MILAN – After calling off its repeat show in South Korea earlier this month following the tragic Halloween crowd crush in Seoul, Gucci announced Wednesday it is pledging a three-year donation geared at restoring and preserving the Gyeongbokgung Palace.
The house did not disclose the donation amount, but highlighted that its contribution will help restore multiple areas within the site.
The 1935 Seoul landmark, also known as The Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven and built during the Joseon dynasty, was the venue of choice for Gucci’s Cosmogonie show, a repeat display of the collection first unveiled last May in Apulia.
It was supposed to be held on Nov. 1, but was cancelled in respect of the national mourning after more than 150 people were killed and dozens were injured after being crushed in a large crowd in Seoul’s Itaewon nightlife district.
According to the Italian luxury house, Gucci president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri inked an agreement on Nov. 1 with South Korea’s head of the cultural heritage administration Choi Eung-Cheon committing to the preservation of the palace.
“Beauty is a constant source of inspiration for Gucci, but it also needs constant care and attention. We are delighted to confirm our commitment to the cultural heritage of this country. Our collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Administration will help preserve the rich historical and artistic heritage of this unique site,” Bizzarri said in a statement.
The pledge marks a further step in Gucci’s commitment to the preservation of culturally relevant and storied sites across the world, often places picked by creative director Alessandro Michele to showcase his fashion spectacles.
As reported, the Kering-owned house pledged support to Castel del Monte, the storied castle in Italy’s Apulia region dating back to the 1240s where the Cosmogonie collection was originally presented; the Dia Art Foundation in New York City; The Cloisters of Westminster Abbey in London; the Palatine Gallery at Pitti Palace in Florence; the Promenade Des Alyscamps in Arles; the Capitoline Museums in Rome, and Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was selected to pay homage to South Korean cultural heritage and in light of its links with astronomy research, a reference echoed in the Cosmogonie collection. In the 15th century, the palace housed a highly regarded astronomy center including Ganuidae, the Royal Observatory.
Gucci’s link with South Korea was further cemented in recent months.
In the leadup to the canceled show, Gucci signed Hanni, lead singer of NewJeans, as its newest brand ambassador. The K-pop star joined other local ambassadors including “Squid Game” actor Lee Jung-Jae and musical artist Kai.
Earlier this year Gucci also opened its fourth Gucci Osteria outpost in the Korean capital, on the top floor of its Gaok flagship located in the Itaewon district.