Young Kpop idols becoming luxury ambassadors are causing Korean parents to worry

With famous Kpop idols becoming ambassadors of luxury brands, Korean parents worry about a negative impact on their children’s spending habits. 

On January 30th, Korean media outlet Sports Seoul published an article about the concerns of Korean parents, whose children’s idols are becoming ambassadors of luxury brands. According to these parents, fans will be influenced to splurge on luxury items from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc… as a result of their idol’s ambassador-ship. 

In particular, rising pop culture has pushed luxury clothes and jewelry brands to sign with famous Korean artists, in order to increase their popularity with young people. For example, “Squid Game” star Jung Ho Yeon became the ambassador for Louis Vuitton and Bently from 2022, while BLACKPINK members actively promote brands such as Chanel, Bvlgari, Cartier, Tiffany &Co., Dior, Saint Laurent, and Celine on their Instagram. Jimin, a member of BTS, was also announced as an ambassador of Dior. 

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Even rookie artists, such as NewJeans, are working closely with luxury brands. Hanni, for example, is an ambassador of Gucci, while Hyein was announced as an ambassador for Louis Vuitton at the age of 14. 

In January 2023, Danielle also became an ambassador for Burberry. 

Regarding the impact of Kpop idols strongly breaching the fashion realm, a fashion industry insider said, “It is positive that a large number of K-pop stars are selected as luxury ambassadors, but as a result, it contributes to the rise in the price of luxury goods.”

“YG Entertainment, where BIGBANG G-Dragon and BLACKPINK worked as luxury ambassadors, has also established it musically to some extent and expanded its scope to fashion such as luxury ambassadors, after the members became adults”, the official also said. 

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However, young teenage idols becoming ambassadors of luxury brands may cause heavy consequences, he pointed out, saying, “having members who are still in their teens start with luxury ambassador activities can affect not only the singers but also the young fans who have them as wannabes.”

For instance, Kim Young Shin, a 44-year-old father, is worried that his daughter, who is a NewJeans fan, often beg him to buy her luxury items despite only being in middle school. 

“My daughter, who is a fan of NewJeans Hyein, has been asking me to buy her a Louis Vuitton wallet because Hyein became a Louis Vuitton ambassador. She felt that since a friend her age have it, she should also buy one,” Mr. Kim told Sports Seoul. 

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In fact, Bloomberg News recently reported that Korea’s consumption of luxury goods per capita was the world’s highest in an article titled “The World’s Biggest Luxury Spenders Are Label-Loving Koreans”. In the meantime, environmental factors that stimulate the consumption of luxury goods by young Koreans include the spread of social media such as Instagram and the activities of famous celebrities including Kpop stars.

The selection of teenage Kpop stars as luxury ambassadors is also a factor that contributes to the rising price of luxury goods.


Meanwhile, CNBC stated that in 2022, the total spendings of Koreans on personal luxury items have risen by 24% percent to 16.8 billion USD. This means that on average, each Korean spends 325 USD on luxury items – a much higher number compared to China and the US, which recorded averages of 55 USD and 280 USD per person, respectively. 

Source: Sports Seoul, CNBC, Bloomberg

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