftsmanship and experimentation, the ArtLab will be predominantly tasked with supporting the brand’s accessories and leather shoes division, which counts for over 70 percent of the brand’s business. In a departure from classical European architecture, the ArtLab could just as easily have been a building in New York’s MeatPacking district, walls covered in street art by Gucci’s frequent collaborators from Unskilled Worker to Ignasi Monreal and Coco Capitan. Inside, you’ll find a lab-like atmosphere, with a bamboo room for its leather products and climate chambers to test durability under different weather conditions. “It is a testament to our belief in creativity, artisanal craftsmanship, innovation and technology, and sustainability, and our bond with our territory,” explains Marco. “Gucci ArtLab is the tangible expression of a place to learn skills and techniques, a workshop to generate ideas, and ideas are the lifeblood of culture.”