Dior Fall 2022: Show presented for the first time in South Korea

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Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Dior held a fashion show in South Korea for the first time ever on Saturday, showcasing its latest collection to a star-studded audience in Seoul.

The French fashion giant turned the prestigious Ewha Womans University into a runway, sending skateboarders down a sloping central ramp before models appeared in waves of yellow plaid, sheer tulle and pleated outerwear. The brand also partners with the university as part of its [email protected] mentoring and education program.

Overseen by Dior Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri, the brand’s Fall 2022 womenswear collection puts a contemporary spin on uniforms. The looks were often completed with blouses and ties, while cropped skirts and biker shorts contributed to what the brand described in a press release as “punk overtones”.

Models posing in Dior’s latest collection. Credit: Choi Na Rang/Dior

Among the celebrities in attendance was Blackpink singer Jisoo, Dior’s global ambassador since last year. The K-pop star was joined at the event by various other stars, including figure skater Kim Yuna and Korean American rapper Jay Park.

The parade demonstrates South Korea’s growing importance to the French fashion house, which called the weekend’s event “unprecedented”. In a statement ahead of the show, Christian Dior Couture Chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari said the brand is “weaving powerful new ties” with the country.

Blackpink's Jisoo was one of many celebrities in attendance.

Blackpink’s Jisoo was one of many celebrities in attendance. Credit: Myunggu Han/Dior/Getty Images

Dior’s website lists nearly 25 boutiques across South Korea, including seven in Seoul’s exclusive Gangnam district. Its flagship store, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc, opened in the capital in 2015.

On Sunday, shortly after the show, the brand opened a new, large-scale concept store in the capital’s trendy Seongsu-dong district. Inspired by the brand’s Paris headquarters, the expansive open-air boutique features a garden and lounge area, with furniture from various Korean designers.

Luxury Powerhouse

Dior is not the first European fashion house to hold events in South Korea as other Asian destinations – China, notably – are proving difficult to operate amid Covid-19 restrictions. Louis Vuitton, for example, showcased its Fall/Winter 2021 menswear collection at an art space outside Seoul. One of the last shows overseen by the brand’s late creative director, Virgil Abloh, featured K-pop mega-group BTS, who signed as an ambassador for Louis Vuitton earlier in the year.

A look from Dior's Fall 2022 collection.

A look from Dior’s Fall 2022 collection. Credit: Dior

The show put a punk twist on the theme of uniforms.

The show put a punk twist on the theme of uniforms. Credit: Dior

Several other labels have sought to appoint South Korean stars as brand ambassadors, with Gucci, Loewe, Givenchy, Chanel, Prada and Alexander McQueen among those who have recruited K-pop singers, movie stars or both. these last years.

Members of Jisoo’s Blackpink group have all partnered with major luxury brands, with Rosé the face of Saint Laurent and Tiffany & Co., Lisa representing Celine and Bulgari, and Jennie working with Chanel and Calvin Klein. Louis Vuitton’s womenswear division is working with “Squid Game” star Ho-yeon Jung.

While many Asian markets are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, luxury spending in South Korea has rebounded to 2019 levels, according to consultancy Bain & Company. The company’s 2021 Global Luxury Goods Market Survey noted that Korean shoppers choosing to shop at home rather than abroad have “more than made up for the lack of tourism” in the country.
South Korea is now the seventh largest luxury goods market in the world, according to market research firm Euromonitor.
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