Italian brand Golden Goose has amassed a cult-like following for its hand-made distressed sneakers — and now it has taken that “perfectly imperfect” aesthetic and translated it into a physical space in Beverly Hills, Calif.
With the ambition of bringing the Italian “hand-made tradition” to the world, the brand merges artisanal craftsmanship and Made in Italy manufacturing for its collection of sneakers, clothing, accessories and bags, which have become known for attention to detail and their “lived-in” look.
Over the years, Golden Goose has been focusing on a targeted customer-centric strategy, building a devoted community of collectors — the brand’s “lovers” — across the globe. The brand currently has a presence in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, with more than 158 direct stores as well as online and wholesale distribution.
“At Golden Goose, we have always believed in brick-and-mortar,” said a company spokesperson in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Our strategy is to combine physical and online in a very holistic way. Even during the year of COVID, the brand continued opening new stores, especially in the U.S., where we will have 36 stores by the end of the year.”
Adding Personalization and Brand Immersion to the In-Store Experience
With the opening of its second location in Los Angeles, Golden Goose is bringing a modern spin to the luxury offering on iconic Rodeo Drive. Part of its latest in-store experience includes a concept called the Sneaker Maker Tour residence, where in-house artisan-trained Sneaker Makers travel the world to co-create “1of1” sneakers and bags with Golden lovers.
Customers team up with the sneaker artists in-store to personalize their product by sketching, coloring, adding laces and charms, and wearing-and-tearing bags and sneakers to the individual’s liking. Fans of the brand are invited to follow Golden Goose Stories on Instagram, where Sneaker Maker Tour dates and locations are posted regularly. Appointments for a Sneaker Maker experience can be booked directly on the Passport App or via email.
Golden Goose launched the Sneaker Maker to further connect with its customers and offer an enhanced level of personalization that makes them feel part of the product and brand. “Our clients, especially millennials, are now looking beyond a beautiful handmade product; they want to live an experience linked with their purchase and they want to feel connected with the values and beliefs of the brand, its heritage and its history,” said the Golden Goose spokesperson.
Taking a Page from its Industrial Heritage
Spanning 1,200 square feet, the new Beverly Hills store is inspired by the brand’s industrial origins, recalling the scaffolding and machinery-heavy town near Venice where Golden Goose was born. The coarse concrete insert at the center of the store features a ‘Golden’ twist, accented with a multitude of stickers of iconic logos, archive prints and other illustrations from the brand’s heritage.
Walls covered in metal sheeting and perforated-grid ceilings add a golden shade to the space, creating energy and brightness while maintaining the hand-made artisanal touch that defines the brand. The furnishings blend into the space, almost to the point of being camouflaged. The resulting environment evokes the “future-nostalgia” vibe embedded in the brand’s DNA.
The store focuses on showcasing Golden Goose’s most iconic sneakers, while periodically dropping local exclusives as well as more radical designs coming from the Italian design team. The in-store product assortment includes the full women’s, men’s and kids’ collections as well as brand new product categories, such as accessories and small leather goods that will only be available in select stores. The entire offering is unique to the location, as no two Golden Goose stores carry the same product mix.
The checkout experience adds another notable element to the customer journey — the Golden Goose “sales ceremony” invites customers to capture the moment of their purchase with a personalized Polaroid that becomes a souvenir.
Photos courtesy of Golden Goose