K-pop artists are undoubtedly becoming the queens of luxury fashion.
Fashion is going wild for K-pop. Not a day goes by without news of one of the leading bands of this musical genre — straight out of South Korea — becoming the ambassador, partner or even the gateway to the metaverse for one of the giants of the luxury industry. Their power and influence, along with their ultra-sophisticated style, are clearly making these K-pop artists — some from the biggest girl groups in the industry — the new standout stars of fashion.
Their names are Sana, Jisoo, Rosé, and Lily, and they create hysteria every time they appear in Europe, Asia, or the United States. They are the stars of the many K-pop girl bands, whose popularity continues to grow year after year. Beyond their musical performances, their unique and ultra-polished style is a hit on social networks, and has even been spurring interest among the biggest fashion houses in recent months. As a result, K-pop bands — often more eagerly awaited than the designers themselves — now reign supreme in the fashion world, as well as at fashion weeks, where they dominate the front row.
K-pop girl groups as luxury fashion brand ambassadors
What luxury house hasn’t tried to secure the services of a K-pop star in recent months? There must be some — if you search hard enough — but let’s face it, they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Evidently, the tens of millions of fans of these artists adored by the young generations, are as many potential customers for the luxury behemoths, who are ready to pull out all the stops when it comes to attracting the attention of the highly demanding Gen Z.
In the midst of Paris Fashion Week, Loewe announced that it has enlisted the South Korean group Nmixx as its new global ambassador. While most brands have secured the services of one member of these girl bands, the house helmed by Jonathan Anderson hits hard by signing up no less than seven stars of K-pop, namely Lily, Haewon, Sullyoon, Jinni, Bae, Jiwoo and Kyujin. And this is obviously not the only luxury brand to have bet on the popularity of the musical genre in order to reach its prime target.
Rosé, one of the stars of Blackpink, is now the global ambassador for jeweller Tiffany & Co. and her proximity to the fashion industry suggests that she could soon become the face of another world-renowned house. Indeed, she didn’t go unnoticed on the front row of the Saint Laurent show at the opening of Paris Fashion Week.
Another member of Blackpink, Jisoo, is the face of Cartier and Dior, causing a sensation at each of the French brand’s fashion shows. The young star even outshone the other guests (or almost) at the presentation of Dior’s spring-summer 2023 collection in the Tuileries gardens in Paris. And then there’s Sana, member of the band Twice, who drew crowds at the Prada show in Milan. And this hype does not seem likely to fade soon.
A gateway to the metaverse
Not content with making K-pop artists its new ambassadors of choice, the luxury sector is also coveting them to accompany its first forays into the metaverse which — surprise, surprise — also happens to be the playground of the same generation that adores South Korean girl bands. Earlier this fall, Bulgari took its first steps in the Zepeto metaverse with a virtual pop-up — part pop-up store, part virtual café — with the support of Lisa, also a member of Blackpink. Another initiative that shows the growing dominance of K-pop in the fashion world.
A few days later, Weinsanto entered the metaverse with the launch of its first NFT in partnership with K-pop band Lightsum. Designer Victor Weinsanto created virtual looks for the eight members of the girl band, which were unveiled during Paris Fashion Week. And since everything K-pop stars touch seems to turn to gold, these NFTs are likely to sell like hotcakes.
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As if that wasn’t enough, the style of these South Korean singers — and dancers — also inspires many designers around the world. The major return of preppy style this fall is testament to this. Pleated skirts, ties, berets and moccasins are among the pieces favoured by members of these bands, and these are all shaping up to be some of the star pieces of the season.
And since the reign of K-pop is just beginning, there’s sure to be much more to come.
This story first published in Prestige Online – Malaysia
(Main and featured images: Pierre Mouton for Christian Dior)