ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: In the spirit of travel, we caught up with bona fide global nomad, Loui Lim of the Genting Group Lim family, at the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2022 Spin-Off show in Bangkok for some wisdom and inspiration on the transformative power of travel.
Il Maestro Federico Fellini once said, “You have to live spherically – in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm – and things will come your way.” With this in mind, we set out to put together our June/July 2022 issue, excited by the prospect of being able to travel again soon, only to hit a mental block – the result of two years of working from home – realising for the first time the impact of the pandemic and prolonged lockdowns on the imagination. I, for one, could not even for the life of me remember where I had placed my passport, or if it had expired (indeed it had), let alone coming up with amazing travel stories, especially one that would capture Fellini’s ideals of “living spherically” and “childish enthusiasm”.
But, as luck would have it, the day was saved when an exclusive invitation arrived from Louis Vuitton Malaysia not long after for us to attend the Fall/Winter 2022 Men’s Spin-Off show in Bangkok, in memory of fashion’s most beloved designer Virgil Abloh, renowned for his Boyhood Ideology, and along with it an opportunity to work on an exclusive with possibly one of the world’s most seasoned travellers of all time, the scion of Genting, Loui Lim.
Arriving Bangkok in style, complete with a set of Louis Vuitton luggage, Loui was an inspiration to behold; his daily change of outfit, meticulously styled, a fashion show on its own. For the rest of us, travel is a lifestyle, a luxury, or a job even, whereas for Loui, it comes as his identity and second nature, one that has proved to be necessary for his work at Genting. As a third-generation descendant of the resort empire, Loui has grown up knowing studies, play, family business and personal life as one comprehensive on-going stage – flying extensively and taking up residence in four corners of the world has given him an infinite wealth of knowledge to ply the resort trade with unlimited creativity, the properties being his canvases, which now cover Malaysia, Singapore, the US, the UK, the Bahamas, Egypt and more to come.
A regular figure on the entertainment and luxury circuits that span the world over, Loui has grown up as part of an international social network of who’s who. One minute he was partying with the likes of the Hilton sisters in Vegas, the next, paying tribute to the dearly departed Virgil Abloh on the front row of the Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall/Winter 2022 Spin-Off Show in Bangkok, with the owners of Iconsiam – no less. Just trying to catch up with Loui on where he is, what he’s doing, the company he’s with has been both a challenge and a pleasure. Having said that, we’re honoured to have gotten the best of Loui who took with him the latest collection to the streets of Bangkok and photographed exclusively for his Augustman digital cover debut.
Though only two months has passed since we last met in Bangkok, I feel the need to ask what you’ve been up to considering how much you travel (I’m assuming a lot). Please give us the lowdown on Vegas.
(Laughs) Funny for you to say but I’m in Las Vegas right now, planning the next expansion for Resorts World Las Vegas. We just celebrated the first anniversary, which is mind-blowing to me because the past year seems to have gone by so quickly. We recently launched a vegan restaurant, Crossroads Kitchen, by the chef who founded Impossible Foods, and announced a new theatre residency by David Blaine, arguably the best magician in the world right now.
You mentioned about bringing a fresh perspective to Genting, introducing more lifestyle elements, and creating more meaningful experiences than just fun and games.
Closer to home, I am working on introducing more lifestyle concepts to Resorts World Genting that complement the beautiful, lush jungles and making nature more accessible to KL city dwellers, providing a cool respite from the humid city. We have planned several nature trails along the Resorts World Awana golf course, and more outdoor dining options such as Ayu, which hosts an amazing poolside barbecue every weekend, and Awana Garden Hot Pot, a farm to table dining concept with fresh produce grown at the resort’s greenhouse. We plan to introduce even more food and beverage options, as well as the recently refurbished Resorts World Awana hotel.
Describe the architectural project and work of art/monument that has inspired you the most.
I recently returned from Tokyo and had the chance to visit the Louis Vuitton flagship store in Ginza. The shimmering facade designed by Jun Aoki has a rippling water-like design inspired by Tokyo Bay and Louis Vuitton’s love for ocean travel. I also take a lot of inspiration from nature, and love to incorporate greenery and organic architectural shapes to my projects.
