- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - Gucci has unveiled it's latest initiative - Gucci ArtLab, a futuristic hub of industrial craftsmanship and experimental laboratory for leather goods and footwear products.
Located near the historical headquarters of the company in Casellina, and active since the beginning of the year, spanning an area of 37,000 square meters with more than 800 employees. The new facility was developed to help creative director Alessandro Michele bring his aesthetic further to life by creating the sought-after Gucci products of the future, thereby helping sustain the brand's sudden business boom.
Since Michele's appointment, demand for Gucci products has nearly doubled, which is why the luxury brand has allocated 'significant investment' to strengthening its supply chain, focusing on preserving its manufacturing skills, innovation, vertical integration and lead time reduction. The opening of the new centre for the development of leather goods and shoes, Gucci ArtLab, also represents the pillar of Gucci’s new industrial platform.
Gucci opens new industrial hub, Gucci ArtLab, in Florence
The opening of the Gucci ArtLab is marks the first time ever in the history of the luxury industry that the same area of activities linked to leather goods and footwear (which together account for more than 70 percent of the total revenues for Gucci for 2017) are under one roof to achieve the most in terms of sharing competencies and best practices.
"The unveiling of Gucci ArtLab definitely represents one of the most remarkable achievements of Gucci’s unprecedented journey of the last three years and one of the most significant industrial investments today in our country", commented Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci in a statement. "It is a testament to our belief in creativity, artisanal craftsmanship, innovation and technology, and sustainability, and our bond with our territory."
"I couldn’t be more grateful to all those who have made this dream come true, from the local and national authorities to Kering, to all of our colleagues who have been so visionary in absorbing new ideas from best-practice all around the world, to further strengthen our leadership", he added. Gucci is set to conduct full in-house prototyping and sampling for leather goods and footwear in Gucci ArtLab, which also houses R&D laboratories for new materials, metal hardware and packaging, a test lab, a accessories lab as well as a pre-industrialization area.
The new facility also houses its own center for experimentation, where Gucci focuses on processes and technologies that are innovative. Gucci confirmed that it aims to complete the hiring of 900 people for production roles within the footwear and leather goods department by the end of 2018. At the moment Gucci produces a large amount (more than 50 percent) of its leather goods and footwear within its own production facilities in Italy. The rest of its manufacturing, including certain phases of production, is also carried out in Italy by a selective network of external suppliers.
"Gucci ArtLab", concluded Bizzarri, "is the perfect expression of the corporate culture that we have been building and nurturing within the company. It is the tangible expression of a place to learn skills and techniques, a workshop to generate ideas, and ideas are the lifeblood of culture."
Photos: Courtesy of Gucci