Gucci's New Seoul Flagship Store Is Inspired By Korean Traditional Houses
Gucci's new flagship store in Seoul opens in the trendy neighbourhood of Itaewon. Called Gucci Gaok, the second flagship post spans over 1,015 square metres across four floors and houses a wide selection of women's and men's ready-to-wear, handbags, luggage, small leather goods, shoes, jewellery, accessories as well as the Gucci Décor.
Itaewon, which Gucci Gaok now calls home, had historically served as a cultural crossroad, thanks to its proximity to the ancient capital city of Hanyang (present-day Seoul). Because of this, Itaewon became a vibrant and eclectic corner of the kingdom that attracted every part of this world.
This extends to the Itaewon today, highlight a genuine diverse heritage that has continue to draw in new residents from across the globe as seen in the popular Korean drama, Itaewon Class.
Opening its doors in Itaewon, Gucci Gaok pays homage to such a valuable tradition of inclusivity and its relaxed approach, coherently with creative director, Alessandro Michele's kaleidoscopic vision, celebrates self-expression and individuality.
The new flagship store takes its name from the Korean world, "gaok", which means traditional home. The space is intended as a comfortable place of respite and a warm environment to welcome visitors.
The store's facade is designed by renowned Korean artist, Seung Mo Park. He fuses his bespoke installation, inspired by an imaginary forest to explore the interplay between light and shadow. The application of wire netting layers results in a vivid symbolism that illustrates the boundaries between reality and illusion.
It also reflects on today's environmental issues where the artist expresses the existence and non-existence of nature, his concerns of what can be lost and leaving only the illusion of what might be left.
By bringing the distinct touch of a Korean traditional house to the store concept, Gucci provides its customers with a one-of-a-kind experience where tradition and modernity intertwine and where Korean heritage meets the elegant and contemporary eclecticism that characters the Italian fashion house.
Once visitors have entered the store, an unexpected environment will unfold in front of them, thanks to the distinctive lights that spread from the floor to the ceilings. The design is keeping with the creative, hectic and innovative spirit of the district and matches its vibrant "pop" soul with elegant and contemporary energy.
The combination of traditional décor with reflective surfaces and vibrant lights, paired with more traditional furniture also echoes the transformation of Korean culture influence—a merging of staying true to its roots while looking ahead to the future. The store's mosaic walls infuse the room with colours and vibes from the 1970s nightclub aesthetic.
In terms of sustainability, the Gucci Gaok store is also LEED-certified. LEED is globally recognised as the leading certification for buildings and a symbol of sustainable excellence. A number of Korean celebrities attended a special event to celebrate the opening of the store including Exo's Kai, actress Han Ji-min, rapper Jay Park and Night in Paradise's Cha Seung-won.
This unique store is home to many exclusives, including the new baiadera designs by Saekdong, Korean traditional colourful stripes, Gaok printed hard-side luggage, phyton trimmed Gucci Horsebit 1955 handbags and other ready-to-wear pieces.