Gucci to unveil an interactive store slash culture hub in New York City

Gucci to unveil an interactive store slash culture hub in New York City

Wild ambition

Text: Andrea Sim

Spanning an entire block in the Big Apple, the brand's new behemoth is at once a retail paradise and an immersive introduction to the Gucci universe

What use is a beautiful world without inhabitants to sustain, innovate, and grow its lush offering? For Gucci, the outermost shell of said world is what designer Alessandro Michele has drawn up for us on the runways. A dreamy yet introspective global citizen, well-versed in the dichotomy of luxury and street — the garments make sure of it.

But there are stories even the collections can't inform you of. Values that show sets aren't able to instill. A sense of culture that despite traditional methods of association (for instance, dressing musicians on world tours), are unable to convey. We've seen Gucci exploring other mediums: art, in its tie-ups with Trevor Andrew and Ignasi Monreal, the written word, via Jane Austen's work, and film, most recently embedded in pre-fall's lookbook that nods at '80s horror flicks. If these are the planets of the solar system that Gucci has been trying to establish, then their new store on Wooster Street is the sun around which they orbit.

As a jaw-dropping space of 10,000 square feet, it is to no surprise that the boutique is to globally push out anticipated collaborations first and afford a retail experience like no other location. Dapper Dan's collection will stock at Wooster two months before other outlets, its DIY service is to afford personalisation possibilities no other store can, and the product offering is full-fledged for both genders with the inclusion of its homeware selection. Then there are the people, the inhabitants and soul of this ecosystem — both past and present.

The former, the store staff; known as 'Gucci Connectors' or brand ambassadors, and individuals well-versed in Gucci beyond what's just been unboxed and steamed for the racks. The latter, an homage to the culturally rich neighbourhood it resides in, and an onus in forging the culture of tomorrow. Formerly the stamping ground of artists and musicians the likes of Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Blondie and Basquait in the '70s and '80s, the spirit will live on through the store's screening room (pictured above) dedicated to celebrate the work of creatives — to be inaugurated with an Wu Tsang directed silver screen original, in collaboration with art magazine Frieze. It will also thrive through a musical residency by John Benitez, producer of Madonna's early chart toppers, and teases of more commissioned films to follow.

Watch the teaser of Into A Space of Love, Wu Tsang's film for Gucci:

Visit Gucci Wooster at 63 Wooster Street in New York City. From 6 May.