MILAN — Gucci has returned to its traditional show calendar, beginning with the menswear collection to be unveiled in Milan in January, kicking off the city’s fashion week, and on Tuesday the Italian luxury brand will reveal it will stage its cruise 2024 show in South Korea on May 15. The location, however, will be announced at a later stage.
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As reported, Gucci’s design office will continue to carry the direction of the house forward until a new creative organization is revealed, following the exit of creative director Alessandro Michele last month.
The cruise show in South Korea will mark Gucci’s 25 years in the country, since the brand opened its first flagship in Seoul in 1998.
Last month, Gucci had to call off its repeat show in Seoul following the tragic Halloween crowd crush in the city that killed more than 150 people and left dozens injured on the night of Oct. 29. Following the cancellation, Gucci said it was pledging a three-year donation geared at restoring and preserving the Gyeongbokgung Palace.
The 1395 Seoul landmark, also known as The Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven and built during the Joseon dynasty, was the venue of choice for Gucci’s Cosmogonie show, a repeat display of the collection unveiled last May in Apulia and that was supposed to be held on Nov. 1.
Gucci president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri inked an agreement on Nov. 1 with South Korea’s head of the cultural heritage administration Choi Eung-Cheon committing to the preservation of the palace.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was selected to pay homage to South Korean cultural heritage and in light of its links with astronomy research, a reference echoed in the Cosmogonie collection. In the 15th century, the palace housed a highly regarded astronomy center including Ganuidae, the Royal Observatory.
Gucci’s link with South Korea was further cemented in recent months.
In the lead-up to the canceled show, Gucci signed Hanni, lead singer of NewJeans, as its newest brand ambassador. The K-pop star joined other local ambassadors including “Squid Game” actor Lee Jung-Jae and musical artist Kai.
Earlier this year Gucci also opened its fourth Gucci Osteria outpost in the Korean capital, on the top floor of its Gaok flagship located in the Itaewon district.
The calendar of destination cruise shows next year is starting to fill up. Last week Louis Vuitton fixed May 24 as the date, but the geographic location and venue are still under wraps.
Brands traditionally show their cruise or resort collections during the months of May and June, but Michele in 2020 decided to abandon “the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence,” renaming seasons, swapping resort and pre-fall for terms borrowed from classical music. This decision appeared to be reversed last fall, with Gucci’s announcement of the uncoupling of the men’s and women’s shows.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Michele had selected unique locations for Gucci’s then-called cruise collections: Arles, at the Alyscamps Roman necropolis, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981, for the cruise 2019 show. Before that, the shows were held in other culturally significant locations, including New York’s Dia Art Foundation, Westminster Abbey’s cloisters in London, Palazzo Pitti’s Palatina Gallery in Florence and the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Gucci committed to preserve these storied sites.