Louis Vuitton brought its men’s pre-fall 2024 fashion collection to Hong Kong on November 30, pulling off a nautical-inspired runway show that put the Asian financial hub centrestage, drawing a mass of A-list Asian celebrities to the harbour city to watch the luxury event.
Taking place along the Avenue of Stars on Victoria Harbour, located along the panoramic waterfront of Tsim Sha Tsui, the 440-metre promenade was lined by prominent Chinese celebrities and K-drama stars, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Chow Yun-fat and buzzy Korean actor, and brand ambassador, Song Joong-ki, in addition to Generation Z favourites like Chinese boy band Teens In Times and K-pop performer Felix.
Serving as the Parisian brand’s first-ever men’s pre-fall show and debut fashion show in Hong Kong, newly appointed men’s creative director Pharrell Williams sent out a nautical-inspired collection featuring Hawaii motifs; the seafaring theme, assisted with an accompanying aerial light show, also serving as a clever connector to Hong Kong as a port of significant cultural exchange and trade.
A diverse cast of seafaring men modelled the latest Vuitton — back by an original soundtrack made by Pharrell Williams x Swae Lee x Rauw Alejandro, entitled Airplane Tickets, performed live by fifty ukulele players — and brought to life by a creatively decorated island Avenue, which forms part of K11 Musea, the luxury lifestyle complex founded by Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng’s New World Development.
Key men’s pre-fall 2024 pieces included sailor-worthy pea and double-breasted naval coats; a new infinity LV logo latticed like net appearing on fisherman knitted cardigans; and scuba suits adorned with beaded logos, linen suits and tropical floral prints referencing surfers — accessorised with shoes and hats woven in raffia, as well as braided beach bracelets and charm jewellery.
Louis Vuitton has a long history with Hong Kong, having opened its first boutique in the Asian city in 1979, followed by the staging of various exhibitions in proceeding decades.
The runway event is seen a strategic shot for parent LVMH, which is looking to swing a slowing in sales growth globally, held up currently by Asia.
In its most recent trading, parent company LVMH reported organic sales for the third quarter inched forward just 1 percent for the three months ending September 30, to EUR 19.96 billion (USD 21.17 billion).
While organic revenues in Asia excluding Japan were up 11 percent in the third quarter, figures reflected a slowdown from the 34 percent jump in the prior three months, reflecting a more challenging comparison basis and a recovery in Chinese tourism outside of Asia.
Revenues in Japan remained strong, up 30 percent in the third quarter, after a rise of 29 percent in the second quarter.
LVMH is set to return to Hong Kong next year, announcing this month that Parisian house Dior, is set to show its men’s pre-fall show in the financial hub in the first half of 2024.
LVMH’s homing in on the Asian city, via both Louis Vuitton and Dior shows, comes at a time when the currently subdued Hong Kong is looking to restore its image as a shopping destination for wealthy tourists.
In the last four years, the city’s 2019 protests, a crackdown on civil society and years of harsh Covid curbs have blunted its attractions for luxury tourists, particularly from mainland China.