Korean stars of stage and screen wow their fans at Louis Vuitton heritage show in Seoul

French luxury house takes exhibition about its heritage and the influence of the old on the new to South Korean capital

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 June, 2017, 3:30pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 June, 2017, 3:30pm

Korean movies, soap operas, and bands – and their stars – are all the rage, and there were plenty of the latter in attendance when Louis Vuitton took its showcase of the luxury brand’s heritage to Seoul.

Suho (actor, singer and leader of pop group EXO), model and singer Sulli, actress Han Hyo-joo (actress) and actor Cha Seung-won were among those who descended on the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in the South Korean capital to see the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez exhibition. Kim Seol-hyun of K-pop girl group AOA, and Gong Yoo from the hugely popular film Last Train to Busan were also there on opening night.

Although pianist Lang Lang, Japanese actress Rila Fukushima and French actress Isabelle Huppert were also in attendance, it was the young Korean stars, including international breakout star Bae Doo-na, who drew the most excitement. Screaming young fans lined up for hours to catch a glimpse of their favourites.

Louis Vuitton hopes the exhibition will shine a light on its rich heritage. “This is about where we come from, what are our deep- seated values and how does it inform today. We can’t underestimate education,” says Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO Michael Burke. “It has an effect on the clients.

“And actually, even before the public saw this exhibition, it had a profound impact on our employees. After the Paris debut I had people come up to me and say, ‘Mr. Burke, I’ve been working for this company for 30 years and I had no idea what I was working for’.”

The exhibition, curated by Olivier Saillard and designed by Robert Carsen, opens with an antique trunk and, in 10 themed rooms, shows archive objects next to the modern designs they influenced. It ends with a model workshop where craftsmen from the Louis Vuitton workshops in France show how modern bags are made. There’s also a room dedicated to Korea and an appearance by cutesy Korean animated character Kakao.