by Stephen Garner

Popular hospitality company Grupo Gitano is getting into retail. In fact, James Gardner, the founder and CEO of Gitano, unveiled “Souk Gitano,” a multi-brand marketplace curated for world travelers, last night in New York City at his Gitano NYC Garden of Love location at 76 Varick Street. The concept will then expand across Gitano locations in the coming months as well as offer a selection of merchandise online.

Each Souk destination will feature a genderless and seasonless in-house collection of cotton and linen separates, silk robes, and Souk Gitano leather handbags, t-shirts, and jewelry. It will also include collaborations with a curated selection of brands initially from Tulum, Mexico City, and Guadalajara including Brizegno, Faye, EGR By EGR, Ossa, Erresie7e, The Pack, Out of Comfort, Lordag & Sondag, and Xaman. The Souk t-shirt collection includes “Gitano Pride” and “Gitano Parade”, the latter designed in collaboration with Connie Girl, with 20 percent of proceeds going to support LGBTQ+ charities.

“We learned a lot working with some of the world’s leading luxury fashion brands, who are masters at creating a lifestyle around product,” said Gardner. “A restaurant on the other hand is a lifestyle, especially on Tulum Beach. We have built Gitano looking through a fashion lens, with a distinctive Gypsy-Disco vibe which we are excited to make accessible to all through Souk Gitano and the creative integration of shopping, dinner, and dancing. Order a Truffle Tlayuda, a Jungle Fever, and a Souk silk kimono on your phone and we deliver to your table.”

Plus, British GQ fashion director Luke Day joins the Grupo Gitano team as fashion director, overseeing the creative development of collections within Souk.

“It’s a personal thrill for me to transfer my skills as an editor of a world-renowned fashion magazine to now curating a retail concept as part of the store,” added Day. “Being a Tulum-born concept, it felt integral that Souk Gitano supports and showcases local artisans and Mexico design talent, many of whom feel like family to us. Gitano has always given me a sense of belonging. As our family expands, we hope you’ll feel just as at home here.”

Following the overall philosophy of building a community around each property, Souk will become a retail experience beyond apparel and accessory shopping by way of one-of-a-kind objects, a rich books library, rare records, and a hand-selected art collection.