On Thursday night, Pharrell Williams, the creative director for menswear at Louis Vuitton, orchestrated a whimsical display beneath the lights of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour to unveil the label's aspirations in Asia.
Pharrell, known for his high-profile stays at the helm, presented the newest designs against the backdrop of one of the world's most renowned skylines. The outdoor runway was set on the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong's version of Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Notable guests included South Korean actor Song Joong-ki, Chinese boy band TNT, and cantopop artist Anson Lo.
The theme of the show, "Hawaii to Hong Kong," reflected Williams' emphasis on a dandy aesthetic, combining a "sailor side" and "resort side." The maritime theme paid homage to the city's naval past, featuring a catwalk coated in sand and digital displays screening lapping waves. Models, some from Hawaii's surf communities, showcased a kaleidoscope of tropical prints, fisherman sandals, striped suits, and sailing jackets.
Williams took a bow as dozens of drones took flight, each assuming a different shape, including the brand's emblem, LVERS, combining the famous LV monogram with the word "lovers."
In a post-show interview, Williams highlighted the unique blend of luxury and the traveler's idea that defines Louis Vuitton, acknowledging the brand's significance despite its opulence. "Yet here we are in Hong Kong, thanks to it," he added.
Louis Vuitton's decision to hold its first pre-fall menswear show in Hong Kong aligns with the city's role as a crucial hub for luxury. Residents spend more on luxury items per capita than anywhere else globally. The absence of sales tax makes it a favored destination for luxury buyers in the region. The event also serves as Louis Vuitton's strategic move to further penetrate affluent Asian markets.
The return of Chinese spending post-COVID-19 pandemic has aided LVMH's financial recovery. In 2020, the menswear division debuted its collection in mainland China, and now, Hong Kong witnesses another milestone in the brand's expansion.
Williams cited personal reasons for choosing Hong Kong, beyond its geopolitical relevance. The city's support for his previous events and partnerships, combined with personal connections, made it a natural choice for the Louis Vuitton tour.
The Asian metropolis, according to Williams, is "back in business" after years of navigating the pandemic.
Edited by: Marina Ramzy Mourid
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