MILAN — Gucci will stage its cruise 2024 at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul on May 16. The show, which was originally scheduled for May 15, marks the brand’s 25 years in the country as Gucci opened its first store in Seoul in 1998.
The show will be held in front of Geunjeongjeon, the main hall of the Gyeongbokgung Palace, known for being the main venue for royal ceremonies and for receiving foreign dignitaries during the Joseon Dynasty (1392 to 1910).
The cruise collection is designed by the in-house team as newly appointed creative director Sabato De Sarno’s first designs for the brand will bow in September, following the exit of Alessandro Michele in November.
“Gucci was born in Florence, surrounded by history, art and craftsmanship, and from there it began a journey to bring the house’s vision of beauty across the globe,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Gucci.
He highlighted the ever-increasing strength of Gucci’s relationships with local communities and its support of local talents, projects that include the preservation of a country’s heritage. In this case, Bizzarri underscored that Gyeongbokgung Palace “is one of those wonders of the world that made us feel an instant connection with Korean culture and the people who created it — Florence and Seoul, Italy and Korea, so far away on the map but so close in the creation of wonder.” The location will help in “celebrating the past, as inspiration for the future.”
Last year, as part of an agreement with the Cultural Heritage Administration, Gucci unveiled a three-year commitment to support the conservation and restoration of the Gyeongbokgung Palace, also known as The Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven.
Choi Eung-chon, head of the Cultural Heritage Administration in Korea, said the site “was not only the main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty but also a center of great developments in science, literature, architecture, and art, including the creation of Hangul (the Korean alphabet) and the advancement of astronomy. We hope the collaboration with Gucci will help the world discover the true charm of Gyeongbokgung Palace even more, where the past and present coexist.”
In November last year, Gucci had to call off its repeat Cosmogonie 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. The Gyeongbokgung Palace was the venue of choice also for the Cosmogonie show, a repeat display of the collection unveiled in May 2022.
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.
In another development in the country, Gucci has opened its fourth Gucci Osteria outpost in the Korean capital, on the top floor of its Gaok flagship located in the Itaewon district.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Michele had selected unique locations for Gucci’s then-called cruise collections: Arles, France, 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.