Lous and the Yakuza’s Whirlwind 72 Hours in Seoul With Louis Vuitton

Congolese-Belgian rapper Lous and the Yakuza wears a creation during the Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2023...
Lous and the Yakuza walks Louis Vuitton’s show. Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images

The Congolese-Belgian musician Lous and the Yakuza spent her very first time visiting Seoul—and the continent of Asia, for that matter—walking in a Louis Vuitton runway show. Granted, this isn’t how most tourists pass their time in the South Korea capital, but Lous isn’t your average traveler. The 27-year-old artist is a noted fan and face of the French house, which flew her out to their blockbuster pre-fall presentation on April 29, along with Jung Ho-yeon (who also walked), and a slew of K-pop icons including Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon and Yeji from ITZY. “It has been a dream of mine to visit Asia, and to be able to do that for the first time in this setting was more than I could have imagined,” Lous told W via e-mail a few days after the show, which was staged on the Jamsugyo Bridge at the Han River. “Louis Vuitton took us to an incredible Korean BBQ restaurant the first night we arrived—it was the best steak of my life! After the show, we went to a venue on the Floating Islands. The energy was infectious.”

The artist, whose debut album Gore dropped in 2020 followed two years later by Iota, said she’s currently working on new music inspired by “honing my skills drawing and in art.” She’ll be touring festivals in Europe during the summer, and may release some new music in both French and English. But first, the Asia tour continues: “I am heading to Tokyo just after Seoul!” she said gleefully. Below, Lous shares her photo diary from her first time in South Korea—and her experience walking in a major Louis Vuitton production.

Photograph by Joe Botuli

“I arrived in South Korea one day before the show, and went directly to my fittings at the Four Seasons Seoul,” Lous said. Here, she gives a sneak peek at the look she wore on the runway.

Photograph by Joe Botuli

On show night, Lous wore her hotel robe on the bus en route to the presentation. But, of course, she made sure to also put on the chunky sneakers that were an integral part of her look—and one of her favorite pieces of the evening. If she had to choose one item from her runway ensemble to keep, it would be “The sneakers all day,” she said. “I also love the mid tops and skirts. You might even see some similar looks for my tour this summer—as everyone knows, I love to dance, and LV sneakers are the best to get me through my live shows.”

Photograph by Joe Botuli

“We only did one fitting,” Lous said of the prep work behind the show. “Nicolas [Ghesquière] is such a genius, and he always knows exactly what will work best on me for his vision. I don’t think I have ever had to do more than two fittings with him for any show.”

Photograph by Joe Botuli

Once Lous arrived at the show, she immediately fell into line ahead of hitting the runway—but of course, she let her inner fangirl shine, just a little bit. “K-pop is one of my favorite genres of music, I listen to it constantly when I am home in Brussels,” Lous said. “And Seeing Le Sserafim perform at the after party was so special, Jaden Smith also performed; I love watching his creativity come to life.”

Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images

Walking the runway was another feeling entirely: “Seeing all of those people, my adrenaline was high. My heart was racing in a good way!”

Photograph by Joe Botuli

Although Lous’s “focus was on the show,” she had one day to herself to explore the city. “The juxtaposition of the new and old in Seoul is the most interesting for me,” she said. “You can walk through the restored palaces, and then turn around and see all the new skyscrapers. I appreciate how they are able to pay homage to their traditions while still advancing toward their future. And yes, of course, I went shopping!”