Louis Quatorze Unveils Minimalist Style for Fall
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Minimalism is the key word for Louis Quatorze's line of bags and accessories for this coming fall and winter.
During a launching event in Apgujeong-dong last Wednesday, Louis Quatorze unveiled its 2007 fall and winter collection of bags characterized by deep colors, supple leathers and elegant shapes.
Zo Myoung-hee, art director for Louis Quatorze's London Design Studio, said the brand stays true to the original concept, by taking inspiration from French culture and history but still giving it a modern twist. After all, the brand itself was named after Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, widely known for his luxurious and extravagant lifestyle.
``Our new collection is about minimalism style. We research global trends and we match this with our original concept,'' she told The Korea Times last week.
Zo said the modern equestrian inspired this season's collection, so the bags have authentic riding details. The top of the Louis Quatorze line is Bordeaux Black Label, described as ``luxury classic,'' features elegant and refined styles. One of the collection's standout pieces is a stunning deep wine tote bag with gold details.
Its Toulouse line featured black, warm cream, matte gold and grey colored bags embossed with a distinctive Louis Quatorze pattern. For men, Toulouse Homme line features messenger-style bags, notebook bags and digital camera cases.
``In Korea, the Toulouse and Bordeaux luxury lines are popular. Koreans really love it. Toulouse is a new line that is contemporary but still traditional. … Korean women have a smart and unique style,'' Zo said.
Zo said the brand tries to create beautiful bags, which are also functional. For instance, the Toulouse Homme messenger bag has a slot on the bottom of the bag where you can easily slide in an umbrella or a rolled-up newspaper.
Craftsmanship is a top priority for the brand. ``Louis Quatorze's most powerful point is the quality. We have originality. There are a lot of trends that every brand follows, but our point is that we develop our original style. We create our own style, which is very important, but we also include a touch of trendiness,'' she said.
The French brand was founded by Paul Barrate, who comes from a line of artisans, in Versailles, France. Englishman George C. Worthington introduced the brand in Asia in the 1980s. Louis Quatorze holds the Guinness World Record for the world's most expensive wallet _ a platinum-covered, diamond-studded crocodile skin wallet that was sold for $74,816 in 1984.
In 1990, Korean company Taejin International bought the brand. Under the helm of chief executive officer Jeon Yong-joon, Louis Quatorze is working to establish the brand around the world. It has shops in Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and offices in Moscow and Paris.
Worthington, who was in Seoul for the event, said he is excited about the globalization strategy and new direction the brand is headed. ``We've come a long way, but Louis Quatorze has a much longer way to reach its goal,'' he said.
There are plans to open a shop in France within the next two years, which would bring back the brand to its birthplace.