SEOUL — Isabel Marant has a new home in South Korea.
The French designer feted her first stand-alone flagship in Seoul last month. Located behind the Gucci flagship in Cheongdam-dong, one of the city’s most expensive areas, the more-than-2,000-square-foot store is housed in a two-story building that used to be a restaurant. It opened to the public in late November.
“It’s quite a big space and it was important that we could show both the main Isabel Marant line and [diffusion line] Etoile,” said chief executive officer Sophie Duruflé, who flew in for the launch.
French architectural team Ciguë kept the feel of the house, but added whimsical touches such as a ceiling of thin wooden beams of varying hues, fun fabric-covered blocks and a flowing installation of metallic plates to surround the mannequins in the window.
“The design was very influenced by the city of Seoul,” said Christophe Mollet, commercial director for Asia. “The people here are very glamorous and very fashion-conscious, and they use style to project power and authority.”
South Korea is currently the brand’s biggest market.
Arleen Kim, senior manager at LG Fashion Corp., Marant’s merchandising partner in Korea, said the brand has averaged 35 percent annual sales growth since 2009. Currently there are 15 stores in the country, and there are plans for five more by next year. “The high-top sneakers are always sold out, and the biker jackets are also particularly popular,” said Kim.
Executives declined to give sales figures but said they expect the brand’s sales in South Korea to continue growing this year.
In a retail market driven largely by star power, Isabel Marant has also proved consistently popular with local celebrities.
“The celebrities here absolutely love Isabel Marant, which is why they were here today when they rarely go to events like this,” said Korea’s biggest celebrity stylist Yunki Jung. Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung and “Cloud Atlas” actress Bae Doona were among the celebrities in attendance at the recent event.
“They can’t get enough of the layered French casual look,” Jung said.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)