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Men'sWeek issue 06/20/2013

MILAN — Gucci will officially unveil its first men’s wear flagship in Europe on Sunday evening with a party during Men’s Fashion Week.

This story first appeared in the June 20, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Designed by creative director Frida Giannini, the 5,400-square-foot store covers three floors and is located in Milan’s arty Brera district. The unit counts an area dedicated to Gucci’s made-to-measure program and is the first to offer the capsule collection designed by Giannini and Lapo Elkann, named Lapo’s Wardrobe. The classic tailoring collection comprises 27 looks — 23 for men and four for women — and is completed by made-to-measure leather goods, shoes and jewelry.

Standout elements in the light and airy open space with an Art Deco mood are a series of backlit panels with Gucci’s Diamante pattern that lead the way into the store. The brand’s signature rosewood and ebony are enhanced with the introduction of new elements such as matte, light gray marble, exclusively used in Gucci’s men’s stores. Fluted glass, warm brushed bronze, smoked mirrors and smoked bronze glass all contribute to the design.

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In line with Gucci’s commitment to sustainability, the company is seeking LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification for the store. The flagship carries the full men’s collection, including ready-to-wear, footwear, luggage, accessories, small leather goods, belts, sunglasses, watches, jewelry and fragrances. A VIP fitting area is reserved for Gucci’s made-to-measure on the first floor. The store also offers made-to-order shoes.

Giannini and Elkann had already worked together on the Fiat 500 by Gucci in 2011. Elkann, known for his stylish and sometimes quirky approach to fashion, brings a touch of eccentricity to Lapo’s Wardrobe, where the choice spans from suiting silhouettes and textiles, to linings, knitwear, shirts, suspenders, ties, scarves, cuff links, jewelry, shoes and luggage, all using exclusive patterns.

The made-to-measure wardrobe comprises more than 80 textiles that allow for more than 900 possible combinations between color, fabric and style.

There are two silhouettes, for single-breasted suits with rounded shoulders and double-breasted options with equestrian detailing. Of note are elements such as decorative turquoise silk thread in contrast, hand-stitching and manually created buttonholes. Jackets feature unique cuts accentuating the back. An internal label allows for the owner’s name, date of creation and the garment’s city of origin. In addition to Milan, the capsule collection in the future will be available in four Gucci stores worldwide — Paris, London, New York and São Paulo.

A selection of jacket linings include printed silks with archival patterns of feathers or horse saddles, for example, reproduced for the first time. Coordinated silk trim matches the foulard linings on collars and double cuffs. High-waisted pants feature slim lines, and detailing includes pleats, built-in belting, button-up cuffs and buttons for suspenders.

Materials include tartan wool, stretch cotton gabardine, cashmere corduroy, herringbone tweed, wool mohair and velvet. Blue, mandarin orange, green, red, ivory, mocha, navy, gray and black are some of the hues in the color palette. Jacquard with the signature letter G in a chain creates a subtle pinstripe. Shirts with embroidered initials and customized knit polos as well as cardigans, peacoats and the chesterfield, assorted bags, luggage and shoes complete the offer.

There are two women’s day suits and tuxedos with plunging necklines and emphasized waistlines, while shoulders may be either sharp or rounded. Fabrics comprise wool mohair, natural stretch wool, cashmere and velvet. There are also pumps in suede or velvet with bow detailing.