In the dusk of Milan Fashion Week, Gucci opted out of a traditional runway show, instead hosting an experience-based presentation to mark the unveiling of their new online space: Gucci Vault. A surprising move for the Italian luxury house, the vault is described by Gucci as “a time machine, an archive, a library, a laboratory, and a meeting place.” It is also the latest manifestation of Alessandro Michele’s appetite for experimentation. He has been exploring alternatives to the fashion shows that were hindered by Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, and Gucci Vault is his answer.
The Vault, an online experimental space, is a platform which aims to showcase multiple elements of the house of Gucci. The first element consists of an archival, vintage section of clothing and accessories spanning Gucci’s first century. Michele has labelled them as “Mutant relics”, elaborating that “Gucci turns 100 this year, and it’s the time to show to everybody how beautiful it would be to give a second, a third life, and more, to old things that are the most beautiful.” The vintage stock has been hunted down from far and wide, from standard auction houses to delving deep into the closets of the Italian elderly who (luckily) kept everything. Michele adds a signature ‘touch’ to these archival gems, refurbishing them to their original glory but still maintaining their authentic old-Gucci capital.
The second element to the Vault is the laboratory element, labelled ‘Conversations’. This is currently a platform for emerging designers including Ahluwalia, Stefan Cooke, Cormio, Charles de Vilmorin, and JORDANLUCA to name a few. Acquiring this roster, now under Gucci Vault, is a significant move for the brand as they are all names that resonate with increasing authority after their respective solo fashion week offerings. They place Gucci at the heart of championing emerging, exciting talent. Michele concurs – “This platform, this playground is showing how relevant the idea is, especially in fashion, that the past, the present, and the new generation of designers is all together.”
The next element of the Vault is perhaps even more surprising: the Library. Still yet to be fully-fleshed out, “It’s still a work in progress,” Michele says, “because this could be the disconnected part. It’s the part where you can have a conversation, it’s a different way to tell a story.” The library promises poetry, short stories and interaction based on words, whereas elsewhere in Vault it is images.
Despite the unique and new execution of a fashion presentation, Gucci Vault is a strong concept and significant move for the fashion house, proving that fashion is still striving for innovation, unpredictability and creativity in presentation. Navigate through the space here.