Plenty of brands have made their mark on the fashion world, but Golden Goose has certainly cornered the sneaker story. Delightfully distressed, Golden Goose sneakers come “scuffed” and “worn” in all the right places, creating a new sneaker category that’s all their own. Their iconic, handmade sneakers truly have a cult following, embraced by sneakerheads and trendsetters alike. While Golden Goose always feels fresh and cutting edge, they are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.
“Everything started from a love story between two people and now this love story is extensively growing among millions of people all over the world,” says Silvio Campara, CEO of Golden Goose. “We feel proud thanks to the fact that this collective has been able to scale something that was not [only the] product, but to scale our state of mind is very difficult. At the beginning, Golden Goose was created not based on strategy or a marketing plan or a price target, but it was just made on their passion and envisioning the idea they had.”
Golden Goose was founded in Marghera, near Venice, Italy by couple Francesca Rinaldo and Alessandro Gallo. Over the last 20 years, Golden Goose has stayed true to the philosophy it was founded with. “One of the most famous way to describe Golden Goose is the perfect imperfection,” Campara says. “So, the capacity of giving importance to the unique part of you, the part which is not unnecessary aligned with the outside. You are relevant when you are yourself. We have to accept each other for what we are; we don’t have to shape ourselves to be part of something. It really comes from the value of Golden Goose being a family. We really believe in not having a team, but a family. We have the happiness and the genuine excitement of creating something that has never been done before, and I think this is what makes Golden Goose one of the best places to be.”
Though Golden Goose has stayed true to its roots, they have still evolved over the last 20 years. “Since the beginning, the brand has been growing its audience thanks to word of mouth, thanks to this incredible quality and aesthetic of its products,” Campara says. “In recent times, we’ve been taking advantage of tools that were not there in the beginning in 2000—social media. We are always create moments to give the opportunity to our people to use their voice instead of us defining what we are, because nothing is more authentic. This is our way also to be relevant for the future, because most people are now not only looking for products, but also the purpose and reason behind the products. I think Golden Goose will be more and more relevant because the brand’s origin is an act of love and passion. If you want to have conversations, you have to have something to tell and Golden Goose has a lot to tell.”
For their big birthday bash, the brand is releasing a limited-edition pair of anniversary sneakers. The pair is a culmination of every sneaker they have made in the last 20 years, including a detail from each of the 100 styles. Like all Golden Goose sneakers, these are a one-time offer. “We will never remake the same item ever,” Campara says. “This gives a lot of exclusivity to our product and our customers loves that.” The 20th anniversary sneakers will be produced in a limited quantity of 400 pairs that will be distributed during 20 events, 19 held in stores and one virtual event, which will be a contest to purchase one of the remaining 20 pairs.
Another anniversary celebration is the introduction of the Golden Benches, which is part of their #MessagesOfLove campaign that was created to spread the brand’s ethos of love, beauty, community and positive messages. The eye-catching benches are made out of wrought iron in a reflective gold, with iconic Golden Goose items made of aluminum and fiber glass adorning it, including sneakers, a skateboard and a stereo. The installation concept will travel to iconic locations all over the world, including across the US. Symbolizing travel and exploration, people can handwrite a message on the bench and share photos. “[We want] the new generation to experience something they didn’t have the chance to experience,” Campara says. “We need to spend some time without the phone speaking with a partner or a friend at the bench. And then they can use their phone to tell a nice story to their friends. There is a QR code where they can upload what they’ve been sharing. It’s the capacity of the brand to enable the conversation among the audience. This is why Golden Goose is so special.”
In partnership with Rizzoli, Golden Goose is releasing a book for their 20th anniversary, The Perfect Imperfection of Golden Goose, which takes a deep dive into their story. Offering rare behind the scenes images of the Golden Goose world, its pages are filled with interviews and anecdotes that bring the brand to life. “The book is speaking about all the people that have been in this journey together with us for 20 years,” Campara says. “As a story of love, it’s important. This was the inspiration of the book. The cover is made of all the signatures of all our employees.”
Their very first anniversary celebration was moving into their new headquarters, located in the Ripamonti district of Milan, from Venice. That’s also the official home to the Olympic Village for the 2026 Winter Olympics. “For a brand like Golden Goose whose focus is on the future, there was no better area than the future Olympic Village,” Campara says. “There will be a full development here.” Golden Goose headquarters is now spread over two industrial buildings that were completely renovated into state-of-the-art structures. The façade of the architectural feat is two 3-D parallelograms covered in black micro-perforated Kalzip sheet metal intersecting with one another, spotlighting design details including 6,300 stars made of Carrara marble that hark back to the techniques used for historic Venetian terraces. There are expanses of lamps inspired by the Met Breuer in New York City, black Japanese stone fountains, a showroom and a rooftop terrace. They also have their own restaurant, in partnership with Michelin-star restaurant Da Vittorio, where the chef sources fresh ingredients from the hydroponic garden that is grown with recycled rainwater. The environment is important to the brand, as evidenced by the paperless headquarters.
Though Golden Goose is always looking to the future, in a way the next 20 years won’t look so different from their first 20. “The best thing we can do is to remain who we are and to never lose our DNA,” Campara says. “The capacity of this brand is to speak to the people and we never have to change that.”