One of South Korea’s most significant cultural heritage sites turned into a runway for Italian fashion house Gucci on Tuesday night.
Gucci showcased its 2024 cruise collection in front of Geunjeongjeon, the main hall of Gyeongbokgung, marking the first Gucci show in South Korea. It was also Gucci’s first ever cruise collection show in Asia.
The 15-minute runway show kicked off with an appearance from top model Choi So-ra, as the soundtrack from Park Chan-wook’s “Old Boy” played in the background. Director Park attended the show, which finished with music from Hwang Dong-hyuk’s “Squid Game.”
More than 500 international and Korean guests attended the show, including industry insiders, actors, musicians, filmmakers, influencers and the media.
Models donning Gucci’s new looks, which combined signature designs from the 1990s and color palettes from the 2010s, blended well with the atmosphere at Geunjeongjeon, where royal ceremonies and receptions for foreign envoys were held during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri said the house decided to host a fashion show at Gyeongbokgung as it is a place that remembers the past and gives inspiration for the future.
Gucci said its 2024 cruise collection of sportswear and casual wear was inspired by Seoul’s unique fashion style and the fashion house's research into traditional Korean clothes.
A cruise collection is often referred to as a pre-spring collection, originally created for the delivery of clothes to clients before they set off on their cruise vacations to warmer climes during the winter holiday season.
According to Gucci, the brand’s dedication and desire to hold shows in Gyeongbokgung is in line with its commitment to sustaining, preserving and promoting cultural and artistic heritage.
The Italian fashion house had announced a three-year commitment to supporting the conservation and restoration of Gyeongbokgung after the show was canceled on Nov. 1 following the Itaewon crowd crush tragedy that killed 159 people in Seoul on Oct. 29.
Gucci has previously held shows at places like the Castel Del Monte in Apulia, Italy, which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1996. The 2019 Cruise Collection was showcased in Arles, France, at the Alyscamps Roman necropolis, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. In addition, Gucci has held shows at New York’s Dia Art Foundation and Westminster Abbey’s cloisters in London.
French luxury powerhouse Louis Vuitton also held the group’s first pre-fall collection in Seoul on April 28, in a bid to grab attention in the burgeoning luxury market here.
Director Hwang participated in the show's scenography as a creative advisor, while model and actor Jung Ho-yeon, who also starred in "Squid Game," opened the show.