If you are even a little bit clued in to the world of K-pop music, you will know that these stars are as fashionable as they are good musicians.
Originating in South Korea in the 1990s, K-pop found popularity sometime in the 2000s and today boasts of a growing number of loyal followers around the world. And it’s not just their catchy tunes that appeal to their ever-growing fan base, it’s also the flamboyant display of high-end fashion.
Anything they do, whether it’s sporting a new hairstyle, make-up or outfits in music videos, live performances, major events and even the airport look, becomes a trend. With such a widespread impact, no wonder musicians like G-Dragon, Kai and Lisa are faces of internationally renowned luxury fashion labels.
Here is a look at some of the K-pop artists who are also making waves in the fashion industry.
Lead singer of the boy band BIG BANG, G-Dragon was the first K-pop artist to be invited to the Paris Fashion Week. When he attended the event in 2015, he had already established himself on the Korean fashion circuit by donning labels like Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy. Capitalising on his fame and well-received sartorial choices, he launched his fashion label, Peaceminusone, the next year. The brand sells everything from clothes to accessories.
G-Dragon has been a Chanel house ambassador since 2017. He left an impression with his presence at shows such as Chanel Spring/Summer 2018 in Paris, which he attended wearing a black bouclé sweater from Chanel’s Fall 2017 women’s collection and paint-splattered Dr. Martens with a colourful patched over-the-shoulder bag. Recognising his influence on the Korean market, Chanel featured him on the brand’s official website for its Spring/Summer 2020 Haute Couture show.
He became the first Korean musician to collaborate with Nike when they launched the Air Force 1 Para-Noise — a black sneaker with an embroidered daisy on the tongue — and followed it up with a white Para-Noise the following year. A unique feature on both shoes is the hidden artwork by the K-pop idol which is revealed only when the outer leather peels away over time.
In 2020, he returned to Paris Fashion Week to support We11Done — the label run by his sister Dami Kwon and Jessica Jung. He turned heads with his giant messenger bag that hung around his face like a muffler which was worn over a pale blue suit with peace sign brooches.
Lisa of the band Blackpink is the most followed K-pop artist on Instagram with 47.6 million followers, who love her posts on fashion, beauty and brands as much as her performances. Needless to say, the influence she exerts is ginormous.
She is a global ambassador of Celine since 2020 and fronted the Celine Essentials campaign becoming the first Asian performer and K-pop star to do so. Known for her style statements, Lisa is a regular at fashion shows. She also attended Celine’s Spring/Summer 2020 showcase in a Hedi Slimane white turtleneck and glittering long skirt (pictured). The same year, she joined hands with three more fashion brands, including Filipino clothing brand Penshoppe — joining the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Zayn Malik.
She also became the first K-pop star to be a global brand ambassador of Canadian cosmetics company MAC. Already on the digital campaign of the iconic Serpenti and BZEROONE collections of Bulgari, Lisa was named an ambassador of the luxury watchmaker as well.
Along with fashion labels, the Thai-born rapper has endorsed brands such as Samsung, Vivo and Moonshot too. Lisa’s popularity has led to her becoming a mentor on the Chinese survival show Youth With You, with which she has remained associated since last year.