By  on February 5, 2008

Gucci's Rome store is celebrating its 70th birthday with a brand new look and, just like the New York flagship, it reopens today.

Located on Via Condotti since 1938, the 10,400-square-foot store retraces its La Dolce Vita past in a contemporary key, as evidenced by Art Deco flourishes and a modern version of the historical curved and smooth-edged glass door that often served in the past as a backdrop for the paparazzi photographing Gucci's VIP clientele.

Designed by creative director Frida Giannini, the Rome store features a lighter blueprint distinguished by light marble floors, glass walls, shiny gold fixtures, lacquered mother-of-pearl shelves and fumé glass mirrors.

"This concept is the absolute expression of modern architecture in the total respect of Gucci's materials and iconic elements," said Giannini. "I wanted to amplify the sensation of luxury with a design concept that was in harmony with the current image of the brand. It was important to me to play up the store's original architectural elements."

Similar to the New York flagship, Giannini designed a string of exclusive-to-Rome products housed in special delineated areas, including a partition showered with the interlocked G logo in gold. There also will be video installations flashing historical Gucci images.

The Roman variation on the Heritage bag collection is a revised Renaissance print, originally produced in the Fifties that Giannini applied to canvas to create styles bordered with wine red python, crocodile and ostrich. Small leather goods and scarves round out the offering. "This classic design perfectly lends itself to the spirit of Rome — traditional with a modern spirit," said Giannini.

Giannini also paid homage to the Eternal City with a reedited print called 1950s Postcard, or a stylized image of Via Condotti leading up to the Spanish Steps. It appears on rigid frame bags trimmed in silver leather and scarves.

Also exclusive to Rome are a new version of the Signoria watch and an array of fine jewelry including a necklace, a bracelet and a pair of earrings with the bit motif and a diamond-framed cognac-colored topaz. The gold watch was redesigned into a larger format and with a coral face.

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