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Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 6:53:20 AM
Models posing as live mannequins showcasing Louis Vuitton attire and handbags.
THERE’s no mistaking the aura of luxury as one steps into Louis Vuitton’s latest global store. The French designer brand has obviously spared no expense in transforming its store at the Seoul Hyundai Coex department store into a luxe haven for its well-heeled customers in the Far East.
Located in downtown Gangnam, the store which first opened in 2002 underwent an expansion recently and is now Louis Vuitton’s largest store in Korea, marking yet another significant milestone for the Malletier.
About 50 writers from the Asia-Pacific region were invited to witness what was touted as Seoul’s fashion event of the year – the re-opening of the store on July 5 and an exclusive cocktail party graced by Korean celebrities the same evening.
Jean-Baptiste Debains, president of Louis Vuitton Asia Pacific, led the champagne toasting ceremony. He was joined by Hyun Ouk Cho, chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton Korea; Byung Ho Ha, chief executive officer of Hyundai Department store; and Byung-Ok Hong, the managing director of Seoul Hyundai Coex department store.
“Seoul is one of the world’s most vibrant cities when it comes to its rich history, art, culture and tradition. And its soul is firmly rooted in both respect for traditional heritage, as well as passion for creation and for life – values we share and live every day at Louis Vuitton,” said Baptiste in his speech.
The press were later taken on a tour of the spacious two-level store. On the ground floor, a strong luggage wall facing the entrance offered a glimpse of Louis Vuitton’s travel heritage while an area was dedicated to the Art Of Travel, showcasing the Malletier’s links to voyage across the world with a collection of trolleys, bags and travel accessories. Guests also had the opportunity to admire savoir-faire demonstrations with an artisan showing hand-painting and personalisation services.
The Men’s Universe section could easily be distinguished from the Women’s Universe due to its dark tones and strong wooden finishes. The main concept here was “lifestyle zoning” and guys could have their pick of business, casual or fashionable attire, with modern ready-to-wear for men designed by Kim Jones, the brand’s men’s style director. The store is incidentally Korea’s first and ninth store worldwide to host one of the Maison’s exclusive personalisation services: made-to-order belts for men.
A rich palette of bright colours provided a warm ambience at the Women’s Universe on the upper floor. Dedicated rooms were set aside for the different collections of leather goods, accessories, shoes and ready-to-wear. In the more intimate section of the store, a little salon with a warm carpet offered customers a cosy ambience.
Earlier, the journalists visited Horim Museum where there was a presentation of the Art Of Travel by Louis Vuitton. Ritz packers had been specially flown in from Paris to demonstrate how the skill of luggage packing could be turned into an elaborate art.
Also showcased were a bed trunk, an exceptional heritage piece drawn from the extensive archives of Louis Vuitton and an art of packing tent which served as reminders to guests of the spirit of early explorers, telling the story about Louis Vuitton’s travel expertise and heritage.
The central showpiece in the gallery was a 1.8m long White Tiger created with the Malletier’s Damier Azur leather goods, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the creation of Damier Canvas.
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