Shiro Kuramata’s perfume bottle for Issey Miyake
Treasure Up, the investment supplement in W*116, features a range of products we singled out for the fact that their value will only increase in time. Some we just had a hunch about while others were more dead certs; one of the latter is Shiro Kuramata’s perfume bottle for Issey Miyake.
How so sure? Apart from being a collaboration between two of Japan’s greatest creative minds, it’s also a limited edition, posthumous one that, until recently, was technically too difficult to actually make.
Miyake recalls, ‘Kuramata suggested an oversized drop of water and a condensed version of the earth with visions of flowers and dreams, light and wind, men and women dancing a rondo inside.’ Back in 1990 industrial techniques didn’t allow for a clean circle to be cut into a cube, let alone for a party to take place inside one.
Almost twenty years on, though sadly after Kuramata’s death in 1991, 2,500 bottles have been made. Thanks to the development of laser technology, a perfect sphere has been cut into a cube of glass and polished, achieving the ‘absolute purity’ Kuramata intended with his original drawings. A nod to the designer’s Memphis involvement comes in the turquoise blue cap and the box, which features the designer’s trademark ‘Star Piece Terrazzo’ pattern.
The limited release of a design that could have been consigned to the history books without ever having been made is reason enough to raise its value. But given the technical precision of the design, Kuramata’s ‘ahead-of-his-time’ thinking and the timeless appeal of the object itself, we would recommend you keep the bottle long after the perfume’s finished.