Zoe Scaman

Zoe Scaman

28-10-2022

14:48

1/ I've seen a lot of people dunking on Gucci Vault for its claims of being focused on metaverse exploration, because 'isn't it just a website for resale?' But it's so much more than that- it’s a lab, a place for experimentation & something well worth paying attention to...

2/ Gucci launched ‘Vault’ in Sept 2021 as part of the celebration of the house’s centennial year. Alessandro Michele describes it as his virtual playroom – a home for all of his favourite things.

3/ It began as a place where Gucci could look to the past & future simultaneously - by sharing vintage pieces from their own archive, alongside capsule collections from emerging designers, as well as ASMR videos of models handling Gucci wares & style guides offering inspiration.

4/ But soon after, the focus expanded to include wider brand partnerships, gaming worlds and Web3 activations. It became less about a website/destination & more about being a laboratory & embracing the ethos of exploration & play, with the aim of leaving all boundaries behind.

5/ Gucci started exploring what Michele refers to as 'contaminations' - unexpected crossovers & collaborations. Initially this began by handpicking 13 emerging designers who created capsule collections for Vault - each designer was given a budget & full creative control.

6/ This was swiftly followed by moving from fashion to other categories, such as their collab with Gohar World, to create chic tableware for the every day - such as red candy-shaped cutlery rests, pink aprons with lace bows and candles modelled on wheels of ricotta.

7/ Their partnership with Superplastic saw them diving into the world of vinyl toys, creating 'SuperGucci' - a three-part drop including NFTs, ceramic artworks, limited-edition vinyl toys & digital collectibles - including Superplastic’s Janky & Guggimon entering the Gucci Vault

8/ Then came Gucci x MLB - with the fashion house going for a round two of their collab with the league, but this time, featuring it exclusively on Gucci Vault. (Which is, incidentally, what they did with the ltd edition North Face bag too).

9/ The recent Palace x Gucci collection was also a Vault experiment & exclusive - seeing both brands branch out into special lifestyle items like a MOTO GUZZI V7 motorbike and a dual-branded Palace Gucci safe, a reference to Gucci’s “Vault.”

10/ This partnership also saw the launch of the first physical pop up stores for Gucci Vault, in Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Osaka & Bangkok, as well as takeovers of Palace stores. This marks the first time Gucci has ever allowed another creative to reconfigure its cult destinations.

11/ Alongside the IRL collections, Gucci have also been diving deep into virtual fashion, gaming, NFTs and the wider 'metaverse' space... And CEO Marco Bizzarri has this to say about it...

12/ After their huge success with Gucci Garden in Roblox, a time-limited gaming experience, the brand decided to create a more permanent destination with 'Gucci Town' - centering the experience on a “play-to-know” narrative.

13/ In Gucci Town, visitors are invited to complete gamified tasks that educate them on the House and its heritage alongside the creative vision of Alessandro Michele. And a Gucci store enables people to buy digital items, using tokens earned through engagement.

14/ For example, a digital GG Monogram Gucci Blondie Bag, sold for 325 Robux (about $5), was available for a week in June only after people play 100 mini-games, create 45 art pieces, vote on 100 art pieces and complete 18 daily treasure hunts.

15/ Other items for sale include skateboards, clothing & game sets, using Roblox’s new “layered clothing” capabilities that enable realistic 3D garments to fit any avatar body type Visitors are rewarded for activity with GG Gems to purchase “power-ups” & virtual Gucci items

16/ Along similar lines, when it comes to virtual fashion, was Gucci's collab with NFT narrative project 10KTF - in which they created the 'Gucci Grail', an NFT that had to be earned through gamified challenges, Gucci Discord early membership or prior NFT project ownership.

17/ Once people got their hands on a Gucci Grail NFT, they could then create a customised PFP of their NFT avatar wearing items from either the Aria or Love Parade collections - and this was extended to 11 different NFT projects, inc Bored Apes, World of Women, Cool Cats, & more

18/ The whole point of this was to test & learn when it comes to brand affinity, engagement in communities like Discord & building hype around access. After all, testing & learning is Gucci's mantra.

19/ And with this in mind, Gucci have recently appointed a new CEO to lead all of the Vault efforts, Robert Triefus, whose previous role as EVP of brand and consumer engagement, saw Gucci experimenting with global gaming worlds such as Zepeto, Genies & The Sims.

20/ And Gucci aren't stopping with Roblox, when it comes to creating virtual destinations, this week they announced their entry into The Sandbox, with Gucci Vault Land - a space to discover games and vintage fashion, open from now until 9th Nov.

21/ It'll be home to curated NFT artwork, Gucci’s NFTs, its community, its garden concept & the brand’s vintage pieces, which will be on display, though not for sale. The space also gamifies education about Gucci’s heritage & products, similar Roblox.

22/ In addition to the mini-games, there are digital collectible NFTs for players to win, which they can then wear in other Sandbox lands; think hats, skate ramps, and a car.

23/ And all of this is only in the last 10-12 months, there's so much more to come. Because 'Gucci Vault' isn't a store, or a singular place, or a specific offering - it's a mindset, a playroom, a boundary-less home for their 'dream big' team to go crazy, to see what's possible

24/ So rather than rubbishing what you don't understand or don't care to explore (which is lazy cynicism as its worst), instead be inspired by the curiosity, creativity & open-mindedness of what brands & thinkers such as Gucci are up to. We could all learn a lot from them 💫



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