An Evening with Golden Goose in Venice

A flotilla of water taxis made their way through the Venetian canals last Friday evening to transport a select few admirers of Golden Goose to Maghera, an industrial port on the mainland where the brand’s creative headquarters is located. This hand-selected bunch would be the first to experience the immersive programming of the Venetian brand’s Haus, a multi-building clubhouse devoted to building on the values and history of the brand through workshops, installations and residencies.

Upon arrival at the gates of this monumental complex, guests like Luigi Brugnaro, (the Mayor of Venice) and model Romme Strijd were whisked into the Willy Wonka-like atmosphere at Haus–starting with the factory floor where handsome, jumpsuited young Venetians were hard at work polishing and sewing Golden Goose’s beloved kicks. These were not your average cobblers—and that’s entirely the point. Golden Goose is set on keeping the craft alive by bringing young local voices into the fray. Guests were invited to join in the fun by customizing their own Marathon sneakers; each guest left with their initials and birthdates hanging from the tip of their tongues.

Once everyone had been involved in the design process, it was time to jump into the possibilities that Haus has unleashed for a group of artists and creative thinkers dubbed the Dreamers, starting with Italian sculptor Fabio Viale, who transformed the complex’s central fountain into a fiery spectacle. Then it was Parisian artist Maïa Régis’ time to shine. Regis’s installation drew attention to the pull-push relationship between mass production and handcraft that the house likes to walk. Her colorful abstractions also seem to recall the brand’s ever customizable offerings, which were originally inspired by the skaters of Venice Beach, California–who transformed their shoes into mini-canvases for self-expression with simple tools like duct tape and sharpies.

The live action elements continued to ramp up the farther guests wandered: aperitivo hour was enlivened by a concert by New York-based musician Mia Lailani and her brother. The final destination was a seated dinner alongside Golden Goose’s archive, a perfectly preserved house filled to the rafters with every major offering the brand has ever put out, from rare collaborations with artists Virgil Abloh to their leather Venezia bag, a modern take on a ladylike style that you can belt around the waist.

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Corutesy of Golden Goose
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Courtesy of Golden Goose

It is here that the inspiration library and listening room of founders Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo is also preserved in perpetuity for new generations of makers and designers to draw inspiration for what comes next. Dining in this living museum, at long candlelit tables, imbued the celebratory atmosphere with a deep sense of place that resonated long after the evening’s wicks were snuffed out. As CEO Silvio Campara put it: “Our Archive is a sanctuary that pays homage to the brand’s heritage and a source of inspiration for what’s to come. I hope this special place inspires all who get to experience it.”

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