The Gucci Wooster Bookstore in New York

A new page in the Gucci story

by Isabella Bolognese
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Gucci turn a new leaf in SoHo opening a bookstore in their massive close-to-9,000-sqm Wooster store, yet another expression of the iconic fashion brand’s cultural reach.

The 155-year-old ex-pencil factory now houses over 2,000 titles carefully selected by David Strettel, director of New York’s well-known independent/underground book-retailer, Dashwood Books. Changing displays are also curated by artistic director Alessandro Michele, known for his fashion collections’ literary references.

The team worked together to achieve a space where New Yorkers could learn about Gucci’s latest collections and collaborations, while recreating the warm, cozy, rich leather-and-wood vibes of a bookworm’s idyllic landscape in over 1,000 dedicated sqm. In an interview with Vogue, Strettel confirmed he’d been ‘working closely with Gucci to utilize the unorthodox design of the space’, adding he hoped it’d ‘be a unique experience’ for visitors.



© Ph. courtesy of Gucci

 

New York’s famed artistic neighborhood fluctuated between rags and riches throughout its colorful history, a feature which matches perfectly with Gucci’s eclectic mashup style – the opening night featured hamburgers, cannoli and Rihanna. The district’s manufacturing history, spirit of creative freedom and independent culture are embodied in the exposed red brick walls of the luxurious reading corner, the floors hand-painted by Italian artisans in three different motifs and cast-iron columns harking back to SoHo’s industrial past.

 

© Ph. courtesy of Gucci

 

Access to the bookstore is through freestanding antique wooden archways in the open space, including an old pharmacy door front, which suggests a passage into a new dimension. In fact, on the other side you walk right into the world of cinema in the store's boutique screening room.

 

The ‘store cum-cultural gathering space’ is decked out in leather armchairs, intricately-upholstered sofas, antique restored wooden furniture, such as a long wooden lector where visitors can stop to flick through select magazines and books. Gucci’s emblematic yellow and bordeaux hues tie the set together, coloring fabrics, books and furniture.


© Ph. courtesy of Gucci

 

The catalogue range is by no means limited to fashion titles, and includes a few nods to the brand’s Italian background, with authors like Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luigi Ghirri, and Claude Norri gracing the bookshelves.

 

 

Cover photo: © Gucci

© Ph. courtesy of Gucci

 

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 Cover photo courtesy of Gucci. Thanks to Rossana Vinci for her help researching this article.

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