Forgive us for not being very millennial here, but upon hearing of Gucci’s first ever SoHo store opening, we couldn’t help thinking about Jeeves and Wooster. More specifically, how much better Hugh Laurie could have done in the wardrobe department had he acted as valet to the Italian megabrand instead of the stuffy, starched collar prude that is Bertie Wooster. For those not endowed with knowledge of interwar British comedy however, suffice to say that Gucci have opened an incredibly impressive store in New York. On Wooster Street. It feels like a state side response to the Florentine Gucci Garden, but just as with the ancient medieval site of the Garden, Wooster is imbued with the flavour and heritage of its surroundings. SoHo was of course the stomping ground of renegades, artists and musicians, free-thinkers who called it home throughout the 1970s and 80s. From Basquiat to Warhol and Haring, Gucci’s new bricks and mortar rubs walls with the soul of Manhattan’s creative community.
And being 2018, the idea of a straightforward ‘shop’ is basically redundant in fashion. At Gucci Wooster for instance, customers aren’t served but ‘serviced’, like faulty gear-boxes. Don’t ask for a shop assistant, no one will know what you’re talking about, instead seek guidance from ‘Gucci Connectors’, storytellers who engage customers in the unique narrative of the brand. Once you’re done with that, you might want to head to the 3D video display space, where an inaugural film co-produced with Frieze and Wu Tsang explores the genesis of House music in New York during the late eighties. Continuing the district’s tradition of nurturing musical talent, the store will also hold an artists residency, with eighties clubbing icon John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez taking up the ones and twos through early 2019. That’s before you get onto the clothes. As well as housing the full Gucci range, from ready-to-wear to jewellery and home décor, the space will be the first to preview Dapper Dan’s new collection with the House. Words do not do this place justice, it is to be seen, felt and lived. Anyone fancy buying us a flight?