Gucci is returning to the Hamptons on Friday with a permanent location in East Hampton, its only location in the East End.
The two-floor boutique, at 17 Newtown Lane, spans more than 2,000 square feet and showcases men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, luggage, small leather goods, jewelry, watches, eyewear, children’s wear, Gucci Beauty and Gucci Decor. It will also feature pieces from its Ouverture collection that was shown in November, and will carry some of the exclusive capsules such as GG Multi and Precious Gems. They are also bringing a Precious Gems dedicated Gucci Pin to East Hampton, showcasing its “Beloved” handbags in an immersive, dedicated environment, reflecting creative director Alessandro Michele’s approach to luxury fashion. The handbag is presented as a work of art, and a futuristic, neon installation is constructed using crates, packing bands and chips to create a dream-like hub.
The opening of the East Hampton boutique, in the same year that the brand is celebrating its 100th anniversary, signals Gucci’s return to the Hamptons in a permanent location.
Asked why the brand decided to open a permanent store in East Hampton this summer, Susan Chokachi, president and chief executive officer of Gucci Americas, said, “Gucci opened our first presence in the market 15 years ago in East Hampton, so returning to the town where we first began felt especially fitting.” Gucci had a permanent location on Main Street in East Hampton from 2006 to 2009.
Chokachi described the Hamptons as a unique community, “with an important local clientele as well as clients who are naturally drawn to the spirit and beauty of the Hamptons.”
“As we reenter this key market, it’s important that the store feels blended with what makes the Hamptons community so creative and vibrant,” said Chokachi. “We experimented with this when we opened our temporary space in Montauk in 2019 with a unique partnership with Bob Melet and his ‘insiders’ vintage shop, Melet Mercantile, and again last summer when we hosted an ephemeral brand experience at Moby’s Market.”
In the store, aqua-colored moire walls and velvet armchairs are accented by polished nickel, aged brass fixtures and hand-stained natural wood flooring. Throughout are Gucci Decor paneled screens and wicker accents, situated among brightly colored fixtures.
To celebrate the opening, the boutique will offer an exclusive capsule collection available only at the East Hampton location. The limited-run pieces feature an organic jacquard fabric, created by weaving together red and beige natural fibers in a trio technique, which is paired with white square G embroidered accents. The pieces are finished with a blue leather trim and a round leather emblem with “The Hamptons” embossed in gold. The collection include a wide range of bags and small leather goods, including an oversized tote ($2,500), a drawstring bucket bag ($2,500) and a rectangular zip pouch ($980).
Gucci stores will carry the Gucci-Balenciaga collaboration in November. As reported last month, Michele presented his Aria collection for the brand, revealing designs that pay tribute to Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia. The collaboration blended distinctive elements and logos from both labels, which are owned by Kering.
The company has around 100 directly operated stores in North America. Overall, the brand has more than 483 directly operated stores and is planning new boutiques and renovations, after recently opening units in Canada, in Edmonton, and in Florida at the Bal Harbour Shops.
As for opening new stores in North America this year, Chokachi said, “In 2021, we continue to open new stores in exciting markets where we haven’t had a dedicated presence before. We are also reinvesting and refurbishing stores in markets where we already have a strong brand presence. As Alessandro’s store concept continues to evolve, each store takes on a new and distinct feeling, true to the local market, and in keeping with the elegant and contemporary eclecticism that characterizes Gucci’s creativity and collections.”
In discussing how the consumer has changed since the pandemic began, and what shoppers are looking for, Chokachi said, “More than ever, customers want to feel connected and engaged with the brands they are supporting. They want to see that a brand understands and represents what is meaningful in the world today. Equally, I think we are all looking for a sense of renewal and freedom right now, for creativity and a new kind of beauty that empowers joy and self-expression.”
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