MILAN — Gucci’s sales have been golden lately, and soon its packaging will be, too.

While the Italian luxury brand is set to unveil its new store concept this fall, Gucci is already offering a little taste of what is to come. The company is changing its historic packaging and will introduce a warmer offering in all its stores this November.

Customized tones of gold and bronze are replacing the ubiquitous dark brown bags and boxes. Lettering will shift from dark silver to yellow gold, a color that, according to the company, better represents luxury.

“In choosing this particular color for Gucci’s new packaging, we wanted to communicate a sensation of light and warmth,” said Frida Giannini, Gucci creative director. “Gold emotes those two qualities.”

With the color shift comes the addition of specialized packaging for fine jewelry, accessories and furs.

Furthermore, to celebrate Gucci’s new doors in Tokyo and Hong Kong, packaging in those stores will also feature the words “Ginza” and “Landmark,” respectively, through January 2007.

Set to open in mid-fall, the Ginza and Landmark units are the first stores to bear the new concept, which Gucci chief executive officer Mark Lee said would offer an “even stronger sense of chic and luxury, but warmer.”

Meanwhile, Gucci is getting artistic for fall on another front: The company said Thursday it will sponsor a new award at the Venice Film Festival. The inaugural prize will be bestowed Sept. 8 on an artist who has made a noteworthy contribution to a film in the past 18 months as director, actor, screenwriter or costume designer.

An eclectic selection committee — this year’s members include Jeremy Irons, Moby, Alexander McQueen and the festival’s artistic director, Marco Müller — will decide the winner. The idea is to honor an artist of international stature who recently made a leap to cinema.

In a statement, Robert Polet, Gucci Group chairman and chief executive officer, said the world’s third-largest luxury group is “committed to recognizing and honoring visionaries who transform their art into messages, objects and experiences which we can all embrace.”

The Gucci Group Award has no cash value, but it is understood the company made a financial contribution to the festival. The prize will be presented at a ceremony at Palazzo Grassi, the private art foundation of PPR founder François-Henri Pinault, during the 63rd annual Venice festival, being held Aug. 30 to Sept. 9.

This story first appeared in the July 28, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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