The fashion empire celebrates 100 years of style with its new archive collection in Florence, Italy.
Like candles on a birthday cake, Gucci’s new home for its archive collection is a shining celebration. A milestone on the year of the brand’s 100th anniversary, the archive—one of the most extensive in fashion history—opened on July 1, 2021, in Gucci’s hometown of Florence, Italy.
Led by Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele, the new archive successfully preserves the House’s glamorous history while also looking ahead to the future of luxury fashion. With an aesthetic that is at once uptown and downtown, masculine and feminine, youthful and mature, it’s a dialogue this culturally relevant brand is uniquely poised to shape.
“My task was to bring many objects back home, virtually helping them return to the family, to a place which ostensibly preserves the past, but which is actually a bridge to the contemporary,” Michele said. “An ancient building is a living thing, like fashion.”
The archive is housed in Palazzo Settimanni, a 15th-century building with historical ties to artisans and artists. Acquired by Gucci in 1953, Palazzo Settimanni has been an integral part of the brand ever since first serving as a factory and later transforming into a workshop and a showroom. Its latest iteration, commissioned and designed by Michele to restore its original Renaissance beauty, proved the perfect place to orchestrate Gucci’s archives.
Across Palazzo Settimanni’s five floors, a team of local restoration specialists stripped away additions to the structures to reveal vestiges of 19th-century decorations, 18th-century trompe l’oeil, and late 17th-century frescoes, as well as ornamentation from even earlier centuries.
“Palazzo Settimanni, now free of earlier additions, is transformed into a magical place to which I have restored a sense of porousness: You pass through it, air gets in, you can walk through it as if it were a journey,” Michele said. “I’m porous, absorbent, permeable. I have restored to the Palazzo a fairy-tale aura which, for instance, allows the small entrance hall to become a gateway to a dream dimension. I envisaged it as a sort of secret place within the House, an inner sanctum from where one sets out for Gucci’s holy lands.”
Every part of Gucci’s archive, from the restoration itself to the more than 37,000 chosen products on display, was designed with immaculate attention.
Divided into themed rooms, the ground floor of the Gucci archive houses accessories, including small leather goods, timeless luggage pieces, and vintage handbags—like the iconic Bamboo bag designed in 1947 and the Jackie 1961 bag, known for its curved half-moon shape and defining piston hardware.
Upstairs, the mirrored Le Marché des Merveilles room highlights pieces from the brand’s jewelry collections over the years—from the bold, gold, 80s-era designs worn by Lady Gaga in House of Gucci to the Victorian-inspired baubles from its current Le Marché des Merveilles line.
In the Serapis room, oversized cases lined with tufted pink velvet showcase Gucci gowns worn at red-carpet events by celebrities such as Dakota Johnson, Bjork, Lana Del Rey, and Gucci muse Florence Welch.
The push and pull of design’s past and future was intentionally created to make the archive a dynamic space. It is not a historical exhibit—instead, it is a vibrant testimony to the constant, evolving work of the “House of Gucci” and its enduring appeal. From its early days as a jet-set favorite in the 1960s to its overtly sexy era led by Tom Ford in the 1990s, the styles may change over time, but as the archive highlights, they will always remain markedly Gucci.
Eight Gucci stores are located within the Brookfield Properties portfolio, including Iconic Collection destinations:
Ala Moana Center | Honolulu, HI
Brookfield Place NY | Manhattan, NY
Miami Design District | Miami, FL
Oakbrook Center | Oak Brook, IL
Pioneer Place | Portland, OR
Shops at Merrick Park | Coral Gables, FL
The Shops at La Cantera | San Antonio, TX
The Shops at The Bravern | Bellevue, WA
Tysons Galleria | McLean, VA