South Korean President Ousted After Claims Of Misconduct, Extortion of Samsung C&T, Seoul’s Largest Fashion Investor

The court sided with lawmakers who impeached South Korean President, Park Geun-hye on Friday over allegations of corruption and influence-peddling. Investigators say Park abused her power by entrusting government decisions to a secret adviser, Choi Soon-sil, and took part in extorting bribes from major conglomerates, including Samsung and Hyundai.

According to Reuters Samsung C&T, affiliated to Samsung Electronics, maker of Apple rival Galaxy smartphones, is one of the biggest corporate investors in Seoul’s up-and-coming fashion scene.

Every year, it gives $100,000 to two or three designers to help them develop their collection and since 2005 has invested $2.7 million in 19 design teams through the Samsung Fashion & Design Fund.

Samsung’s fashion unit has a stable of brands, ranging from Korean brand Bean Pole to Belgian fashion label Ann Demeulemeester.

The corruption scandal gripped South Korea for months and led to millions taking to the streets for weeks of protest. Some 70 percent of South Koreans in a pre-ruling poll got what they’d wished for — Park’s ouster.

“I feel very proud right now, I love this country,” said Jeong Inha who was among the celebratory crowd.

A supporter cries during a rally opposing President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment near the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday. Photo: Ahn Young-joon