On April 29, Nicolas Ghesquière presented his Women’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection for Louis Vuitton in Seoul, South Korea. Held at the Jamsugyo Bridge, over the Han River, the show is one of the first major events the brand hosts since the appointment of Pietro Baccari as CEO. The fashion show tapped into the power of South Korean entertainment, from the music selection — a medley of traditional sounds and music from eras past — to the countless celebrity sightings on the front row. Globally renowned music and screen icons such as Bae Doona, Jaden Smith, Girls’ Generation‘s Taeyeon, NCT’s Yuta, and NewJeans’ Hyein turned the event into a star-studded affair.
Starting on a sporty note, the runway opened with model Hoyeon Jung dressed in a bold blue jacket paired with a leather skirt. With a recurring theme of motion, the collection relied on racer and biker aesthetics. Predominant silhouettes on the runway were sharp, tough, and masculine, featuring boxy shoulders that narrowed down at the waist. Ghesquière further emphasized this boldness through the usage of leather and prints, including the house’s monograms and the Damier pattern. Additionally, the collection drew inspiration from retro-futurism, resorting to technicolor palettes, flashy metallic fabrics, and accessories such as shield sunglasses.
Famously known as the director of Netflix’s hit series, Squid Game, Hwang Dong-Hyuk was a creative collaborator for the show. Hwang advised Louis Vuitton on how to transform the monumental Jamsugyo Bridge into a suitable mise en scène for the show. The result was a play in lighting that created the effect of rippling water projected onto the bridge — perhaps an ode to the Han River as a source of water for residents of the country. The set-up provided an enchanting and almost sentimental feel to the location with additional water motifs projected onto the bridge structures. To further integrate local culture into the atmosphere, the director also incorporated old-school Korean music to be the soundtrack of the night.
Already known as a fashion and entertainment hub, South Korea is home to some of the hottest world stars. Accordingly, Louis Vuitton’s front row was star-studded, bringing a diverse group of celebrities together. From brand ambassador Hyein to actress Chloë Grace Moretz, the French brand scored the most stylish from the celebrity and fashion world. Opening the show, Jung Hoyeon flaunted her status as celebrated model, actress, and Louis Vuitton’s muse. However, the fashion parade had already started before the official runway when VIP guests arrived at the location. Even prior, if we count J-Hope — another of the house’s ambassadors — in. Ahead of the event and clad in a perfectly modern look, the BTS singer had anticipated the collection unveiling in a promotional video.
At the show, the front row was a parade of stylish fits from stars across industries and generations. Celebrities like Hwasa, Jeon Yeo-Been, ITZY’s Yeji, and Sunmi channeled Louis Vuitton’s classic elegance with tailored looks and graceful dresses. Meanwhile, the likes of K-pop group LE SSERAFIM — who performed at the after-party — and Lee Sung-kyung went for more avant-garde, contemporary pieces.
Louis Vuitton’s brand ambassador, Hyein, and long-time friend of the house, Taeyeon, mixed sophistication with street casual in stunning outfits that featured sports jackets and matching monogram box bags.
On the other hand, the likes of Bae Doona, Stray Kids’ Felix, and Kim Seohyung opted for understated, casual looks featuring denim and knitwear. In fact, Felix delivered an effortlessly cool denim-on-denim combo featuring jeans, a tucked-in button-up, and a white T-shirt.
Currently thriving as actors, the members of the second-generation K-pop group ZE:A, Park Hyungsik, and Im Siwan were also present at the show and donned looks that fell on opposite ends of the spectrum. Park Hyungsik was dapper in a full-white suit featuring a monogrammed jacket, while Yim Siwan opted for a neoncore, street-friendly look.
NCT’s Yuta and SEVENTEEN’s Mingyu also made waves with their attendance at the show. Both stars have fostered recognizable associations with the French house, from participating in social media campaigns to fronting magazine covers with the brand. Attending his first Louis Vuitton show, Mingyu donned a white graphic bomber and the brand’s latest it item, the wavy denim pants. In contrast, Yuta, who has previously attended brand events in Japan, opted for a white-and-denim look, equal parts classy and contemporary.
Other stars in attendance were Squid Game’s actor Wi Ha-Joon, the Chinese actor Gong Jun, the Japanese stars Kōki and Awich, the Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, the American singer Jaden Smith, and many more.
Louis Vuitton in South Korea
Boasting well-established ties with the country, Louis Vuitton is a luxury force to be reckoned with in South Korea. The French brand has over 30 stores in Korean territory and enjoys great popularity among its people. Furthering these ties, the LVMH-owned house signed an agreement with the Korea Tourism Organization, as part of the Visit Korea Year 2023-2024 initiative. The goal is to highlight the nation’s tourism potential through events that will be celebrated throughout the year. Kicking off with a monumental show that turned all eyes on South Korea, Louis Vuitton’s association with the Korean government is set to cement the country’s status as a fashion mecca.
Louis Vuitton is not the only luxury brand focusing its attention on Asia. Check out how Tiffany & Co. celebrated the reopening of its flagship store with Asian celebrities in attendance here.