When it comes to sustainability, most businesses, particularly in the domain of fashion, opt for a lipservice-y, all-bark, no-bite approach: a token Earth Day collection here, a “partially recycled” fabric there. But at Golden Goose’s new Foward Store, which opened in late-December 2022, there’s an actionable, decisive push for honest-to0goodness sustainability…and a whole new retail experience for the discerning fashion bro.
Perhaps best known for its distinctive, star-studded white sneakers, the Italian label has become a heavy hitter in the luxury menswear space since its inception in 2000 (just open your Instagram explore page), and with their newest retail addition, Golden Goose looks to be poised as a leader in sustainable fashion practices, too.
The Soho Forward Store: A Reimagined Retail Presence
Located on the darling Broome St and clocking in at 5,600-square-feet, Golden Goose’s circular Forward Store (the brand’s third such store, preceded by the inaugural Milan location in 2022) is massive by NYC standards and straddles an aesthetic somewhere between sneakerhead fantasy, European boutique and brutalist Bauhaus.
Divided across a concrete-floored basement and Dexter’s Laboratory-esque first floor (complete with interactive “Dream Wall”), the space is a physical representation of the Golden Goose dichotomy: a push for innovation within a heritage of Italian craftsmanship.
Beyond the material realities of the area, the store offers a host of interactive activities, the proverbial meat and potatoes of Golden Goose’s new approach to retail. Under the four pillars of the Forward Agenda — GG’s inventive sustainability manifesto — clients have the chance to embark on a memorable journey revolving around four distinctive verticals: repair, remake, resell and recycle.
According to the brand, each of these new pillars represents an opportunity to reinvent in-hand retail, old or new. “The Forward Store was born with the ambition of giving new life to products, to the items that people cherish the most, and giving them a new life so that they can continue collecting experiences and writing new stories with them,” says Silvio Campara, CEO of Golden Goose. “It’s about experiences, instants, memories that our lovers are willing to share with us and relish within their favorite products, from any brand.”
Perhaps most impressive is Golden Goose’s full-scale repair operation: through the CALZOLERIA (cobbler) and SARTORIA (tailoring) services, anyone can bring sneaker products and garments from any brand (not just Golden Goose items) for services that reduce impact on the planet. Services include cleaning and sanitization, repairs and replacements, restoration and refurbishment to lengthen the life cycle of products.
Customers are also offered other experiences: remake (creating customizable products with store retail “dream makers” via adornments, distressing, embroidery and more) resell and recycle all coalesce in a new type of one-stop retail shop.
Campara lauds the services and their ability to bring together customer and brand in a more intimate way than your standard department store. “For over twenty years, Golden Goose has been committed to promoting its handmade and artisanal tradition and to support the people behind these magnificent crafts, from the artisans to the tailors, to small local artists, among many others. The co-action between the Golden Goose’s cobblers and the clients will become a key element to this mission. From sustainability to responsibility. From co-creation to co-action.”
Golden Goose’s New Agenda
The Foward Store isn’t an isolated sustainable achievement for Golden Goose. In fact, quite the opposite: the retail experience was specifically birthed out of the label’s “Forward Agenda”, a 2022 addition to the company’s ethos that’s directing Golden Goose’s way forward.
“For us, it is crucial to create a brighter future for the next generations and make our change as tangible as possible. The Forward concept is key to decrease over-consumption, which is still one of the main issues in the fashion world and the drive of fast fashion brands, at the expense of the environment and human health,” said a brand rep for the Venice-based company.
Future challenges will include tackling a variety of tangible goals directed at creating a more sustainable luxury market before 2025, including a set of transparency targets with evolving processes. As part of this transparency, Golden Goose is committed to an annual sustainability report (GG published the first in 2022, which you can find here).
With its impressive new direction, it seems as though a retail revolution is genuinely underway. “Golden Goose retail is more than a point of sale, it[‘s] an engaging place to give longer life to products that clients love the most, with the goal of making the world a better place.”
The Golden Goose Forward Store is located at 468 Broome Street, New York, and is open to the public now.
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