The brand of the K-pop group in luxury and trends – World Water Day

The brand of the K-pop group in luxury and trends – World Water Day

At dawn on Friday, a phenomenon will explode on the Internet. Blackpink, the biggest girl group in the world and the most successful girl group in K-pop history, will release their first new single in nearly two years.

“Pink Venom”, as the song is titled, already caused a sensation before its release. Last week, teaser images and videos posted on social media crossed millions of eyes and inspired a frenzy among their fans, a global audience that, judging by the group’s Instagram followers alone, is larger than the population of a country. medium sized european “Pink Venom” is part of the upcoming album, “Born Pink”, which is expected in mid-September and will be accompanied by a world tour.

What Blackpink has done better than any girl group before is harness fashion as a tool to position their members as larger-than-life idols: more stylish, composed, and beautiful than mere humans. But in carefully edited videos and behind-the-scenes features released by the group’s record label, the members exude a kind of giddy youth that still makes them accessible. It is this tension that makes his fans, better known as “Blinks”, feel fiercely connected to his cause.

And that loyalty is resulting in big business for the brands Blackpink members Jennie, Lisa, Rosé and Jisoo choose to use or have ambassador contracts with.

Last year, Self-Portrait founder Han Chong told WWD that he sold a cardigan worn by Jennie in a Netflix documentary about the group in five production runs.

Mimi Wade, a British designer who has repeatedly dressed Jennie and Rosé, said that “the reaction has been huge, I get a lot of messages, fan art, collages and reposts… They have a huge influence on fashion and people look at them. lots of inspiration.” She has also driven multiple production series of designs worn by the girls.

In the six years since their debut, each member of Blackpink has individually signed jewelry, beauty, and fashion contracts that are estimated to be in the seven-figure range. Lisa, with the largest number of followers on Instagram with 81 million, has contracts with Celine and Bulgari; Jennie is signed to Chanel and promotes her fashion, accessories and fine jewelry, as well as designing eyewear for Gentle Monster; Jisoo is an official ambassador for Dior’s fashion and beauty activities; and Rosé signs with Yves Saint Laurent and Tiffany & Co.

Blackpink's Jennie Kim in the front row of the Chanel RTW show, spring 2022.

Blackpink’s Jennie Kim in the front row of the Chanel spring 2022 show.

Stephane Feugere/DMA

Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president of product and communications at Tiffany & Co., said of the group: “Blackpink has a huge global audience that is influenced by their style. We have seen the impressive success of K-pop and K-drama around the world. Korean talent has been a fixture in our culture and continues to be the epicenter for influencing global trends.”

Tiffany has gone to great lengths to take advantage of her association with Rosé. She recently featured her in an advertisement for new editions of her Ella Hardwear collection, flew her to London for a retrospective event, and hung an eight-story billboard with her face on the flagship scaffold while she is renewed.

Arnault feels this has given Tiffany a huge boost. “For the past two years, Rosé has introduced Tiffany and our collections by her to her loyal and dedicated fan base. She has the ability to interact with her audience in an authentic and personal way, which she has been amazing to watch. Through our partnership, we have been able to reach a new audience globally and we look forward to continuing our relationship with it,” she said.

In 2019, a luxury accessories brand told WWD that Blackpink’s record label YG, considered one of the most powerful companies in South Korea, had valued a collaboration with Jennie at between $1 million and $1.5 million. But that was before the group’s global following skyrocketed during the pandemic. Another high-end luxury publicist told WWD that they estimate a Blackpink member’s appearance at an event costs “high six figures.”

But according to data published by Launchmetrics, that could be a bargain.

Jennie’s appearance at the Chanel show in March was estimated to generate $3.6 million in media shock value. Dior also got a big boost that month when Jisoo attended her fashion show and posted a picture from the event on her personal Instagram account. The post alone is estimated to have generated $1.74 million in MIV. When Lisa appeared front row at Celine’s show in July, she drew thousands of screaming fans and hundreds of millions of social media impressions in China alone.

