Louis Vuitton packs plenty into latest luggage exhibition
Borders are opening up and people are packing their suitcases to make their first trips since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
While some like to travel light, for others it's an all-you-can-squeeze-in affair. And when it comes to packing shoes, there just doesn't seem to be an easy way to get all your pairs in your suitcase.
That was until global luxury brand Louis Vuitton created a special trunk. It was specifically designed to carry shoes for American actor Judy Garland, who dominated Hollywood in the 1960s. Though the brand no longer produces the trunk, Koreans will be able to view not just the one that was once owned by Garland but all sorts of unique antique travel trunks with the oldest dating back to the 1870s, at the Asian premiere of “Legendary Louis Vuitton Trunks the Exhibition” at Timewalk Myeongdong in central Seoul.
It seems like there was nothing that Louis Vuitton couldn’t repurpose his trunks for as there are trunks for cigars, cavigars, casino chips, and even a birthday cake - all being displayed at the exhibit. Stories associated with these diverse travel trunks are woven throughout this interactive and immersive exhibit organized by Korea’s LMPE Company and Nordic Exhibitions.
There are more than 200 Louis Vuitton trunks along with dozens of antique crafts on display. According to the organizers, all these belong to one individual collector from Sweden, Magnus Malm.
According to Stefan Papagelis, CEO of Nordic Exhibitions, who was at a recent press conference for the exhibition that kicked off on March 18, these suitcases make up “one of the largest private collections in the world.”
Louis Vuitton as a brand in fact began with trunks. In 1854, designer Louis Vuitton established his first business in a chic neighborhood in Paris with a sign that read: “Securely packs the most fragile objects. Specializing in packing fashions.”
Vuitton’s trunks, based on his master box-making skills which he had honed before opening up the store, were much lighter than others on the market. Vuitton's stackable and waterproof trunks became revolutionary at the time as the trunks back then were heavy, not even waterproof and had a rounded top.
According to the organizers, the highlight of the exhibit is the section exhibiting Louis Vuitton trunks that used to belong to hot celebrities and cultural icons. American novelist Ernest Hemingway's library trunk is one of them. His library trunk was designed so that Hemingway could not only carry them around during his travels around the world but also as a desk when necessary, as the trunk could carry his portable typewriter and also came with shelves and drawers. It was 1927 when he got the library trunk custom-made.
"These trunks have a story and we would like to tell the story to people," said Papangelis. "It might be easy to think that a trunk is just a trunk, but it has a story behind it and that is what you'll see."
The exhibit runs until Aug. 21.
Tickets cost 20,000 won ($16.45).
BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [email@example.com]