Gucci Visions Special Exhibition In Florence
The Gucci House is proud to present Gucci Visions, the latest exhibition at Gucci Garden in Florence taking visitors on a playful and immersive journey into the decade-defining creativity and masterful craftsmanship that lies at the very heart of the brand.
Offering a panoramic view of the House’s 102-year history, Gucci Visions is a living tribute to its signature designs and iconic emblems, as well as the talents of its Creative Directors and artisans over the years. By exploring Gucci’s heritage codes, the exhibition reveals the House’s ever-present spirit of adventure and ingenuity, its longstanding belief in the power of creativity, and its absolute dedication to the Italian craftsmanship behind the designs on display.
The exhibition marks a new chapter for Gucci Garden, the brand’s three-storey creative and collaborative space housed in a 14th-century Florentine palazzo. It begins with an illustrated timeline that reveals itself in parts as visitors make their way up the various flights of stairs, tracing the history of the House through key dates, events, and people. Interspersed throughout the first and second floor are eight individual rooms that can be viewed in any order—each one presenting a different facet of the House’s unique story.
As a showcase of Gucci’s signature themes and icons, including the Bamboo bag, the GG monogram, and the Flora pattern, the exhibition invites the visitor to discover their origins and history, as well as to discern what has made each one so central to Gucci’s ever-evolving allure. Rooms that assemble heritage-inspired Gucci luggage designed for the modern traveller, spotlight beautiful gowns created for celebrities across the decades, and explore the House’s innovative presence in the uncharted reaches of the Metaverse reveal the full extent of Gucci’s commitment to its defiantly enlightened vision. The curated selection of bags, luggage, and garments also demonstrates how the House’s artistry is forever anchored in a series of time-travelling creative conversations between the original vision of Guccio Gucci, the pioneering work of his sons, and the imaginative power of the House’s more recent Creative Directors Tom Ford, Frida Giannini, and Alessandro Michele—all of whom have nourished and enriched Gucci’s unique vision, to make it the globally recognised and cherished brand it is today.
Since the new millennium, Gucci’s pioneering values have naturally led it to the forefront of innovation within the digital world—most recently positioning itself as a global innovator within Web3, the next generation of the internet, and the Metaverse. To portray the House’s path of research into these experimental dimensions, the Metaverse room features a state-of-the-art gaming chair where visitors can sit one at a time to get an all-encompassing panorama of recent initiatives such as Gucci Town on Roblox, Gucci Vault Land in The Sandbox, and Otherside Relics by Gucci made in collaboration with Yuga Labs.
Stars celebrates Gucci’s century-long symbiotic relationship with dignitaries, celebrities, and creative leaders: from Guccio Gucci’s first experiences of high society as a porter at The Savoy hotel in London to Gucci, to the House’s adoption by Hollywood and the international jet set in the 1950s and 1960s, through its status as the epitome of glamour throughout the 1970s and 1980s. After the reinvention and recontextualization of both the House and celebrity culture in the 1990s, there was the arrival of the digital era, when those relationships have grown and become ever-more diverse. In the Stars room, mirrors and digital screens create a multiplying effect to further amplify the nine bespoke gowns on display, each custom-made for a leading figure from film or music; each embodying and evoking the longstanding rapport that Gucci continues to have with the ever-changing face of celebrity culture.
When Guccio Gucci founded Gucci in 1921, his ambition was to create the most elegantly designed and beautifully made luggage for the modern traveller. The luggage and bags on display in the Travel room are proof that the House has continued to uphold his original vision. Presented in niches in front of LED animations envisioning infinite pathways forward, the pieces on show range from a rare 1940s calfskin toiletries case and a stunning 1950s suitcase with the Rinascimento print, to designs from the 1960s and 1970s featuring classic Gucci motifs through to the Gucci Savoy collection from 2022, which nods to the House’s past—notably its founder’s first job as a luggage porter at The Savoy in London—while demonstrating how its heritage has been constantly updated to meet the needs of contemporary lifestyles.
