Gucci (Florence, Italy)



With Milan Fashion Week coming to an end, I thought it would be appropriate to blog about something Italian. And since I keep postponing some of the posts I had planned back when I visited Florence in late November, I figured now would be a good time to catch up. While most people will associate Milan with being Italy's fashion capital, many of the big names actually stem from Florence. Along with Ferragamo (previously featured here), Pucci and Cavalli, the biggest Florentine brand of them all is undoubtedly Gucci. Though I admit I've pretty much ignored the label since the departure of Tom Ford, and I love the monograms as much as I love the Louis Vuitton ones (i.e. not really), I somehow felt it would be appropriate to visit the only Florence flagship - under the assumption that the Gucci store in the company's hometown (where the headquarters are situated as well) was sure to be grand and special. Boy was I mistaken.

SS11 campaign (images: Gucci).

Now don't get me wrong, the Florence flagship is huge, easy to navigate and though popular with tourists, not cramped at all. The problem is that while current Creative Director Frida Giannini decided to renovate a select number of boutiques that would reflect her style, strangely the (in my mind) most important flagship in downtown Florence wasn't one of them. So even though her hometown of Rome and other cities such as London, NYC or Shanghai are graced with snazzy, ultra-modern and gilded Gucci stores, Florence is stuck with a rather bland example of what the flagships look like in every part of the world. In other words, it's not all that unique, but probably does reflect the Tom Ford era, so I shouldn't complain. Nevertheless, when in Florence, shop local brands and Gucci is as local as it gets.

Entrance area featuring a few UNICEF bags (previous collection).

Monograms galore. My favorite was the teddy bear.

Founded in 1921 in Florence by Guccio Gucci who initially conceived his company to cater to luxury luggage (much like Vuitton), the brand has since come a long way but still remains proud of its heritage marked by famous iconic features such as the bamboo handles, intertwined 'G' logos or the red and green stripes. Yet nothing makes Gucci prouder than emphasizing the artisan workmanship and while machines have replaced much of the stitching, certain elements are still handmade.


Scarves, scarves and watches.

'The Artisan Corner' where someone was embossing initials on a bag. Also visible: sketches and different leathers.

More monograms, including a few cute keychains. I'm assuming the woman above wanted a wallet.

To celebrate its legacy, Gucci launched 'The Artisan Corner', a traveling event started in 2009 that sees artisans assemble and finish some of the House’s most iconic handbags in temporary workshops within the store. Mood boards and sketches are showcased as well, giving customers insight into the creative and production process. Thankfully when I visited, the workshop had just arrived in Florence, so I was able to observe some very talented artisans hand-stitch handles or emboss customer initials on various leather bags.

More bags without the monogram, such as the reptile tote (right). Sunglasses make a cheaper souvenir (above).

Accessories and luggage for the gents.

The menswear section, consisting of several rooms.

Apart from that, the boutique was rather standard, almost reminiscent of a luxury department store. Elegant and sophisticated, but in a very low-key way, which means I can't recall any outstanding details regarding the decor aside from dark wood, polished surfaces and a few plush couches. On the upside, this did mean that my entire focus was on the product rather than the interior design. The store consisted of two expansive floors, with accessories, jewelry, bags and luggage occupying the lower ground, while the first floor held menswear, the women's range and shoes. Special edition collections, such as the UNICEF pieces were the first thing I saw when I entered and you'll find a huge range of anything else you're looking for throughout the store.

Some of the women's wear range, which included the chic fur jacket and sparkly skirt (left).

A selection of shoes and boots. How cute are the children's ballerinas (top right)?

More for the ladies, including the ostrich bag and chic accessories.

My favorites were the luggage (despite said monograms), shoes, the darker clothes which have also made their way into the current SS11 collection and pieces with the classic signature red/green adornment. Staff were very friendly and helpful and while tourists were all over the bags and accessories, the second floor was unusually quiet, which made browsing all that more pleasant. But as distracting as shoes and dresses can be, I kept finding my way back to 'The Artisan Corner', so if this comes to a flagship near you, I'd definitely recommend you take a look. Other than that, yes, go to this particular Gucci if only for the sake of celebrating a little bit of Florence fashion history (especially considering the company turns 90 this year), but you'll find their stores in all corners of the world and chances are, they'll look exactly like this one. If you want to spend money, going to their outlet outside Florence would be a better idea though. I might do a comparison post at some point, featuring either the revamped London or Rome store to demonstrate how glam some of the 'special' boutiques are. And of course, all Gucci items can also be browsed 24/7 via their official online shop.

