Squid Games, Seoul, And Stars: Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2023 In South Korea

On April 29, traffic over Seoul’s Jamsugyo Bridge on the Hangang river was halted for 24 hours. Guests from all over the world huddled along the thoroughfare in the blustery wind, setting a dramatic backdrop for the cinematic masterpiece that was Louis Vuitton’s Pre-Fall 2023 collection.

While it was the second time Louis Vuitton had held a show in Seoul — it presented womenswear there in 2019 — it was the maison’s first runway to be uniquely created for South Korea. 

The event represented the luxury house’s signing of a strategic partnership agreement (MOU) with Seoul Metropolitan City and the Korea Tourism Organization. As part of this, Louis Vuitton plans to support the Hangang River, aiding its biodiversity, as well as including it in its City Guide, installing a book kiosk at the Jamsugyo Bridge Walking Festival. Consumers can expect to see several projects coming up in Seoul, as a result of the partnership.

These localization efforts are hardly surprising — in 2022, the French label achieved record sales in the country. LVMH announced earlier this month that the brand’s sales in South Korea expanded 15 percent year on year in 2022 to 1.69 trillion won ($1.2 billion).

Furthermore, they also reflect the importance the brand attaches to its wider Asian consumer base. 

Squid Games actress Hoyeon opened the Seoul show. Photo: Louis Vuitton

Squid Games star and supermodel Hoyeon opened the Seoul show. Photo: Louis Vuitton

With scenography by the luxury house’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, created in collaboration with Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk, the event was live-streamed globally, and shown around Seoul on big LED screens. The show’s eerily powerful soundtrack felt like it had come straight out of Hwang’s hit Netflix show. 

The finale unfolded against the backdrop of the bridge’s trademark fountain display, which produces a waterfall-like cascade of water along the bridge’s length, with models returning down the 795m-long runway. As for the collection, a sturdy urban aesthetic prevailed. Hemlines are short, colors are vibrant, belts are oversized, and silhouettes are unapologetically accentuated.

jaden smith

Jaden Smith sits front row prior to his performance at the after party, alongside celebrity guests. Photo: Louis Vuitton

“This collection features sharp and precise tailoring, making it both stylish and extremely practical,” influencer attendee Yi Mengling told Jing Daily. “The models on the runway exuded a sense of power and confidence, so it feels that the collection was designed for strong, independent women.”

Casting included mega-key opinion leader (KOL), Squid Games actress and model Jung Hoyeon, who boasts 22 million followers on Instagram, as well as rising French music artist Lou and the Yazuka, the stage name of Marie-Pierra Kakoma. It was Jung’s opening look of an electric blue bomber, clunky black boots, and a belted skirt that was lauded the most by Chinese KOLs during post-show interviews with Jing Daily

The designs felt like they were made for “modern and powerful women,” said influencer Anny Fan, who especially liked the jacket.

China’s Gong Linxuan said: “The collection was created for people who like pioneering culture, and who have a youthful heart.” 

Local KOL Thomas Ye, aka Gogoboi attends the Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2023 show. Photo: Louis Vuitton

The show appeared tailor-made for Gen Z, with statement pieces conveying that nonchalant confidence of youth. Louis Vuitton’s pre-fall 2023 collection is “for girls [and boys] who want to be strong, chic warriors,” said fashion blogger Gogoboi.

A post-show consensus emerged interpreting the theme as empowerment, which was presented with an element of accessibility. Louis Vuitton wants everyone to feel ready to conquer everything life throws at them — judging by the strong wind, whatever the weather.


Fashion, Market Analysis