Since their “Ddu-du Ddu-du” era in mid-2018, Blackpink’s style has been orchestrated by YG’s in-house stylist Min-hee park, one of South Korea’s top fashion agents, who can start creation or creation. Breakthrough moments for big brands and emerging labels alike.

Park is understood to be tasked with overseeing everything from the girls’ more relaxed airport paparazzi looks to collaborating with stylists on magazine cover looks that need to be approved by YG.

Blackpink's Jisoo at Dior, RTW Spring 2022.

Blackpink’s Jisoo at Dior, spring 2022.

Stephane Feugere/DMA

But when Blackpink started, their fashion was dreamed up by Kyoung Won Choi, who met with WWD in early 2018 while preparing for the group’s Japan tour.

Choi talked about YG’s initial intention to establish a new K-pop paradigm with Blackpink, using fashion as a broader communication tool for the group’s activities. “From the very beginning, YG wanted them to be different from all other groups and create an aura that would not come close to the competition. From a style perspective, I have all the support, usually for a new band there is not a big budget, but YG has connected me with designers and given me a very flexible budget,” he said.

“You can’t deny the power of K-pop and K-drama. South Korea is very trend-driven and if someone famous wears something, everyone goes after it, it creates a phenomenon,” Choi added about the group’s influence.

Gildas Loaëc, co-founder of the Franco-Japanese label Maison Kitsuné, attests to this. Jennie has been photographed in Kitsuné’s clothes at airports or while she was relaxing at home and this has “caused a snowball effect. After that, other K-pop talents started wearing our clothes and then they also saw us in different Korean TV dramas. Those shows are very popular in South Asia and in Japan,” he said. The Jennie Effect helped contribute to Kitsuné’s sustained success in Asia, including Korea, where it now has 25 stores.

Hee Sun Choi, a stylist for the K-pop group Itzy, told WWD in 2019 that over the years, “fashion is becoming more and more a really vital part of K-pop. I can say that I have been working as a stylist for a long time and the budget for fashion has increased enormously. It means that companies are aware of how important a group’s image and fashion is to their success.”

Blackpink’s look is a chaotic mix of what’s trending in luxury, novelty, and underground, with a dose of cuteness thrown in for good measure. The balance between these elements is carefully adjusted to suit the tone of individual releases; with a poppy song, they’ll look cheesy, while a hard-hitting dance track will often see girls wearing edgier, more worn clothes.

It is understood that unlike traditional celebrity clothing deals, Blackpink’s stylists purchase their clothing from brands and stores directly. Girls’ skinny frames require extensive modifications for a proper fit. There is also the matter of getting them to dance on stage properly, which is why undergarments are often sewn into costumes to prevent any costume “malfunctions”.

The promotional images for Pink Venom represent the first time that a brand has singularly dressed all four members of Blackpink at the same time. For the honor, Park worked with pop music’s leading costume designer: Mugler.

Mugler creative director Casey Cadwallader, who has put the French house back on the map by strategically collaborating on boundary-pushing looks with some of music’s biggest talents, said “I’ve never met a group of people so powerful, their fans are so loyal and energetic, I’ve never experienced anything like this, it can seem like they’re more famous than Michael Jackson.”

“It’s a big shock for us, most of the things they use are sold out immediately. It turned out that it really worked – we dressed them in my new collection which is not out yet and coincidentally I wore a lot of pink for the first time. It was important that each girl had a different take but the color unified them at the same time. The recap was ‘The Hunger Games’ pink, Cadwallader said of working with Park on the look.

When Pink Venom launches on Friday morning, it will provide the first real metrics of how Blackpink’s popularity has skyrocketed during the pandemic, when many young people, stuck at home, discovered the group online.

For Cadwallader, it makes perfect sense: “His music has a lot of energy and a strong sense of drama and strength. That’s really captivating for people; each girl is beautiful in a different way, there is a lot of appeal to people.”

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