Resort and SS11 collections (images: Gucci).

Address: Via dei Tornabuoni, 73, 50123 Florence
Opening Hrs: Mon-Sat: 10:00-19:00, Sun: 13:00-17:00

Official Gucci Homepage & Online-Shop

48 comments:

  1. I'm surprised that the flagship was so disappointing! From the photos, it looks pretty bleh to me....not much to write home about. I do love Gucci though! I even have a few trinkets myself, which is a rarity :)

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  2. The flagship store oddly looks just like the Gucci corner of Saks here in D.C. It lacks personality. I do, however, like the resort 2011 collection above. That jumpsuit is perfection! Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. I am surprised at how bare the shelves look :) Completely crushing over the olive jumper pictured on the first row!!

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  4. Thanks for sharing the Gucci review and the photos of the Florence Flagship.
    I like it that they emboss initials on the luggage and bags in the Artisan corner.
    Gucci have now opened up a shop, in Auckland.

    Happy week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  5. The store itself is uninspiring, but I actually really love Gucci's clothing line. Frida Giannini (spelling??) may not have Tom Ford's pizazz, but I think she's underrated for her wearable, chic style.

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  6. Thank you so much for this post!!

    I am from Florence and I always think that nobody ever gives justice to that wonderful city for its role in fashion.

    Not only Luxe brands are from there, but also a lot of famous pret-à-porter mid price range brands (like Patrizia Pepe for example).

    I also think that Florence is the best place to create fashion: everywhere you go it is art and beauty, there is a lot of culture (not only museums, but also events) and you can breathe elegance and taste everywhere, much more than Milan and Rome in my opinion, where the luxe sometimes looks too exaggerated and opulent (and I don't really like how Frida Giannini transferred the brand from Florence to Rome in toto... I think that the history of a fashion house is part of its identity and should be respected).

    I can't wait to go there tomorrow, after reading this post I want to go even more!

    a kiss

    Al

    -The Red Dot-

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  7. Frankly speaking, I don't mind white walls/dark flour interior because to me - it's like an art gallery where you are not meant to admire the walls but rather the art itself. It also gave me a feeling of space full of fresh air. So I liked it. Gucci creates gorgeous clothes (God every time I get a chance to see HOW they are made, the craftsmanship takes my breath away) and accessories and doesn't need any extra frou frou to added entertaiment. Just my opinion. :)

    Thanks so much for your yet another wonderful review, darling! Hope you are warm and well as they are talking snow in South East/London areas by the end of this week - oh, joy...

    x

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  8. I do love Gucci. I wish I could afford it!! Their campaigns always look great and I love the SS11 one.

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  9. I love window shopping through your blog!

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  10. not a very imressive store- well, I love Gucci's designs, however, I am so tired of the logoed bags and stuff... :)
    xoxo

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  11. @Little Rus: I actually don't mind the bare decor on its own. I was more annoyed that Gucci will go on and on about their Tuscan heritage, but the store doesn't even remotely reflect the fact it represents the company's birthplace. I like Frida's work, but I'm irked she's chosen to focus her efforts on Rome and make the Roman flagship the most important and beautiful store. I could have taken the above photos in Paris or Berlin and not even Gucci staff would know it's not Florence. I do like majority of the collection and for that alone it's worth visiting, but I also think certain stores should give customers more of an 'experience', especially if they're situated in a historically relevant place.

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  12. Love the campaign photos and the clothes but the store itself looks a little boring.

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  13. Amazing pics, darling!
    Love it all ~ the ads, the store, and your runway selections ~ wow!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  14. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was let down, the store is so bland and clinical in comparison to the collection and campaign

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  15. i could stare at that line all day!

    www.benchesandchandeliers.com

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  16. oh, i wanna go to florence! that gucci store must be really huge. just like you i ignored gucci after tom ford left (actually i didn't like any of the collections after tom ford). it's sad that gucci has commoditized their expensive products. but they do have some pretty things.

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  17. Hi my dear-a really fabulous post, I adore all things Gucci and the Gucci ads and collection are just so vibrant and lovely, thanks for sharing x

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  18. Yay! I was actually in this store a while back. Love the photos!

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  19. Great post! I didn't know Gucci was from Florence and I think Frida Giannini is doing a really great job. The sleekness of Tom Ford, but less aggressive.

