Retail in Asia


Louis Vuitton’s Hong Kong fashion show debut set to take place at K11 Group’s Victoria Dockside

French luxury brand Louis Vuitton has revealed location details surrounding its previously announced plan to bring its men’s pre-fall runway show to Hong Kong this month.

The Parisian house’s men’s pre-fall collection, designed by newly appointed creative director Pharrell Williams, will be showcased live on November 30, along the Avenue of the Stars, which forms part of K11 Musea, the luxury lifestyle complex founded by Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng’s New World Development.

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Source: Shutterstock

Set against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour, the K11 Victoria Dockside development borders the Tsim Sha Tsui East waterfront. The show will kick off at 8p.m. local time and will be streamed online worldwide.

The pre-fall collection show will also serve as the first time that a pre-collection from Louis Vuitton will be showcased as a physical runway show.

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.

Earlier this year, Louis Vuitton presented its Prefall 2023 women’s collection on the Jamsugyo bridge in South Korea. Source: Louis Vuitton

The luxury fashion house, however, has never hosted a fashion show in Hong Kong, a recognised financial and shopping hub in Asia, with the move certainly a strategic shot for the brand looking to swing a slowing in sales growth globally, held up currently by Asia.

In its most recent trading update for the third-quarter, 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.

Pharrell Williams (left) staged his menswear debut for Louis Vuitton in June. Source: Louis Vuitton

In February, Louis Vuitton appointed Williams as menswear designer following the death of Virgil Abloh in 2021. The musician-turned-designer held his first show in Paris in June.

Louis Vuitton’s showing in Hong Kong looks to inject some luxury star-power into the financial shopping hub, which has struggled to recover post-Covid, due to lacklustre consumer sentiment, creating a slowdown in luxury spending.

According to a recent report by JLL, a global economic slowdown and a strong Hong  Kong dollar exchange rate are impacting tourist spending in Hong Kong, which is shifting toward more community-based tourism and F&B versus shopping.

Hong Kong is also facing stiff competition from nearby destinations such as Japan, among the most popular countries to visit for Hongkongers, and Hainan, which is poised to heighten retail competition, particularly in the luxury goods sector—for both tourist and domestic spending, the report added.

SEE ALSO: What businesses need to know about Hong Kong’s changing retail landscape

Likewise, mainland China visitor arrival numbers into Hong Kong in the first half of 2023 have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

According to the Hong Kong Immigration Department, during the half-year between February 6 and the end of July 2023, approximately 12.7 million mainland visitors travelled to Hong Kong through air, land and sea ports. This compares with 51.04 million arrivals in 2018 and 43.77 million in 2019, according to Hong Kong Tourism Board data.