the made in Italy infused with K-culture

the made in Italy infused with K-culture

For its Cruise 2024, the Florentine house’s design studio presented its collection last Tuesday in the monumental setting of the Royal Palace in Seoul, South Korea. A clever mix of eras, styles and influences, dominated by the aura of Korean youth.

Quite a symbol. To present its Cruise 2024 collection, Gucci has taken over a place that has never been seen before: the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the majestic Royal Palace, located north of Seoul, the South Korean capital. Never had such an event been held within the walls of this gigantic and spectacular historical monument – ​​the largest and most visited in the city – built in the 14th century, in 1394, under the reign of the Josean dynasty. It is a city within a city, an architectural marvel with its many palaces-pagodas of painted wood with double roofs, which have been destroyed and then rebuilt several times in history. And opposite the building: a skyline of futuristic skyscrapers, which contrasts with the historic site and tells at a glance the dazzling evolution of Seoul, a megalopolis with 10 million inhabitants.

In video, the Royal Palace of Seoul, majestic scene of the Gucci Cruise 2024 fashion show

THE soft-power of fashion

Marching through this former high place of Korean power is all the more symbolic as South Korea now shines throughout the world thanks to its soft-power which makes this nation the epicenter of contemporary pop culture. Nowadays K-culture (K-pop, K-drama, K-beauty…) continues to influence the world. For example, the Netflix platform announced a $2.3 billion investment in Korean-language content. “South Korea represents the cultural zeitgeist of the moment,” said Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of the platform. It has also become one of the most strategic markets for all luxury brands: twenty-five years after the opening of its first store in Seoul, Gucci wanted to celebrate its link with Korea by marking the spirits.

If she was able to take up the feat of parading within the walls of the “Palace greatly blessed by heaven”, as the Koreans call it, it is because the house of the Kering group is investing, over the next three years, in restoration and preservation of the site for an undisclosed amount. A way for Gucci to associate itself more closely and symbolically with Korea. Another form of soft-power in sum. “Beauty is a constant source of inspiration for Gucci, but it also requires constant care and attention. We are delighted to confirm our commitment to Korean cultural heritage and to pay homage to it through this fashion show,” said Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci.


“Our story with Korea began 25 years ago with the opening of our first store in Seoul, and has grown over time, strengthening our relationships with local communities. Gyeongbok Palace is one of those wonders of the world that made us feel an instant connection to Korean culture and the people who created it. Florence and Seoul, Italy and Korea, so far on the map but so close in creating wonder. That’s why we’re honored to present our Gucci Cruise 2024 collection here: celebrating the past, inspiring the future.”

A collection inspired by Korean youth

The collection for this Cruise 2024 takes up this idea of ​​the link between the past and the future, the ancient and the contemporary, the traditional and the modern. In front of the pavilion of the throne room, Geunjeongjeon, totally illuminated for the occasion, and facing the city’s skyscrapers, eras and styles dialogue, collide, mingle. The wardrobe evokes the street look of the young Korean in baggy pants and a cropped three-stripe top or in a more bourgeois version in a slit midi waist skirt sported with a corset with detachable bomber sleeves. Otgoreum knots taking up the codes of hanbok, the traditional Korean costume, come across the bust on evening dresses in red silk or a pink satin coat.


All of Italian know-how is expressed in the art of hybridization with this bomber jacket redesigned as a long evening skirt, this white satin coat that turns into a dressy dress by unfastening the sleeves. The boys and girls parade surfing under the arm or in a bag-skateboard/digital tablet in their hands. This collection is dedicated to active people (in every sense of the word) and is inspired by many codes of the sports wardrobe to imprint the idea of ​​movement, of a world that moves forward. That of South Korea. Inspired by the way of life of the Seoulites, who practice water sports on the Han River on sunny days, the collection ennobles neoprene on ultra-chic long dresses, very simple turtlenecks worn with more sophisticated skirts or with shoes shoes redesigned into mules. A pink silk dress dresses a diving suit. There are also cycling shorts worn with tweed jackets or suits. The whole reflects the mixture of styles that can be observed in Seoul.


Waiting for the new DA of the Florentine house

The Florentine house’s design studio signs this collection. A more minimalist Cruise than usual, more sober too. As if, in this transition period for Gucci, after the flamboyant era of Alessandro Michele (who left the house in November 2022), it was necessary to adopt a more balanced attitude, to offer more accessible pieces. We can see a new direction initiated, wanted by Kering, far from the extravagance embodied by Michele. Sign of this rupture: several silhouettes of the parade celebrate the Tom Ford era of the 90s, from the jewel dress, to the high heels, through the monochrome sets, and the shirts or dresses in silk and satin. It’s still too early to know which direction Gucci will take, as the house’s new DA, Sabato de Sarno, is currently working on his first collection – and his vision – which he will unveil next September in Milan. , for ready-to-wear.

Some 600 guests made the trip to attend this show, whose soundtrack was signed Jung Jae-il, composer of the soundtrack of Parasite, the first Korean film to win an Oscar. Among them, international actresses like Dakota Johnson, Jodie Turner Smith, Saoirse Ronan and Elisabeth Olsen. But the real stars in their kingdom? It was indeed the Korean celebrities, including actor Lee Jung-Jae seen in the series Squid Game or K-Pop stars such as Aespa, Itzy or Gucci’s ambassador, singer Hanni, from K-pop girlband NewJeans, whose title Ditto has been listened to over 300 million times on Spotify.

dakota johnson Han Myung-Gu

But in South Korea, the presence of these stars does not trigger any frenzy as can be seen in Paris during Fashion Week. Only a few dozen fans were waiting, obediently, placidly, silently, at the entrance to the show, to try to see their favorite artists through the tinted windows. It was then the American rapper A$AP Rocky who gave a private concert at the after-party.

In video, designer Alessandro Michele announces his departure from Gucci

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