A model on the catwalk at the Gucci Cruise 2017 show, held in London’s Westminster Abbey.


GARDEN PARTY: Gucci will hold its next cruise show in Florence on May 29 at the Palatina Gallery at Pitti Palace. This is the first time the location will stage a fashion show.

The event is part of a cultural project with the Uffizi Gallery and the city of Florence, as Gucci will donate 2 million euros, or $2.2 million at current exchange rates, to restore the Boboli Gardens in the city over three years. The Palatina Gallery overlooks the gardens.

Backstage at Gucci Fall/Winter 2017

Backstage at Gucci Fall 2017 show  Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

“Florence is an unquestionable point of reference for Gucci and (creative director) Alessandro Michele,” said Gucci president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri. “Boboli is the Italian Versailles and we want to make the gardens even more important.”

Last year, the brand unveiled its cruise 2017 pre-collection with a runway show held in the Cloisters of London’s Westminster Abbey. That was the first time the prestigious location hosted a fashion show.

A model on the catwalk at the Gucci Cruise 2017 show, held in London’s Westminster Abbey.

A model on the catwalk at the Gucci Cruise 2017 show, held in London’s Westminster Abbey.  Andy Rain/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Alessandro Michele acknowledged that he thought he was dreaming when he considered Westminster Abbey as the venue.

“It’s crazy because I think only in London can a church say ‘yes’ to a fashion show. I was thinking of a place that represents the spirit and the powerful beauty,” he told WWD.

“Westminster Abbey is something very romantic in a way; it’s that kind of unknown Gothic place full of history,” he continued. “I also love the idea of Gothic, I always say that gothic came from Rome.”

The previous year, Michele showed his cruise 2016 collection in New York, and Marco Bizzarri said the messaging around these special shows has been key — especially for the end-consumer.

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