Riding high on the Korean wave: K-pop band BTS and Louis Vuitton join forces

Pratishtha Rana
Louis Vuitton chose not one, but all seven members of the South Korean boy band, BTS, as its new brand ambassadors. Revealed on LV’s Instagram first, the post featured the young, handsome pop icons, RM, Jin, SUGA, J-hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook, clad in pastel-hued outfits.
The post got 1.1 million likes and 30,700 comments in just two days of the announcement. On average, the French Maison’s Instagram post gets between 80,000 to 120,000 likes and not more than 500-800 comments.
BTS for LV
BTS for Louis Vuitton
Vuitton first witnessed BTS’s massive star power back in January 2021, when its Artistic Director, Virgil Abloh, sent customised invites to the group for the Fall-Winter’21 digital show. Netizens were curious to know whether the pop group will make an appearance in the fashion show. They did not. But this invite worked as a successful teaser campaign for LV and its Fall’21 collection film, which clocked more than 105 million views from viewers around the world and across social platforms.
This huge and loyal fan following of the K-Pop superstars is helping LV strengthen its position in Asia.
BTS at Grammys 2021 wearing LV
BTS debuted in 2013 as a septet, based in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. BTS is an acronym for Bangtan Sonyeondan, which means bulletproof boy scouts. In a re-branding in 2017, the group announced that they will also be known as Beyond the Scenes (short for BTS).
The boy band’s ambassadorship with Louis Vuitton comes close on the heels of their red-carpet appearance for the Grammys 2021, in March. The seven singer-dancers, with their dapper persona, unmissable dyed hair and pierced ears, showed up in coordinated black and caramel brown ensembles at the event.
Last year too, the bangtan boys chose to wear Louis Vuitton’s F/W 2020 collection, for the press promotion of their record-breaking music track Dynamite that earned multiple Guinness World Records for being the most-viewed YouTube video in just 24 hours.
Courtesy: Twitter - BTS
Courtesy: Twitter – BTS
However, these designer looks are not BTS’s first. In 2019, during their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour’s Paris leg, the Korean hotshots took the fashion world by surprise. They appeared on stage decked up in special outfits designed by Dior’s Creative Director Kim Jones.
It was the first time that Dior created stage costumes for a music band. Bomber jackets, saddle bags, a darker colour palette and lots of leather cuts – the ensembles were a modern and bold interpretation of luxury streetwear. In other appearances, BTS is often seen sporting Gucci, Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent.
Dior's Kim Jones designs outfits for BTS
Dior’s Kim Jones designs outfits for BTS
BTS wears outfits made by Dior, at the Paris leg of Love Yourself: Speak Yourself tour
This month, the Korean Business Research Institute revealed brand reputation rankings of the top Korean male groups. BTS ranked first on the list, thanks to its increasing popularity and brand value. They scored a brand value index of 11 million. Besides LV, the group also endorses a mix of local and global brands including Samsung, Lotte Duty Free, Hyundai, Fila and McDonald’s.
Basically, everything the BTS members wear, eat, use or promote, sells out in a flash.
Just a few days ago, Virgil Abloh posted Instagram stories with all the BTS members in one frame. Jung Kook, the youngest member, wore a crisp, tailored grey-black 70s Denim Jacket, which was instantly sold out in 29 countries across the world. Similarly, 25-year old Jimin, the main dancer in the group, wore a plain, graphic tee in the video. That too went out of stock almost immediately after the Instagram story was released.
Jung Kook wore the 70s denim jacket by LV, which sold out instantly
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