In the summer of 2017, two of the most prominent fashion brands in the world have each opened an exhibition. Placed at Seoul’s two most trendy galleries, Louis Vuitton opens their exhibition, Volez Voguez Voyagez, in Dongdaemun Design Plaza, and Chanel opens their exhibition, Mademoiselle Prive, in the D-Museum.
The crux of these exhibitions is to promote their brand image. These “brand images” are the character of the certain brand people view it as. Images gradually form based on the origins and the history of how each house came to become today. Through exhibitions, fashion brands are able to show the public their distinctive style and tradition. This showcase not only approaches the upper class but also approaches the many others, elevating the brand. Through non-profit expositions like these, many luxury boutiques have started to display to their audience the character of their brand.
In the Volez Voguez Voyagez exhibition, Louis Vuitton appealed the history of its brand. Because the brand was originally founded to make travel trunks for the upper class citizens in Europe, numerous trunks and pictures of the factories were shown in the beginning of the gallery. According to Olivier Saillard, the director of this exhibit, the trunk is the portrait of the Vuitton brand - a perfect way to understand the exhibition. The gallery, then, connects to elaborate on the history of the brand: the start from a house of luxury travel trunks to a total fashion brand. The effort the brand has made to try to collect and exhibit their history could be easily seen through various items. However, the exhibition didn’t just focus on the “Louis Vuitton” history. The brand had a great sense of creativity as they created an exclusive room displaying Korean related products for the audience to enjoy. Through large collections of their iconic items, Louis Vuitton has succeeded to illustrate a flow of their history.
As for the Mademoiselle Prive exhibition by Chanel, it also tried to appeal the image of the brand, but in a different way. Chanel, instead of displaying vintage collections, takes its audience to the time Gabrielle Chanel founded the brand. The entrance of the exhibition is created to look like the authentic atelier of Gabrielle. The exhibition continues to put on view the inspirations that led the founder to create her first collection. These inspirations include her favorite numbers, fabric, color, perfume, and etc. Going on to the end of the display, the presentation changes dramatically, becoming more modern. According to the brand, this exhibition is to express that Chanel we see today is a brand created by both the founder, Coco Chanel, and their creative director, Karl Lagerfeld. They believe her genuine inspirations and Karl’s, and other aspects like their models including Kristen Stewart, G- Dragon, Irene Lee, etc., collaborated together to create their iconic haute couture. In addition, the exhibition tries to show that Chanel itself is not just a clothing brand, but art.
Both Chanel and Louis Vuitton’s original motives were the same: improving their brand image and presenting the characteristics of the brand. However, they successfully designed their exhibitions differently to give different stories and messages to the audience.
Bonny Yookyung Minn
Seoul International School
Bonny Yookyung Minn firstname.lastname@example.org
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