Gucci is stepping out of its comfort zone, by establishing themselves in the luxury dining industry. Creative director Alessandro Michele has opened Gucci Garden Galleria in the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia, one of the most famous buildings in Florence, wherein 2011 a Gucci museum opened.
So why have they now entered the fine dining industry? Well according to Fabrizio Pini, a professor and director of the International Master in Luxury Management of Milan’s MIP Politecnico business school, “The big brands are following where their high-spending clients’ cash is going”.
Its debut on the 11th of January, saw the culinary genius of Michelin star chef Massimo Bottura, as he delivered variations of traditional dishes that represent Gucci’s roots, such as Parmigiano Reggiano tortellini, Peruviaanse tostadas and risotto. They’ll also serve pork belly buns, the cost of which comes to around 20-30 euros.
In an interview with Bottura, he expressed the passion behind the food – “Traveling the world, our kitchen interacts with everything we see, hear and taste, With eyes wide open, we look for the unexpected and next éclat.”
In order to make this 50-seat eatery a brand experience people wouldn’t forget in a hurry, Gucci called the help of artists Trever Andrew (the Gucci Ghost) and Coco Capitan (who collaborated with the brand for their AW17 collection) and Jayde Fish to decorate the walls of the rooms. Large pineapples painted with the Gucci logo, pizza slices, snakes and funny faces are drawn onto the wall in a playful and youthful touch.
The rest of the building is filled with an exhibition area, a cinema room and a boutique store, in which customers will be able to buy limited edition pieces at the store.
The eating area itself is a green-hued space, balances historic design with a contemporary touch, with walls engraved with gold wording from Lorenzo de’ Medici’s 15th century Carnival song, Canzona of the seven planets. Bottura added, “The restaurant is a reminder that Florence has always been a centre of cultural exchange, particularly during the Renaissance.” There are velvet green sofas, and on the tables, Pink-patterned plates and stylish monochrome napkins add to the Gucci aesthetic.
“Food is luxury as much as fashion” – Stefano Cantino, strategic marketing director at Prada”
Text: Afua Aidoo