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Gucci’s Latest Pop-Up Is All About Japanese Architecture

Celebrating 100 years of existence, renowned Italian fashion brand Gucci embraces Japanese culture in their latest pop up in Kyoto.

The world’s attention has turned to Japan over the past few weeks where top international athletes have competed for global rankings in the Olympic Games. Tokyo’s new Kengo Kuma-designed Olympic Stadium has been a focal point during the Games and we can see why. Kengo Kuma is one of the most critically acclaimed Japanese architects of all time. Kuma’s work pays homage to traditional Japanese design, which also prizes harmony between humankind and nature.

Nowhere is this long-standing aesthetic value more evident than in Kyoto, an ancient city whose humble structures continue to draw tourists and tastemakers alike. And now, Gucci has become the latest company to embrace the city’s myriad charms and astounding architecture with its recently opened “Gucci in Kyoto” project.

As Gucci frequently draws inspiration from the past to create new and innovative pieces, Kyoto becomes a fitting destination to showcase their newest collection.

Calling Kyoto “Japan’s sister city to Florence”—the latter being where Gucci was founded—the Italian company chose to continue its 100th anniversary celebration in the island nation with multiple events. Gucci first staged fashion, jewellery, and timepiece presentations at two local temples (both UNESCO World Heritage sites): Kiyomizu-dera and Ninna-ji.

Until 15 August the public can also join in the festivities by visiting the Gucci Bamboo House, a pop-up experience flanking Gucci’s iconic Bamboo handbags.

For this exhibition, Gucci renovated a traditional machiya (Japanese townhouse) that was built around the time of Gucci’s founding in the 1920s. Known as the Former Kawasaki Residence, the heritage house is cherished as a prized example of Taisho-era (1912-1926) architecture. It is, of course, a designated cultural property of Kyoto.

As a nod to the brand’s latest series of handbags – a revival of the bamboo-handled purses Gucci first released in 1947 – the house is now monikered as the Gucci Bamboo House. This theme is consistent throughout the machiya, which is not only decorated with bamboo furnishings and installations but also boasts a lush bamboo grove in its private Japanese garden.

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