High-end fashion and beauty brands have muses, representatives, and ambassadors in every corner of the world. However, Korean stars often receive special treatment.
The luxury designer house Burberry recently announced Korean soccer player Son Heung Min as their Global Ambassador. According to the brand, Son Heung Min perfectly fits Burberry’s belief in opening spaces and unlocking the power of imagination to push boundaries.
Alongside this, Chanel also newly held the Korean talk show “Chanel Connects” with G-Dragon, Jennie and Kim Go Eun, who are also ambassadors of the brand, also get favored in other events of this fashion house.
Through these incidents, it can be seen that the high-end fashion world is no longer a playground reserved for Hollywood stars. Instead, many brands have been announcing Global Ambassadors, Ambassadors, Muses, and House Friends from Korea, with the former two growing dramatically in number. So, what drives luxury brands to favor Korean celebrities?
Huge impact is equivalent to high profits
In Asia, there are 3 nations with booming economies that can stand side by side with economic powers, including Japan, China, and Korea. However, while the Japanese and Chinese entertainment industry is mostly geared toward the domestic audiences, Korea heads out towards the world, earning fans from every corner. It is therefore no surprise to see the Hallyu Wave growing more and more every day, with a huge number of international fans enjoying content from Korea.
The global nature of the Korean entertainment industry also means that the impact of Korean artists extends way past Korea. In addition, Korean celebrities not only engage with fans through music, TV shows, movies and K-dramas, but also utilize the power of SNS. Kpop artists, Korean actors, even dancers, athletes, and YouTubers from Korea all have millions of followers, making it easy for them to create a brand for themselves, promote their image, draw engagement, and “influence” their fans, creating new trends and viral items.
BLACKPINK, G-Dragon, and many other artists are extremely established trendsetters. For instance, Jennie once donned a bow crop top from Chanel, which then became viral among celebrities and netizens alike. Meanwhile, many people started talking about the Chanel 22 backpack after G-Dragon used it at the airport, and the Saint Lauren bag held by Rosé on a magazine cover also sold out.
In addition, whenever Kpop artists attend fashion shows, their images would become a topic. For example, Jisoo’s appearance in last year’s Paris Fashion Week brought Dior a 484% growth in revenue within just 2 months, while Celine experienced a 105% climb in brand value after naming Lisa as their global ambassador.
A perfect fit for brand’s spirit
In addition to their ability to generate sales and attention, an ambassador needs to be able to convey the spirit of the brands they represent. Unlike Western stars who like outrageous, bold, and unique items, Korean stars prefer trendy, chic, and modern yet still applicable fashion. Therefore, the items adorned by Korean celebrities would seem more “relatable” to buyers, who are prompted to purchase after seeing their favorite stars.
No matter how unique or bold you are, a designer house needs sales to survive, and the Korean style, which is both distinctive and relatable, makes Korean celebrities the ideal choice for luxury brands.
BLACKPINK, for example, are the darling of the fashion world, thanks to their ability to go from Asia’s cuteness to Western’s sexiness. In addition, BLACKPINK members have experienced different cultures, and thus understand the mentality of different nations, like Lisa with Thailand, Jisoo with Korea, Rosé with New Zealand and Australia, and Jennie with Korea and New Zealand. Each member, with their different colors, are thus chosen for different brands, including Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, Celine, and many more.
On the other hand, G-Dragon was a whole trendmaker in terms of fashion, with a style just unique enough for people to want to follow. In addition, EXO Kai embodies both classiness and modern vibes, and so is the ideal transformation that Gucci is requiring. Meanwhile, Song Hye Kyo exuded regality, perfectly falling in line with the luxurious and mysterious image that Chaumet follows.
There’s no country as obsessed with looks as Korea, with Korean netizens nitpicking on the appearance of celebrities everytime they appear. Therefore, from fashion style, makeup, to hairstyle, Korean stars appear with the perfect image both on and off the stage, in contrast to Western stars, who would dress casually in their daily lives. Therefore, Korean stars would be the “role models” for many young people, who strive to look just as stunning.
Some stars even went as far as to turn every activity into a fashion runway, even broad and depart their flight in completely different images. As a result, whenever a Korean star appears with luxury items, the public would also pursue such an image, and purchase such items.
Take Jennie, for example. The BLACKPINK member is extremely good at bringing Chanel closer to the public. From clothes to accessories, Jennie would go viral while wearing Chanel at the airport, making all these items sold out. She’d then change into a more comfy outfit for the flight, knowing that her work is done.
Every once in a while, we’d see another Korean celebrity being announced as ambassadors of luxury brands, attending fashion events, or posting promotions of new luxury collections. It is undoubted that Korea has earned the attention of the fashion and beauty world, and that Korean stars are now the darling of not only the entertainment industry.
We can say that it’s a win-win situation for fashion brands and Korean celebrities.