Fashion may have only taken to the idea of a concept store recently, but such spaces that promote a whole lifestyle - alongside the clothes being sold - are already going digital, thanks to Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele's new vision; Vault.
With its name evoking an air of magic and its space dedicated to objects representing a love for beauty, dreams and passion, Vault is a testament to the belief that the past, present and future can coexist through the power of the imagination. Through being many different things at once, the online space serves every dreamer's fantasy while also simultaneously bringing them to life. Offering the traditional 'concept store experience' plus so much more, Vault is a time machine, archive, library, laboratory, and most importantly, a meeting place, all at once.
The concept store is akin to a place of uninterrupted relaxation, a home, acting as a parlour, and doubling up as a shopping space. Consider it a place of worship for fashion's most dedicated following. Understanding this, Michele said in a statement:
'For me, shopping isn't simply about buying things. It is about establishing a connection with them, entering into a relationship. It is precisely this bond that has grown today. In my mind, I always had the idea to create a place in constant evolution where 'impossible' conversations between objects from different origins, creators, and eras could take place: central figures in a dialogue between past and present, able to spark future inspiration. I said to myself: 'Why can't a fashion house with a creative director also have a space for expressive, aesthetic, and social contaminations?'. I created it using the most befitting medium of our time – a place where all of us can go – the Web. And there, we concocted a laboratory; a mine of ideas, oddities, and unlikely encounters, considering that Gucci is a platform for gatherings of characters who seemingly have nothing in common. Therefore, Vault, is the place where wonders will hybridise and come together, giving life to new creations. Gucci's greatest gift, in the end, is to never stay the same; to never grow old.'
Reflecting Michele's passion for experimentation, Vault will also showcase restored and customised archive pieces alongside the creations of emerging designers. 'When I find these objects, to me they are like relics; mutant relics... they became wonders,' Michele said of these unique pieces.
From a vintage selection that holds pre-owned Gucci pieces, handpicked by the creative director himself to various designs courtesy of designers Gui Rosa, Bianca Saunders, Ahluwalia, Stefan Cooke, Charles de Vilmorin and many more, Vault is a fashionable paradise through and through.
At times drawing from the past, at times discoursing with the future, Vault is a space to allow multiple universes, stories and wonders to coexist in harmony while also rooted firmly in the contemporary. Vault, according to Gucci, 'has a voice that reverberates in all directions, fostering an inspiring dialogue with those who enter it, forging an imaginative relationship that goes beyond the purely transactional.'
With 2021 seeing the brand celebrate their 100th anniversary, Vault is a perfect idea for Michele to show off Gucci's rich history while keeping fans excited about its future. Is this a new chapter of reinvention for Gucci? Or the perfect way to honour its history while carving its future path? Either way, Gucci's Vault is here, and it doesn’t disappoint.