Apr 25, 2018
Gucci inaugurates ArtLab, its craftsmanship and innovation hub outside Florence
Apr 25, 2018
On 19th April, Gucci formally inaugurated ArtLab, a cutting-edge craftsmanship and R&D centre for the design and creation of leather goods and footwear. Located in Scandicci, just outside Florence, close to Gucci’s headquarters, the new facility will give shape to the revolutionary aesthetics and hugely coveted products conceived by Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele.
ArtLab first opened at the start of 2018, and it has now been formally inaugurated in the presence of Francois-Henri Pinault, boss of the Kering luxury group to which Gucci belongs. The centre extends over approximately 37,000 m2 and hosts over 800 employees. It will be a key factor in bolstering the exceptional business performance of the Italian luxury label which, for 2017/2018, has confirmed the hiring of 900 new employees in leather goods and footwear alone.
Demand for Gucci products has nearly doubled in the last three years. To keep up with it, the label invested significantly on its supply chain, putting special care in preserving its manufacturing know-how, and focusing on innovation, vertical integration and lead-time reduction. ArtLab, a centre of excellence for leather goods and footwear, is a distinctive feature of Gucci’s industrial platform.
"The opening of Gucci ArtLab is one of the most important milestones in Gucci’s incredible journey during the last three years,” said Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci. “It is also one of [Italy’s] most significant instances of industrial investment in recent times. It is tangible proof of how much we believe in creativity, Italian craftsmanship, innovation and sustainability, as well as clear evidence of the connection we have with our local roots. I cannot be grateful enough to all those who made ArtLab possible: from local authorities to the government, to Kering and finally all our colleagues, who have had the vision and energy to absorb innovative, best-practice concepts from around the world in order to strengthen our leadership,” said Bizzarri.
"Gucci ArtLab”, concluded Bizzarri, “is the perfect expression of the corporate culture we are fostering and developing: a place where you can learn and expand your skills, a breeding ground for ideas." Gucci ArtLab is the first example in the luxury sector of a single facility which brings together all the design and manufacturing activities for leather goods and footwear (the product categories which jointly generated over 70% of Gucci’s sales in 2017), in order to maximise the sharing of expertise and best practices, working in a synergistic, integrated fashion.
Specifically, the main activities carried out at Gucci ArtLab are: prototyping for leather goods (handbags, luggage, small leather goods and belts) and footwear for men and women; R&D for new materials, metallic accessories and production; laboratory tests, as the centre is equipped with a climate chamber and an area for chemical and physical tests; accessories workshop; last and heel production for footwear; bamboo lab (for leather goods); pre-processing area.
Gucci ArtLab operates its own R&D centre working in cooperation with external factories, and with the label's fully integrated supply chain.
With the inauguration of ArtLab, Gucci further strengthened its bond with Florence, also the home of the label’s headquarters and the newly opened Gucci Garden, a museum dedicated to Gucci’s classic clothing and accessories, curated by Alessandro Michele.