Icons is a spectacular showcase for three legends: the Bamboo 1947, Horsebit 1955, and Jackie 1961, bags that each symbolize a fundamental aspect of Gucci’s identity. The Bamboo 1947, whose ingenious bamboo handle solved the problem of post-war shortages with an answer both practical and beautiful, represents the House’s inventiveness and mastery of craft. The Horsebit 1955, with its contemporary shape and double ring and bar emblem, celebrates Gucci’s equestrian roots. And the Jackie 1961, whose half-moon silhouette and piston hardware have made it the epitome of effortless elegance since its introduction. For Gucci Visions, more than 400 different versions of these three iconic Gucci handbags are gracefully arranged on mirrored shelves to reveal the 360° virtuosity of the House’s imagination. The diverse invention and artistry, their wide range of dazzling motifs and seemingly innumerable colours are reflected across time as in an endless hall of creative mirrors.
In the Bamboo room, the House celebrates its nearly eight decades of the ingenious design. Since 1947, when post-war shortages led to Guccio Gucci resourcefully crowning a new handbag with shaped and burnished bamboo, the House and its Creative Directors have continued to pay tribute to the design. Archival bags in a beautiful vitrine sit across a digital wall showcasing the contemporary Bamboo 1947 in an array of colours. With Bamboo bags from the past and present, the space portrays how over time, the design went beyond its origins as a pragmatic solution, to a metonym and metaphor for the House’s signature artistry.
Codes is an immersive and kaleidoscopic experience in which visitors are surrounded by the patterns and emblems created throughout the House’s 102-year history. The G and its many variations from the GG monogram to the Interlocking G, as well as the equestrian Horsebit and Web are featured on the four walls of screens creating an all-encompassing animation that reveals how these signature motifs have all been reworked and reimagined by the House’s visionaries from Guccio Gucci’s sons to Creative Directors Tom Ford, Frida Giannini, and Alessandro Michele.
The Fashion room hosts a curated selection of decade-defining looks, handpicked from the Gucci Archive, also located in Florence at Palazzo Settimanni. Configured to create pairs of designs in dialogue with one another, the ensembles date back to the 1960s to the present day, and reveal how the House’s Creative Directors have all engaged in ‘conversations’ across time, using the past to speak to the present to create the future. The looks include an Alessandro Michele Fall Winter 2021 red velvet suit that echoes off Tom Ford’s Fall Winter 1996 version; a 1970s black suede minidress re-envisioned by Frida Giannini in 2014; and a flowing Flora-pattern dress from the early 1970s reimagined by Alessandro Michele with snakes for Fall Winter 2017. This fundamental sense of dialogue makes the Gucci Archive both an inspirational journey through time and a living organism constantly nourishing and enriching the House’s eternal vision of quality, beauty, and craft.
The room of Flora explores the stunning pattern commissioned by Rodolfo Gucci from Italian artist and illustrator Vittorio Accornero de Testa in 1966. First featured on a silk scarf, the pattern has since become an emblem for the House and its love of the natural world. The suitably immersive Flora room is split into two sections: one in which digitized columns sit within a giant sculptural garden of flowers, and the other an enclosed kaleidoscopic pyramid in which the pattern is reflected across the floor, ceiling, and walls to create the feeling of infinity. Throughout, there is the scent of Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia eau de parfum. Both larger than life and enveloping the viewer, the room brings to life Flora’s richly detailed depiction of different species of flowers, plants, and insects.
Across these eight rooms, the Gucci Visions exhibition creates an inspiring and enriching journey that demonstrates how Gucci has remained at the pinnacle of creativity and luxury quality for over a century as its iconic designs and progressive ideas not only mirror the times, but also define them.
The exhibition also represents a bold new chapter of Gucci Garden. Situated inside the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia, which dates back to 1337 and is located in Florence’s Piazza Signoria, it is home to Gucci’s gallery space, which hosts the exhibition on the building’s first and second floors. The ground floor houses a special boutique, which offers unique and exclusive products, as well as Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura, a restaurant by the three-Michelin-star chef. Close by in the square is Gucci Giardino 25, an all-day café and cocktail bar.
Gucci Visions the exhibition, opens to the public on 15 June 2023, and is located at Gucci Garden, Piazza della Signoria 10, 50122, Florence, Italy.