Beyond the global music and OTT markets, Hallyu has taken over the fashion world.
From Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, the four major fashion shows dubbed the “dream stage” of fashion designers around the world, to luxury brands that lead the trend of fashion, the world’s fashion industry has been busy trying to get K stars in the first row this year.
K-pop idols, the center of the Hallyu Wave, including BLACKPINK, Red Velvet, aespa, IVE, and ASTRO, as well as actors Lee Min Ho, Yoo Ah In, Jung Ho Yeon, and IU, among many other Hallyu stars, have heated up the photo wall of this year’s Fashion Weeks.
Fashion Week refers to a week in which fashion shows of various fashion designers and brands are intensively held. In particular, Paris Fashion Week, with the largest scale and history among the four major fashion shows, has sent more invitations to K-stars than ever before.
At the Paris Fashion Week, which was held from September 26th to October 4th, the power of BLACKPINK members in the fashion world was especially strong. Jennie, who has been a Chanel Global Ambassador since 2017 and is nicknamed “Human Chanel”, attended the brand’s 2023 F/W Ready-to-Wear show last month and lit up Paris Fashion Week splendidly. Jenny sat at the front row of the fashion show and took photos with famous Hollywood actress Kristen Stewart.
Jisoo and Rosé also attended the fashion shows of the designer brands they are active as ambassadors for. Jisoo watched Dior’s show next to Dior Chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari. On the same day, at Saint Laurent’s 2023 S/S show, Rosé stunned in a V-neck dress and black suit.
In 2021, aespa, a leading 4th gen girl group, became the first K-pop artist to have all members selected as Givenchy ambassadors. IVE’s Jang Wonyoung, a top 4th gen female idol who is dubbed the “It girl”, attended overseas fashion shows as the ambassador for Miu Miu and Chaumet. “Face Genius” Cha Eun Woo of ASTRO also appeared at the Dior show.
Model-turned-actor Jung Ho Yeon, who shot to stardom overnight after “Squid Game”, led the runway at the Louis Vuitton fashion show as the brand’s global ambassador. During her modeling career, she had the experience of walking the runway for this brand. In March, she led the opening and finale of Louis Vuitton’s F/W show.
Milan Fashion Week also saw K-pop stars dominate the spotlight. Actors Yoo Ah In, Lee Min Ho, Kim Tae Ri, Kim Da Mi, singer-actress IU, Red Velvet Joy, TWICE Sana, and Chae Young were at the center of attention at the event.
In particular, Lee Min Ho proved how big the influence of Hallyu stars can be in Milan. Lee Min Ho attended the Milan Fashion Week as a global ambassador of Boss. He also watched the special fashion show in New York that commemorated the 25th anniversary of the birth of the Fendi baguette bag in the front row as its Korean ambassador. Overseas media reported that Lee Min Ho beat model Alessandra Ambrosio and rapper Kanye West to become the most talked about celebrity at the 2022 Milan Fashion Week.
This leads to a question. Why are major global luxury brands inviting Hallyu stars and how much influence K-Star has in the fashion industry?
Seol Soo Young, director of Vizucom, which promotes global fashion brands, analyzed that “K-pop idols, which have formed a global fandom, have an optimized system to spread their fashion style through their global tours and YouTube.” In addition, she stressed, “These stars are thoroughly managed by their agencies, which can minimize risks in moral harm or privacy leakage better than other foreign artists.”
Director Seol explained, “So fashion houses have no choice but to send their love calls to Korean artists who can give them the best effect in terms of brand affinity and ripple effect.”