Top K-pop stars including Jimin of BTS, Jennie and Jisoo of BLACKPINK, and G-Dragon of BIGBANG become brand ambassadors for renowned luxury labels.
K-pop idols have emerged as the reigning global icons of our time. With an enormous fan base that spans millions, these multi-talented performers captivate audiences through their music, dance, acting, and modeling. It comes as no surprise that luxury fashion brands are eager to tap into this dedicated fan following.
The year kicked off with the news of Dior selecting Jimin from BTS as their new global ambassador. Additionally, V from BTS became a brand ambassador for Celine, and Jungkook joined Calvin Klein as their latest addition.
Renowned luxury brands have enlisted members of the most prominent K-pop groups as their ambassadors for several years. As early as 2017, BIGBANG’s G-Dragon became a Chanel ambassador, alongside BLACKPINK’s Jennie. Jackson Wang and BTS’ J-Hope represent Louis Vuitton, while EXO’s Kai serves as an ambassador for Gucci.
Jisoo represents Cartier and Dior, while Jackson Wang is associated with Cartier, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton. Last April 29, Seoul’s Jamsugyo Bridge turned into a fashion runway for Louis Vuitton’s inaugural pre-fall womenswear show in South Korea. This collaboration seeks to enhance tourism and leverage the country’s pop culture’s immense popularity.
Luxury brands simply can’t resist K-pop artists. As the market’s interest continues to grow, it raises the question: What fuels this worldwide fascination?
One clear motive behind luxury brands embracing K-pop idols swiftly is the essential requirement for increased racial representation across various platforms.
The ascent of Korean culture and the influence of the K-pop fanbase indicate that the future of Hallyu (Korean wave) is enduring and should not be overlooked. The ongoing surge in the Korean economy solidifies the fact that this phenomenon is not merely a passing trend, but a significant development in the fusion of Asian pop culture and Western luxury brands.
Fans are known for actively seeking out designer items worn by their favorite idols, often leading to sold-out stocks. As influential figures who greatly influence purchasing choices, K-pop stars view brand partnerships as strategic career decisions. A crucial aspect of K-pop is its visual nature, with elaborate music videos and choreographed dance sequences being vital.
“Since the beginning of hallyu’s overseas appeal in the mid-2000s, Korean fashion has always been a part of this industry,” says Mary Ainslie, an associate professor at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China Campus who specializes in Southeast Asian culture and media.
In contrast to Western counterparts primarily focused on singing, K-pop artists spend significant time in front of the camera, highlighting the importance of their fashion choices for their overall image.
Banner photo via Instagram @dior.