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  20. I'm living in Florence for this semester and I had no idea that Gucci stemmed from Florence! I'll be sure to check out there store next time I pass it although I don't particularly care for the stares that follow me from the salesmen (who obviously know that I'm a student and therefore can't afford anything with those four walls)

    Eternally yours,
    Stephanie

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  21. Your post is so comprehensive - I love it! Really like the pictures of the shop interior and the walls of accessories.

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  22. You have amazing adventures. It is always such a joy to come here and read about all the things you do!!

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  23. I used to go to Milan & Florence all the time for work and I have to say that I dropped a pretty penny in quite a few of the Guccis in both cities. Oh how I miss those days. And I miss the lira. I used to get such amazing deals. Those were the days :) xoxo

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  24. Yeah, I've had enough of all the monogram business. The boutique looks, well, nice of course, but you're right, nothing special.

    http://red-soledfashionista.blogspot.com/

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  25. hmmm....i am definitely with you on this one. i expected the gucci store in florence to be so much more majestic and unique, but it looks like any other luxury department store or gucci store in any city. I wish they would bedazzle it with the history and culture of the brand instead of going down the generic luxury road. though the store seems to have a huge selection of gucci products. i wasn't too crazy about this season's gucci either. thanks for bringing me the closest i can get to any off these boutiques...

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  26. The design of the store is rather low-key, but I'm glad to find out all the details you've shared. :)

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  27. OMG! I totally lovin that handbag with snowman. So cute! :D

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  28. I love Gucci's collections! You took some great shots, thanks for sharing!

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  29. This what I call Gucci heaven.. I love the brand for a long long time and I have a huge respect for the company and the way they look after the costumer needs and understanding about fashion
    Lee x

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  30. Swoon! J'adore Gucci! The sunnies and shoes alone make me giddy!! :)

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  31. love the last collection!



    xoxo from rome
    K.
    http://kcomekarolina.blogspot.com

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  32. I love Gucci and the boutique in Florence is fabulous!
    xx

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  33. great post. thanks for sharing. i like how gucci has reinvented themselves quite a lot lately- didn't care that much for them before but now they present great collections.

    about the runways- i agree, but it might be due to the limited time they have at the venues probably- the schedule for the shows at somerset is so packed..or what do you think?

    soon weekend now- so happy about that ;)
    xx

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  34. I like that their focus is on products rather than interior design. Sometimes when I go to certain stores, their furniture and various arts or other things usually distracts me (in a good way!) but it's nice to see the simple layout in a store. I like the fact that they can initial your bag right in the store, that's really cool! xoxoxoo

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  35. This collection has incredible details!
    I truly want that teddy bear!!

    xo*

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  36. Gucci and Florence. Two of my favorite words! One day I will have one and visit the other! HAHA

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  37. i was sure worried about gucci after the departure of tom ford, but they seem to be doing ok without him. lol.

    and this is kind of off topic, but i just saw a floral tuxedo by tom ford. i used to think he could do no wrong, and almost always love designs. but the floral tux is KILLING ME. i am guessing you are familiar with it. ay yi YI! lol

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  38. I can only say that your blog is the most luxurious I know.

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  39. So many lovley things!!! Thanks for sharing my friend!!

    have a wonderful day!
    xx

    johanna, sweden
    ART

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  40. So interesting to see such a wide selection of all their products...the last looks at the end are lovely, ewspecially that olive jumpsuit

    style-phenomenon.blogspot.com

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  41. i agree with your statement!
    me myself would be looking out for something more in the florence shop design though

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  42. Gah, I miss Florence. The stores were so lovely. I do rather like the recessed lighting behind the rails. Definitely something I wish more stores did!

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  43. Love the Gucci collection; though I do like the way the bag displays are set up.

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  44. ohh my so much gucci!! love the collection. i'm kicking myself for passing this gucci bag on sale here a year ago

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  45. really, i feel like i have just been into the shop and had a wander around myself!

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  46. Aww, this is beautiful!!
    I love it!! ♥
    xx

    Henar
    ..OH MY VOGUE!

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  47. Gucci decor has always scared me! haha All that glass, and mahogany fixtures


    xoxo
    Miss Neira

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  48. I will be very honest with you: fantastic post on not one of my favorite stores.The only time I really love Gucci is when Tom Ford was creating for Gucci as a head designer.I have noticed that Gucci is seems far to agressive in their images, adds, interiors. Maybe it is a new thing or maybe I am getting a bit too old. :-)))

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