— Footwear News (@FootwearNews) July 17, 2018
Since Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video went viral in 2012, Korean pop music has been on a slow rise — until now. It’s quickly turning into a global phenomenon. From food to beauty to fashion, the K-Wave continues to build — with its music stars amassing dedicated fans and millions of followers on social media.
Many brands — from athletic names like Nike, Adidas, Puma and Reebok to luxury labels such as Gucci and Fendi — are taking notice of K-Pop’s widespread influence.
“Younger consumers are exposed to a greater variety of celebrities and entertainment than in the past, and K-Pop has resonated,” said Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories analyst at The NPD Group Inc. “It’s different but relatable. For a fashion brand, partnering with K-Pop artists is a unique way to get in front of a desired demographic on a more global scale.”
“It’s part of the zeitgeist. Their videos are artwork,” said Marc Beckman, CEO of advertising agency DMA United. “The music is high-end, and that extends to merchandise. K-Pop is an expression of youth culture, and it will continue to grow beyond music.”
Here is a look at five groups that have everyone talking.
While Big Bang is on hiatus, as some of its members serve in the military, one has become a social media sensation.
G-Dragon, who has 16 million Instagram followers, is a fan favorite and growing fashion influencer. He’s been spotted in countless Chanel ensembles but isn’t afraid to wear its womenswear.
Fellow member Taeyang has also made his mark in fashion. Last year, he joined forces with Fendi to launch a capsule collection, “Fendi for TaeYang,” filled with jackets, hoodies, T-shirts and accessories such as sneakers and backpacks.