Fashion major Gucci has opened a colossal 37,000 sq ft ArtLab in Florence, Italy. More than 800 employees are working at the edifice on exclusive product development of leather goods and the famous Gucci shoes. The novel hub will also serve as a space for testing materials, developing new designs, and packaging.
An Inside Peek
The ArtLab, just like the brand itself has a streak of fun and eccentricity in its design. Famous illustrators and artists Angelica Hicks, Unskilled Worker and Ignasi Monreal have come together to wrap the outdoors of the Lab in large-scale paintings and colourful graphics. Inside, the pop of colours is just as bright. There is a flaming red staircase leading to the workshop on top, and a matching round carpet at its base. Each room in the building is full of quirky items from Gucci.
An Industrious Investment
The ArtLab is the first in the luxury sector to blend design and manufacturing together on such a grand scale. Since the brand generates more than 70% of its sales from leather goods and footwear, it makes sense to create a synergy between different departments. According to Gucci’s sales reports, the demand for these Gucci accessories have doubled in the last three years. By sharing best practices and expertise at the ArtLab, the brand hopes to keep a steady pace of supply for these most-sought after luxury goods.
There’s also ample room for originality at the ArtLab. It has an R&D department that will be prototyping leather goods including belts, handbags and luggage; they also conduct researches for creating new designs for footwear, and experiment with metallic accessories and new fabrics. A climate chamber has been built to carry out laboratory tests, and a bamboo lab to test leather goods.
Rooted in Italy
Lately, Gucci has been working to tie itself to its home country, Italy’s geographical and artisanal heritage. It launched Gucci Garden, an interactive Gucci-themed museum in Florence last year followed by the Gucci Osteria restaurant inside it in collaboration with celebrity chef, Massimo Bottura. The ArtLab is the latest addition by the fashion house’s creative director Alessandro Michele to transform the city into a hub of creative ingenuity.
A Stellar Year for Gucci Fashion
Gucci's sales skyrocketed to 37% in the first quarter of this year because of a strong demand for the brand’s clothes, shoes and handbags. The company has seen consistent rise in profits after a major revamp made by Michele. He came on board in 2015 after the Italian label suffered years downfall in sales. From the time he took over, he has transformed the company’s approach to fashion by targeting young consumers. His quirky, gender-neutral designs have since revived the company’s flagging fortune.
Catch Them Young
Teens and millennials under the age of 35 are the brand’s biggest consumers and these tech-savvy shoppers have helped Gucci triple its online revenue in the previous quarter. Creative Head, Michele has consciously chosen to make his designs bold and capricious – a far cry from the former classic styles that the brand was known for. His latest collection for the Autumn-Winter 2018 season was an elaborate geeky-chic mixed with eclectic drama; models walked down the ramp in his designs holding prosthetic heads, embellished headpieces, turbans and balaclavas. The style was quickly lapped up by shoppers as the company reported brisk sales at the Gucci online store.
For more information, go the Gucci website – https://www.gucci.com/int/en/