Bottega Veneta Hands the Mic to Italy’s “Bottegas,” and Other News

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Bottega Veneta Hands the Mic to Italy’s “Bottegas”

Italy is renowned for its intimate bottegas, or small mom-and-pop studios and workshops that have hand-produced artisan goods with time-honored craftsmanship across the country for generations. At a time when small businesses worldwide have suffered, Bottega Veneta is leveraging its own platforms to amplify these inimitable staples of Italian culture. As part of its newly launched Bottega for Bottegas campaign, the Milanese fashion house will hand over its platforms—from e-commerce ads to its own window displays—to spotlight 12 selected bottegas and their products. 

Notably, Bottega Veneta is removing its own products from the equation entirely—not an unexpected move for a label that recently broke the digital media mold by deactivating all its social media accounts. “We’re proud to offer worldwide visibility to these ‘Bottegas’ that are deeply rooted in Italian culture, specifically at a time where smaller entities continue to be impacted by the pandemic,” Bartolomeo Rongone, CEO of Bottega Veneta, said in a statement. Among this year’s selection are Gay-Odin chocolate from Naples, Vanini olive oil from Como, and Martelli artisanal pasta from Lari, all of which date back at least one century. This is only the first chapter: Bottega Veneta plans to spotlight even more bottegas in the future.

A Kyoto Hotel Gets the Tadao Ando Treatment

Nestled into Kyoto’s historic Gion district, The Shinmonzen looks as if it’s been around for 100 years. Credit Tadao Ando, who delivered a masterful example of contextual design by imbuing the property with the style of a traditional machiya townhouse ( kawara roof tiles, wooden facade). Hotelier Paddy McKillen says the property is the sister to Villa La Coste, a paragon of art and architecture he opened five years ago in the south of France. Overseen by Rémi Tessier, the nine suites done up in bamboo and silk are a modern interpretation of a Japanese ryokan with hinoki wood bathtubs, sliding paper shoji screens, and low-rise futons on tatami. 

Similar to McKillen’s other properties—The Connaught, The Berkeley, and Claridge’s, which just wrapped a monumental renovation—contemporary art is a central theme. Spread across the lobby, corridors, and guest rooms, the roster of blue-chip artists on show includes Louise Bourgeois, Damien Hirst, Yoon-Young Hur, and others. Coming soon: a Jean-Georges–helmed restaurant designed by New York–based architect Stephanie Goto, ground-level patisserie, and spa run by a resident reiki master.   

Homer, Frank Ocean’s jewelry brand, teases its second line and an e-commerce store.

After making waves with the debut of its first collection back in August, Frank Ocean’s enigmatic jewelry brand Homer immediately went quiet. Now the label has launched its second collection and, most surprisingly, an e-commerce experience. The latter seems to contradict everything Homer stands for—products were initially only available in-store or via phone—leading some to surmise the label may be in financial trouble. The second collection, meanwhile, pays homage to four-legged friends rendered in pixels on pendants, bracelets, and silk scarves to “simplify the qualities that make them our family,” says Ocean. Each Italian-made piece is realized in 18K gold, recycled sterling silver, hand-painted enamel, and American lab-grown diamonds. No release date has yet been announced. 

McDonald’s opens what it claims to be the U.K.’s first net-zero restaurant building.

Built using natural or recycled materials and powered using solar panels and wind turbines, the building in Market Drayton, Shropshire, meets net-zero standards in both construction and everyday use. Among the sustainable features are insulation using wool from British sheep, signage made from used McDonald’s coffee beans, and curbstones made from 182 recycled plastic bottles each. McDonald’s plans to use the building, designed by Scurr Architects and AEW Architects, as a blueprint for new buildings around the country starting next year. “Market Drayton is a big step towards making [sustainability] a reality, enabling us to test and put into practice what a net-zero emissions building, both in build and use, really looks like,” Beth Hart, McDonald’s Vice President of supply chain and brand trust, said in a statement. 

Verdi’s sustainable Tree of Life sculpture goes on display at Amangiri in Utah.

This holiday season, guests at Utah’s all-suite resort Amangiri will enjoy a different type of Christmas tree courtesy of Verdi. Handcrafted in sustainable fibers, copper, and straw, the Colombian textile studio’s Tree of Life sculpture will remain at the resort until mid-January. The tree anchors the hotel’s lounge area, facing uninterrupted views to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. “Verdi’s Tree of Life strives to celebrate thoughtful design, exceptional craft, and sustainability, things that resonate deeply with our brand and global context,” says Verdi founder Thomas Vera. Tree of Life was first unveiled at Verdi’s Bogota headquarters in 2019 and quickly became a symbol of the brand’s artistic sensibilities. 

Saint Laurent plans to open its biggest Paris boutique on the Champs-Élysées. 

Despite the dramatic decrease in foot traffic during the pandemic—the thoroughfare fell 44% between March 2020 and March 2021, a study found—Saint Laurent is planning to debut its biggest store in Paris inside a former restaurant space and offices. “I wanted to realize one of Yves Saint Laurent’s wishes when he arrived in Paris and said he wanted his name to be written in fiery letters on the Champs-Élysées,”says Anthony Vaccarello, creative director of the house of Saint Laurent. The store is slated to be finished in 2023. 

A vibrant rooftop intervention in China invites guests to venture over the rainbow.

The playscape, dubbed Over the Rainbow, offers panoramic views of the Xiang River and encourages social interactions through leisure and play. Decked out in rainbow stripes, urban furniture, leisure structures, and playground systems create a social amphitheater and community hub on an unused terrace in Changsha, China.

Permanently closed due to Covid, the Hollywood theater Cinerama Dome may reopen.  

After shuttering during the pandemic and announcing it would not be reopening, it appears the Cinerama Dome and attached theater complex formerly known as ArcLight Hollywood might have another act in them. While nothing is confirmed, Twitter noticed a public notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages show up outside the iconic Hollywood venue, which first opened in 1963, signaling a reopening is imminent. “If you lived in this town and loved movies, you’ve had life changing experiences in that complex,” filmmaker Rian Johnson told The Los Angeles Times in April. “But more than that, it’s easy to forget how the ArcLight completely transformed the moviegoing experience: assigned seating, plush comfy chairs, no late entry to screenings, these were all considered wild and crazy ideas when they first opened. The ArcLight loved and respected movies, and you felt that from every person who worked there. This is a huge, huge loss.”

Today’s attractive distractions:

Toronto’s City Council votes to temporarily ban delivery robots from sidewalks. 

The designer Misha Japanwala crafts resin recreations of clients’ naked bodies.

Scientists uncover five ice-age mammoths in the Cotswolds after 220,000 years.

Randy Palumbo transformed an old Long Island lighthouse into an artist’s retreat.

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