From a bygone era, Gucci brings back five icons of Italian design, reedited and customized.

Under the guidance of Creative Director Sabato De Sarno, Gucci Ancora springs to life as a unique endeavor co-curated by Michela Pelizzari. Beginning April 15th, 2024, visitors can immerse themselves in an exhibition crafted by Spanish architect Guillermo SantomaÌ, showcasing five re-edited and customized icons of Italian design at Gucci’s flagship store on via Monte Napoleone, 7.

Courtesy of Gucci
Opachi by Tobia Scarpa for Venini (1960, reedition 2021). Courtesy of Gucci.
Parola by Gae Aulenti and Piero Castiglioni for FontanaArte (1980). Courtesy of Gucci

Following a string of immersive experiences across Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing, and Shenzhen to commemorate its Spring/Summer 2024 manifesto, Gucci is unveiling Design Ancora during Milan Design Week this season.

“If we had put the objects all together, we would have created a living room. Instead, we decided to remove the boundaries given by how we use these objects and create a sort of limbo,” explains Guillermo Santomà, who is known for a multidisciplinary approach merging design, architecture, sculpture and scenography, “Floating objects don’t have meaning or a function. They are just shape, materiality, color.”

The exhibition features five special-edition objects representing the essence of “Italianity” and, more specifically, the spirit of Milan. These pieces from a past era will showcase the house’s enduring legacy while embracing modernity and are showcased in Gucci’s store, for everyone to experience. There are:

Storet by Nanda Vigo for Acerbis (1994, reedition 2020), Courtesy of Gucci

“Through Design Ancora, Gucci doesn’t simply celebrate old icons, it creates new ones,”explains Michela Pelizzari, founder of Milan-based creative agency P:S, which co-curated the project, “The aura emanating from the brand spotlights five pieces by Italian masters that are perfect from a design standpoint but less known to the general public.”

For the flawless execution of Design Ancora, Sabato De Sarno collaborated with Spanish architect Guillermo Santomà, leveraging his globally inspired perspective and blending it seamlessly with the iconic Italian style. Santomà has crafted the space within the flagship store on Via Montenapoleone where the objects will be showcased before becoming available on Gucci’s website.

De Sarno’s chosen communicative language will prominently feature color, particularly the Rosso Ancora selected for the SS24 debut, which buzzed on the runway and became a ubiquitous presence on Milan’s streets, including revered spots, adorning murals and billboards all over the city.

Clessidra rug, Portaluppi Pattern Project by Nicolò Castellini Baldissera (great grandson of Piero Portaluppi) from an iconic design of Piero Portaluppi, edited by cc-tapis (2024). Courtesy of Gucci.
Opachi by Tobia Scarpa for Venini (1960, reedition 2021). Courtesy of Gucci.

Ancora Red represents more than just a passing trend; it’s poised to lead Milan’s Design Week as well. Following this, starting April 21st, 2024, a special online edition of these objects will be accessible on gucci.com.

Franco-Lebanese luxury industry enthusiast, Aya Mechelany, writes features across all editorial pillars of KHAMSA. With the goal of finding contemporary & cool subjects from her own personal experience, as well as her passions and inspirations, Aya deep dives into various subjects to inspire and excite like-minded readers.
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