Gucci’s new home in Tokyo is its biggest in the world. Last week, the Italian superbrand opened the doors of an eight-story glass-and-steel flagship store in Ginza.
Incorporating four floors of retail space, a cafe and a gallery, as well as 3,700 sq. meters of offices, the building is not only Gucci’s first architectural creation, it is also the first flagship to feature the house’s new subtler, more understated store design.
The fresh look fits in with a new direction for the ubiquitous brand, which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year. Since guru of glam Tom Ford quit as the brand’s chief designer in 2003, Gucci has been striving to build a new identity.
Now, with Italian Frida Giannini (formerly an accessories designer for the house) having found her feet as creative director, it has settled into a less in-your-face take on Italian extravagance.
The interior of the flagship, Gucci’s 54th store in Japan and its 14th in Tokyo, was designed by American Bill Sofield, the man responsible for interpreting Ford’s sultry elegance in a silver and cocoa color scheme.
For this store’s new look, Giannini asked Sofield for something lighter and warmer: The result is shelving and display units in light rosewood, mohair upholstery, and flooring in taupe marble as well as a thick-pile carpet.
Most significantly, the shiny chrome of old has been replaced by brushed steel with gold highlights. “I feel that gold and its warm glow is very right for the current Gucci aesthetic,” said Giannini, sporting a slinky black dress at last Tuesday’s press preview.
“We wanted this to be the most luxurious Gucci store in the world,” Gucci CEO Mark Lee said, flanking Giannini at the same event.