Korean celebrities represent luxury fashion brands, and fans take notice
The scene of luxury brand Celine presenting its Spring/Summer 2023 menswear collection in Paris on June 26 was more like a concert as the crowd cheered for attending K-pop stars V of BTS and Lisa of Blackpink, and actor Park Bo-gum.
According to those who were present at the time, chairman Bernard Arnault and CEO Sidney Toledano of fashion group LVMH were pleasantly surprised by the fervent reaction and took out their phones to film the scene.
Lisa is the global ambassador for Celine and also walked the runway last year for the brand’s Spring/Summer 2022 fashion show in Nice, France. Kim Tae-hyung, or V, who brought his best friend Park, reportedly received a personal invitation to the Celine show from the brand’s creative director, Hedi Slimane.
In fact, it is now harder to find luxury brands that do not have Korean celebrities or K-pop stars as their global ambassadors. K-pop sensation BTS and “Squid Game” (2021) star Jung Ho-yeon are ambassadors for Louis Vuitton; Jennie of Blackpink and G-Dragon of Big Bang for Chanel; Jisoo of Blankpink for Dior and Cartier; Rosé of Blackpink for Saint Laurnet and Tiffany & Co.; Lisa for Celine and Bvlgari; Jaehyun of NCT for Prada; and actors Lee Jung-jae, Shin Min-a, singer IU and Kai of Exo for Gucci.
The position is no longer limited to Korean actors or musicians. British luxury brand Burberry announced football star Son Heung-min as its global ambassador on June 13.
Considering that K-celebrities’ every move becomes the talk of the town, it is not hard to see why.
Hashtags “Lisa X Celine” and “Taehyung X Celine” rose as the most-searched keywords on Twitter and TikTok thanks to the Celine show. V’s Instagram post about the event uploaded the same day garnered over 12 million likes.
Lisa has approximately 80 million followers on Instagram, and her TikTok video about Celine passed 60 million views. V has over 45 million Instagram followers. One post uploaded by these stars exposes the brand to tens of millions of people around the world.
Especially with global fashion events coming back as pandemic-era social distancing seems to be coming to a close, more stars have joined the mix and are seen at in-person events. “Broker” (2022) actor Kang Dong-won was recently selected as an ambassador for Louis Vuitton and attended its Summer/Spring 2023 menswear show last month. Singer HyunA also attended Loewe’s show for the brand’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection with her boyfriend and fellow K-pop singer, Dawn. HyunA has been Loewe’s ambassador since last year.
A key asset that Korean stars offer the brands is their formidable influence, especially on the younger millennials and Gen Z generations active on social media.
“Compared to conventional global stars, K-pop stars’ online presence is pretty much unbeatable,” said Kim Min-jung, head of the fashion promotion company KN Company.
“Not many celebrities have such large online fandoms to begin with, but even fewer communicate with their fans the way K-pop stars do. That's what makes the K-pop stars so competitive in this field.”
BY YOO JI-YOEN [firstname.lastname@example.org]