Building on its foothold in South Korea, Italian luxury fashion house Gucci recently opened GUCCI GAOK, its second flagship store in Seoul. Located in Seoul’s vibrant and eclectic Itaewon neighborhood, the new location celebrates the district’s diverse heritage and ties to inclusivity.
Designed by renowned Korean artist and sculptor Seungmo Park, the exterior features a giant unique multi-layered steel façade dubbed “Hwan” (Illusion), demonstrating a dark forest which is meant to explore an interplay of light and shadow that symbolically reflects on the boundaries between what is real and “the illusion of nature”.
Drawing from the Korean word “gaok”, named after the South Korean traditional house, features a phenomenal modern design with a hint of the country’s ancient architecture. The interior reflects Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s vision of the brand while reflecting the hectic and innovative spirit of the Itaewon district, combining a vibrant Pop Art soul with elegant and contemporary eclecticism.
It’s estimated Gucci generated more than US $880 million in South Korea last year despite the pandemic. Marking the launch of GUCCI GAOK, the house has released a special film starring its Global Brand Ambassador Kai and other Korean Celebrities such as Jay Park, Sunmi and Seungwon Cha.
Retail designers are increasingly being tasked with developing retail environments that reward those who do make it off the sofa and into stores. Our role is to provide experiences that are different to those available in the digital realm. We help retailers and brands tap into the minds of their target group and connect with customers on a human level, ultimately giving them a sense of ownership in the brand. One strategy is designing uniquely localized stores that reflect the area and its community, rather than the traditional and generic store format that has been replicated in thousands of locations.
It’s inspiring when a world renowned fashion house with 100 years of history such as Gucci continues to innovate. They hired a local architect that clearly understands and respects Korean architecture and the district’s diverse heritage, enabling them to transform the shopping experience into an event that stimulates the senses and immerses consumers in the world of the brand through a local lens.