Gucci Vault, the fashion house’s wonderfully weird and perpetually surprising digital-only imprint, will soon be no more. In its place, a bright future, one that shines inward on decades of Gucci legacy destined to be reborn as Gucci Vintage.

Though it is the successor to Gucci Vault, Gucci Vault is no mere replacement line, the luxury maison explained to Highsnobiety. Gucci Vintage is a wholly distinct endeavor founded on a simple principle: the value of Gucci’s past.

That does mean the literal value, in one sense.

Gucci pointed to a few recent auctions that it saw as solidifying the need for Gucci Vault: the July 2023 auctions where Gucci sold a unique ’50s trunk for $49,000 and a hand-painted vintage Jackie Bag that achieved $77k underscored demand for historical Gucci artifacts, whereas the November sale of a one-of-a-kind Bamboo handbag — decorated with a diamond-encrusted gold handle — garnered over $150k, the highest price a Gucci bag has ever achieved.

Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other

Gucci is proud of these figures because they’re a tangible barometer of how deeply the house’s classic designs are valued by the public. Not that Gucci isn’t already aware of its own iconography’s importance — Gucci is acutely aware that its bee, monogram, its red and green “web” motif are often imitated (but never replicated).

But Gucci Vintage will also emphasize the value of more venerable Gucci items by giving them place of presence on Gucci’s site, creating a sort of shoppable digital museum that excavates important Gucci totems — handpicked by Gucci’s dedicated archive team, then “reconditioned, and customized” by Gucci’s design and product development staff — and spotlights them for Gucci fans to study and Gucci collectors to covet.

Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other

“’Gucci Vintage’ represents a deliberate and focused continuation of the experimental path established with Gucci Vault,” a Gucci spokesperson told Highsnobiety. “Building upon the success of Vintage projects within Gucci Vault, Gucci’s strategic plan for 2024 is centered on a dedicated emphasis on this category.”

Gucci Vault began hosting a dedicated online-only selection of vintage Gucci items in September 2021 though the idea had been gestating since 2019. According to Gucci, the vintage offering proved so popular in Japan that the maison launched two vintage-only pop-ups there, complete with a collaboration with a local artist.

Here it’s worth pointing out that Gucci has historically enjoyed a great deal of adoration in Japan and often hosts exclusive events across the country, like the centennial celebration it held in a historic Kyoto teahouse.

But I digress.

It’s not a surprise that Gucci would opt to turn its gaze inwards. When the luxury label was between creative directors, for instance, its in-house design team created a collection anchored by the Gucci loafer, one of the all-time classic fashion touchstones reframed as a timeless symbol of resilience.

Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other

With Gucci’s newfound focus on itself, Gucci Vintage will do away with collaborations, one of the hallmarks and most rousing elements of Gucci Vault. But this is a conscious decision.

Under its Vault imprint, Gucci issued special edition goods with partners as disparate as streetwear labels like Palace Skateboards, web3 and NFT companies, and independent luxury labels like The Elder Statesman.

Gucci Vault’s surprising, often press-free drops, even encompassed team-ups with heritage makers like skate company Vans and hardy workwear company Dickies, yielding some of the most unexpected Gucci product ever produced.

“As we move forward, collaborations, a hallmark of Gucci Vault, will be halted” the spokesperson continued. “Instead, Gucci aims to strategically consolidate and elevate vintage projects, uniting them under the cohesive banner of Gucci.”

Though it sacrifices the woah-what’s-that appeal that the Gucci Vault collabs had, Gucci Vintage’s Gucci-only approach allows the maison to shift the emphasis from who it’s platforming to what it’s platforming. And what it’s platforming is Gucci history.

Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other
Vintage Gucci bags & trunks for sale at auctionGucci, Other

Gucci imagines Gucci Vintage as a lovingly curated collection of impactful Gucci pieces assembled by devotees, for devotees.

Its purpose is to refresh and resell Gucci staples, flaunting the see-now, buy-now cycle by saying, “All of these things are already here. They’ve always been here. They’re not new but they’re just as good, if not better, than anything any other brand is making today.”

Indeed, part of the impetus behind Gucci Vintage is to underscore its craft.

The company knows that its product is exquisite regardless of when it was made; Gucci Vintage is poised to make that especially clear to customers. Its oeuvre will cover all eras of Gucci, from the house’s very early days to more recent pieces.

The only throughline is that everything offered by Gucci Vintage is inarguably sumptuous.

It’s not a replacement of Gucci Vault as much as an evolution of the idea. Whereas Gucci Vault expanded the world of Gucci, Gucci Vintage is inviting shoppers inside, helping them get better acquainted with the magic and maybe even take a piece of it home for themselves.

Visit Highsnobiety to view this part of the article.

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