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Champagne flows at Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton is always looking for hip new places to celebrate the success of their business in Korea.

July 17,2007
Luxury brands continue to spend huge amounts on parties in hopes of grabbing some of the vast fortunes now being made on the Seoul stock market. The latest company to throw caution ― and their won ― to the wind is Louis Vuitton.
The opening of a new Louis Vuitton branch inside the Hyundai Department Store in southern Seoul on July 5 seemed to be an excuse for the French brand to flex its financial muscles in Korea, or conversely, for Korea to show off its credentials as a power market in the Asia-Pacific region, where the fashion culture is led by a legion of Korean stars.
The people in the Vuitton spotlight were actors like Ji Jin-hee, Kwon Sang-woo and Son Ye-jin, but the night centered around Yves Carcelle, the French president of Louis Vuitton, flanked by two of his strongmen, Jean-Baptiste Debains of Louis Vuitton Asia-Pacific and Cho Hyun-ouk of Louis Vuitton Korea.

Kim Eun-soo of Cartier Korea, Yves Carcelle, president of Louis Vuitton.
While local celebrities and their friends guzzled what seemed like unlimited quantities of Veuve Clicquot champagne in a lounge plastered with the brand’s shining medallions, some 500 VIP Hyundai Card members claimed a larger and more luxurious space in another corner. The message was clear: money can buy prestige.
These aristocrats of modern times, plus 40 journalists flown in from all over the Asia-Pacific region, danced somewhat unsteadily to the Japanese disc jockey Fantastic Plastic Machine and zig-zagged around French harlequins on the spacious first floor, covering over 660 square meters, of the Pien Pollus building in Cheongdam-dong.
Pien Pollus, due to open in January 2008, will house luxury homes a spa and a lifestyle store.

Jean-Baptiste Debains of Louis Vuitton Asia-Pacific and Cho Hyun-ouk of Louis Vuitton Korea. By Ines Cho
“Louis Vuitton is always looking for new hip places just to celebrate the success of Louis Vuitton in Korea, which is an important market, and to continue long-term relations with our customers. This building hasn’t had an event yet, so we thought it was perfect,” said Debains, who added that he had worked closely with a local production team, Pressync, to coordinate the program.
When asked about the rumored budget of $1 million for the blockbuster event, the beaming Cho said, “Not that much, but close.”

The Louis Vuitton launch party.

By Ines Cho Contributing Writer [inescho@joongang.co.kr]


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