Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot has launched a new boutique in the Japanese city of Kyoto.
The boutique is located in the Gion, the city’s most famous entertainment district and the centre of its traditional arts.
It was launched in the presence of legendary athlete Usain Bolt, who is also the Swiss brand’s ambassador, Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, Tatsuya Yoshimoto, President of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Store, and Miwa Sakai, Hublot’s Asia Pacific Regional Director.
As part of the opening ceremony, Bolt, Guadalupe, Yoshimoto and Sakai performed kagami-biraki, a traditional Japanese ceremony in which a sake barrel is opened with a wooden mallet to invoke good fortune.
Bolt, who holds 8 Olympic medals and 11 World Championship titles, said he was “very honoured to be in Japan again and celebrate with Ricardo the opening of this new boutique”.
The event included a children’s race for charity in which the contestants tried to beat Bolt’s 100-m record of 9.58 seconds, and a gala “fusion” dinner with traditional Japanese entertainment.
The dinner was attended by 150 guests at Shogunzuka Seiryuden, on top of Mount Higashiyama.
To mark the occasion, Guadalupe also donated JPY2 million ($18,400) to Gion Minamigawa Chiku Machizukuri Kyogikai, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving the historical area.
One of the greatest sportsmen of all time Bolt holds 8 Olympic medals and 11 World Championship titles.
The new boutique’s design is a fusion of Japanese culture with Hublot’s world of design.
Paying respect to the traditional architectural style of Machiya, local materials such as wickerwork, bamboo and Japanese paper with Hublot monograms are used throughout the interior.
The ground floor is decorated with various artworks of Hublot watches in a colourful pop-art style, embodying Hublot’s concept of “The Art of Fusion.”
In contrast, the first floor offers a more tranquil atmosphere with spaciously a laid-out VIP lounge with custom-made sofas upholstered with Nishijin brocade and a tea room with a black tatami Hublot-monogrammed mat.
The first floor also showcases the most recent collections under seasonal themes.
The boutique offers iconic “Big Bang” and “Classic Fusion” watches as well as ones created especially for the Kyoko boutique.
In addition, the Hublot World Limited Collection with rare models from around the world which have never been available in Japan previously will be showcased.
Customers who make a purchase the Kyoko boutique will be offered a special fan designed by Miyawaki Baisenan as a gift.
Next month, the store will host an exhibition of Hublot’s iconic materials around the theme of “The Art of Fusion”.
Going forward, exhibitions and events will be scheduled on a regular basis.
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