Posted on August 10 2020
Article by: Amos Chin
Internationally, people are starting to dress like their idols and major brands are leveraging on the ‘Hallyu”, aka, Korean wave to shape and market their products.
Since the genesis of Kpop, the genre, which is an amalgamation of pop, rap, electronica has evolved to something beyond the music and morphed into a lucrative billion-dollar fashion industry. K-pop music videos are renown for subversion and boundary-pushing, and each group has its own unique fashion direction. When Big Bang launched into the scene years back, their ‘BANG BANG BANG’ music video was a mish-mash of over the top visual effects and glitzy fashion piece; in particular, G-Dragon’s red skintight trousers and garish oversized jacket was supremely memorable for fans. Thanks to social media, K-pop-inspired streetwear with all its contemporary fashion elements has never been so deeply coveted by sartorialists globally today.
A generation of post-Millenials are now donning the same designers as their favourite K-pop idols. Brands like Chrome Hearts and Moschino saw a surge in sales after popular K-pop stars were spotted adorning them. To these fans, the act of imitation, by wearing the same items is the closest form of connection they can hope to glean. Take for example girl group Blackpink, who’s resounding success has led to throes of adoring fans gaining fashion inspiration that run the gamut from casual shirts to ritzy gowns. In particular, Rosé, who appeared at the Saint Laurent spring/summer 2020 show, set the hashtag #ROSÉxSaintLaurent trending on social media. At Paris Fashion Week appearance, she stunned the world with a sleek, black dress and a pair of elegant pumps.
In their music video for “Kill This Love”, they created their own twist on Tomb Raider with their black Lara Croft inspired shorts.
The golden boys of Kpop BTS made over-sized T-shirts a trend with many fans stealing the look. In their breakthrough song "Blood Sweat and Tears, the group sport the pyjama look with perfect panache, setting all fashion mavens on the prowl for a similar aesthetic. Korean rapper/fashion mogul Mino graced the catwalk for Virgil Abloh during Louis Vuitton’s spring 2020 fashion show in Paris. The celebrity got the media in a frenzy as he sauntered nonchalantly across the cobbled streets of the Paris in Abloh’s pastel-coloured collection.
As K-pop’s influence on fashion continues to burgeon, this could mean more unconventional T-shirt designs featuring cartoon characters, florid coloured hair, and flamboyant, clashing prints like zigzags and polka dots. As far as luxury brands are concerned, K-pop stars have the Midas touch. From sneakers to eye shadow, the omnipresence and ubiquity of their influence have led Korea to become the epitome of street style in Asia.