In yet another demonstration of the appeal of the Korean pop star in the fashion industry, Korean-born, Paris-based designer Juun.J has tapped BigBang’s most fashion-forward members, G-DRAGON and Taeyang, to front his Fall/Winter 2016 ad campaign.
Kwon Ji Yong, who is better known as G-Dragon, is not just one of the biggest names in Korea, thanks to his membership in boy band, Big Bang. The 28-year old, who has been described as embodying “Justin Timberlake's boy bander-turned-credible musician pedigree and Kanye West's genre-bending artistic daredevilry,” is something of a bona fide street style star; you’ll see him on websites like Vogue, Le-21eme, NY Magazine, and TFL.
He’s a front row fixture at just about every Chanel show, and Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Rick Owens, and Hood by Air, too. And as you can likely discern from his music videos (think: head to toe Chanel, Thom Browne, etc.), he’s a major fashion fan. Not surprisingly, he has been gaining traction as a fashion industry insider for the past several years, with an increasing number of designers and publications taking notice.
Tapping these stars for campaigns makes sense. In addition to the burgeoning appeal of such stars on a more international basis, recent reports suggest that fans of the popular K-pop stars and other Korean media stars put their money where their mouths are. In addition to spending top dollar on concerts, K-pop fans – like other music fans – are buying into the individual K-pop stars’ various other ventures.
Not unlike Kanye West’s ability to sell a reported million dollars’ worth of The Life of Pablo merchandise, K-pop stars have massive selling power to go lean on with their side projects. In 2013, K-pop was profiting in the ballpark of over $200 million in exports – with roughly half coming from concerts. According to reports, such figures have grown significantly since then. In short: what brands and products these individuals endorse sell and they sell very well.
With this in mind, if Western brands (like Guiseppe Zanotti, Chrome Hearts, and the others that have partnered with G-Dragon, for instance) are smart, they will continue to court these individuals as they become internationally-renowned stars – because it is only a matter of time.