Your favourite gallery/museum and why?
Having spent a lot of time in London studying architecture, I was always inspired by the incredible museums and their exhibitions, such as the Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the Tate Modern. I love Eliasson’s art as it is highly experiential and, at the same time, immerses the viewer in a way to look at nature objectively and contemplate our responsibility over the growing global climate issues.
Describe the place and its people/culture that changed your perspective.
A place that I visited, which itself is not a physical country or place, is Burning Man, a temporary city that pops up in Black Rock desert, for just one week out of the year. While there were ethereal artworks, campsites and performance venues, it was the community of Burning Man that had a profound effect on me. Here, like-minded people celebrated creativity, individuality and inclusivity, and everything at Burning Man has been created for your enjoyment out of the generosity of peoples’ hearts.
“It gives me hope for mankind, where everybody is encouraged to be kind to one another, treat each other as equals and to build an inspiring future together. Words cannot come close to describing the experience of what Burning Man represents.”
Describe your favourite musical, cultural performance, or concert.
I was fortunate to have attended Coachella this year, which has a more typical music festival setup, but it is still highly engaging and immersive. It was surreal to see so many talented Asian musical acts this year, and it was a defining moment for Asian representation on a global stage. Personally, my favourite acts were Louis the Child and the Martinez Brothers, both of whom have DJ residencies at Zouk Las Vegas.
They say the journey matters more than the destination. What has been the longest journey you have ever undertaken and what eye-opening experiences did you discover along the way?
While not the longest journey I’ve undertaken, I hiked the largest cave in the world, Son Doong in Vietnam. This cave is so large, it has its own entire ecosystem of underground rainforests, beaches and rivers, and enormous alien-looking rock formations.
“Exploring this cave took four days, and even though the jungle conditions at times were wet and uncomfortable, I felt a sense of peace as I was disconnected from the world, while feeling inspired by the otherworldly magnificent landscapes.”
What are your favourite go-to places for a quick escape from work?
I rarely take quick escapes, as I travel frequently for work or with family, but I love being by the ocean. Whether it’s walking barefooted along the beach and listening to the waves crash or sailing on a boat and being surrounded by endless sea, I feel most relaxed when I see the ocean.
Virgil Abloh made his mark by destroying the stigma of streetwear and rewriting the code of luxury. What kind of impression has his work left on you?
Virgil was a visionary because he was able to see beauty where others did not, taking inspiration from childhood toys, his African heritage, American street culture, and blending it to create wearable pieces of art. Being able to think outside of the box is such a valuable lesson in terms of growing your business as well as for personal growth. As the first African American designer appointed to head a major luxury fashion house, Virgil also challenged the notions of racial representation.
“It’s essential for us to keep pushing the boundaries of race, gender and orientation for us to grow as a society and to become a kinder, more inclusive community.”
The Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2022 Spin-Off show in Bangkok, titled Louis Dreamhouse, paid tribute to Abloh’s renowned Boyhood Ideology, which emphasises the importance of preserving “the unspoiled outlook of a child, who is yet to be affected by the preconceived ideas of society… to reset our preordained perceptions and start from scratch where clothes are clothes and humans are humans.” Describe your best childhood moments and the important values that you still carry with you.
Wow, I think it’s important to remain optimistic even if we have been through some dark times recently, we can never lose hope. Which brings me to some of my favourite memories from Christmas, because the whole family would get together, feast on a delicious Christmas dinner, and of course the presents! Even the Grinch ended up falling in love with Christmas, it just gives you all the cosy feelings inside!
Describe your Dreamhouse.
My Dreamhouse would have an oversized feather-filled bed for me to roll around in and sleep all day, a fully stocked kitchen with Japanese snacks, Netflix streaming on a gigantic cinema screen, and a Doraemon-style portal to transport me to holiday destinations anywhere in the world instantly.
For the full story on the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2022 Spin-Off show in Bangkok, get a copy of Augustman June/July 2022 issue, or read it on Magzter. Click below and watch the full show on Augustman: