Gucci Spotlights Mary J Blige Charity and Pop-Up Shop

Creative director Frida Giannini and Mary J Blige gathered in Yonkers to open the new center for women.

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The pop-up is a first for the luxury brand, and it will stock sneakers, the house’s own limited edition range — consisting of 18 styles, 16 men’s and two women’s — and the limited edition styles designed in collaboration with Ronson. The DJ has designed a different sneaker to be available online and at each pop-up store. The concept will move to Miami in December, in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach, and then, in 2010, to London and Tokyo.

The brainchild of Giannini, an avid music fan and collector of vinyl records, the pop-up features a vinyl of exclusive tracks by Ronson, including music by what Giannini calls a “pop-up band” called Chauffeur, to be offered with the purchase of a pair of Ronson’s shoes; Ronson also created a music mixing deck, called Gucci Beats, for the company’s new iPhone app. The cross-marketing doesn’t stop there: A white leather Gucci iPod and iPhone case will be sold in the store (retailing for $160).

As for the origins of the collaboration, Giannini called it a meeting of like minds. “Mark came to my men’s show last January,” she said. “At the time, we chatted about the idea of the flash sneaker store. I didn’t realize how much of a sneaker enthusiast he was until he started pulling out his own set of vintage sneakers from a bag he had with him.”

For New York, Ronson’s designs for Gucci skew preppy, with a marigold and navy boater-esque shoe available online and a more straightforward sneaker on sale at the store. Of the Gucci Ronson collection, which retails for between $500 and $600, there will be 50 pairs available for sale in the stores, and 100 online, per city.


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