Gucci
Photo: Gucci

Gucci opens a pop-up exhibition in a historical Kyoto house

For its 100th anniversary, the Italian brand sets up the Gucci Bamboo House in Kyoto to showcase its new ‘Aria’ collection

Emma Steen
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Emma Steen
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Gucci adds a whole new meaning to the term ‘fashion house’ with its latest exhibition in a traditional house in Kyoto. The pop-up is in celebration of the brand’s 100th anniversary and highlights the latest collection titled ‘Aria’ by creative director Alessandro Michele.

As Gucci frequently draws inspiration from the past to create new and innovative pieces, Kyoto – revered for its deeply rooted traditions – was a fitting destination to showcase the new collection.

Gucci
Photo: Gucci

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. 

Gucci
Photo: Gucci

The essence of the house was well preserved: traditional aspects like the tatami-mat tearoom were left largely untouched while the western-style portions of the house were given a playful makeover. Some parts, like the library, are especially eye-catching with flower-print wallpaper, Gucci chairs and curated bookshelves reminiscent of the Gucci Garden Bookstore in Florence, Italy. Other details, like the shoji paper panels with Gucci monogram, are far more subtle. 

Gucci
Photo: Gucci

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.

Gucci
Photo: Gucci

Due to popular demand, the Gucci Bamboo House will run a week longer than initially scheduled. The event has now been extended to August 22. Admission is free, but visitors must make reservations in advance. 

This article was originally published on July 26 and updated on August 11. 

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