From a Japanese Cult Headquarters to an ‘Egg Box’: The Most Unusual Cruise Fashion Show Locations Ever

Louis Vuitton's 2017 cruise show was held in the headquarters of Shinjei Shumeika, a Japanese religious cult that is banned in Europe.

One hundred years ago, cruise collections were made for the jet-setting wealthy woman to smoothly move between weather and outfits; from skiing in the Swiss Alps to basking in the Riviera Maya sun. Now they’re essentially a chance for brands to maintain consumer attention before boredom sets in between spring and fall collections; the fashion equivalent of a snack between meals.

Unlike the standard fashion weeks and runway shows in New York, Paris and cities in-between, cruise and resort shows tend to be held in out-of-the-ordinary destinations. Following last week’s announcement Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2020 show will be held at a John F. Kennedy Airport terminal, we reflected on past unusual cruise show locations.

2018: Louis Vuitton, Miho Museum, Japan

Photo by WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Nestled amidst the whimsical Shigaraki mountains in an ultra-modern building designed by architect I.M. Pei is the Miho Museum, where Louis Vuitton elected to hold their Cruise 2018 show. The Miho Museum also happens to be the headquarters of Shinjei Shumeika, a Japanese religious cult founded by Mihoko Koyama in 1970. Shumeika is banned in Europe and is known to punish members who do not make adequate financial contributions. The purpose of the Miho Museum is supposedly to help restore the Earth’s balance. Most of the antiquities displayed at the Miho Museum were acquired over a period of six years, and many do not have a certifiable provenance, which means the artefacts are potential stolen or fake. During the Louis Vuitton runway show, models walked out from inside the museum, which is partially carved out of the side of a mountain, to a cylindrical tunnel onto a suspended bridge.

2017: Louis Vuitton, Neiterói Contemporary Art Museum, Brazil

Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Louis Vuitton’s 2017 cruise show at the Neiterói Contemporary Art Museum in Brazil was completely out-of-this-world. Designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, the UFO-shaped building played host to 514 international guests who gathered on the building’s patio. Models descended down a red carpet pedway and walked a twisty-turny path with an infinity-link view of the nearby ocean. The audience appeared to be seated on what looked like large concrete legos.

2017: Chanel, Havana, Cuba

Just as international relations between the US and Cuba were beginning to thaw, Chanel took advantage of lifted travel sanctions to host their 2017 cruise show in Cuba. Taking place at the historic open air, a fleet of vintage Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs shuttled guests to and from the show. This was the first fashion show to ever take place in Cuba, and though high fashion tends to highlight economic disparity between the attendees and the location, the ’50s-inspired collection was a welcome homage. Showgoers were welcomed by Havana residents with open arms. As Vogue‘s Sarah Mower reported, “People came out to line the streets, crowd dilapidated balconies and rooftops, wave and laugh.”

2016: Louis Vuitton, Bob Hope Palm Springs House, Palm Springs, California

Photo by Brian Thomas Jones, courtesy Patrick Stewart Properties

Bob Hope was one of the most memorable entertainers of the 20th century and his Palm Springs home designed by architect John Lautner and built in 1979, is just as unforgettable. The mushroom-shaped home is nestled nearby the Coachella Valley and is considered a piece of architectural history. According to Vogue Runway, Vuitton’s designer Nicolas Ghesquière first laid eyes on the Bob Hope house 15 years prior to the show and was galvanized by the building’s unique spirit. “The paradox of the brutalism of the architecture and the refinement of the interior was quite inspiring to me. I love the idea of sweet and hard at the same time,” he told reporter Nicole Phelps.

 Playful, fun and otherworldly doesn’t begin to describe Pierre Cardin’s bubble house, located in the South of France. The 9-bedroom seaside sanctuary was designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, who wanted to create a building based on prehistoric cave dwellings. The house took over one decade to build, beginning in 1975, and boast three swimming pools, a number of gardens, and a 500-seat amphitheater. From an aerial view, the tumescent building resembles a cluster of fish eggs or perhaps, a tryphophobic’s worst nightmare.

2016: Dior, Le Palais Bulles, France

Photo by Brendan Beirne/REX/Shutterstock

2015: Chanel, “Egg Box” in Dubai 

In what was described as an “orgy of excess” by fashion journalist Alexander Fury, Chanel spent £1.4 million on their Druise 2015 show which was held as a specially built “egg box” on an island in Dubai. The surface of the giant dome was dimpled with 300 Chanel logos to represent every Chanel store in the world. After the show, “the entire edifice was torn down, the sand raked, and no trace of Chanel remained.”