By Vanessa Ng

Hallyu Fashion: How The Korean Wave Is Wading Into Co-Designed Collaborations

These four co-designed collections reflect a positive turn of the tide for the Korean Wave
Photo: Courtesy of Calvin Klein

The Hallyu wave, otherwise known as the Korean wave, has been a well-discussed phenomenon in pop culture history. From its roots as a soft-power device, the Korean wave has evolved into a billion-dollar industry, adored by regional and Western audiences for the diversity it brings to film, television, music and now, fashion. And in cultivating a sizable number of internationally renowned personalities, the Hallyu-sphere has produced influential vessels in the form of hallmark figures—in K-Pop, K-Dramas, and K-almost-everything. And while it’s been established that K-personalities have become mainstays in the landscape of fashion, the rising number of co-designed fashion collaborations has underscored their imminent influence.

From Blackpink’s Jennie Kim to veteran actor Hyun Bin, GRAZIA Singapore spotlights how the Hallyu tide has washed up on the shores of fashion, and how these thoughtful co-designed collaborations allow for K-personalities to impart their own values, aesthetics, and visions into internationally-stocked collections, cementing the Korean wave’s influence on fashion.

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1. Jennie for Calvin Klein

Photo: Courtesy of Calvin Klein

The ultimate Hallyu It-Girl, Jennie Kim, is one firm figure in the realm of collaborative fashion projects. To follow her design partnerships with Gentle Monster, the Blackpink member has co-designed a Calvin Klein capsule to her own taste. “I wanted to bring a personal touch to these pieces, which you’ll see reflected in the fit, the colour palette and the details. My aspiration for this collection is that everyone will feel as happy and confident in these pieces as I do”, said the singer. In a Kim-curated palette of pastels, a line of matching bralettes and bottoms, bodysuits, tanks and skirts echo the 27-year-old’s everyday fashion, and derive influence from her most-adored Calvin Klein wardrobe staples. On the collaboration, Calvin Klein’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, Jonathan Bottomley reasons, “Having worked with Jennie on several campaigns, we know firsthand that she is a cultural powerhouse. Her persona, talent and distinctive style have a major global impact.”

The collection is available at select Calvin Klein stores and on globally, from May 10th.

2. G-Dragon for Nike X Peaceminusone

Photo: Courtesy of Chamber

G-Dragon, or Kwon Ji-Young, is an OG in the realm of K-entertainment, who pursued a career in K-Pop as a member of quintet Big Bang. Nicknamed by fans as the “most fashionable member”, the multi-hyphenate’s foray into fashion has been notably demarcated by collaborations with Japanese label AMBUSH, Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook, and Italian footwear designer Giuseppe Zanotti. The 34-year-old co-established the label Peaceminusone with stylist Gee Eun, which collaboration with Nike birthed the covetable Paranoise collection. Founded on the principles of Kwon’s personal style, taekwondo, and Nike’s Just Do It slogan, the collaboration recently released two Kwondo1 iterations, reiterating the continued reverence for the singer-designer’s stylish takes.

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3. Hyun Bin for Loro Piana

Photo: Courtesy of Loro Piana

South Korean actor Hyun Bin recently collaborated with Loro Piana to release the Hyun Bin Special Edition collection, comprising Summer Walk shoes and baseball caps. Furnished with the brand’s Beech tree symbol, the collection reiterates the actor and brand’s shared reverence for nature. “This project was born from the love for nature and outdoor life that I share with the brand. With nature, we live a close and interdependent relationship: the maison creates handcrafted garments with timeless elegance starting from the noblest natural fibres; I take refuge and yearn for nature to excel in my work”, said the actor in a press statement. Hyun directly collaborated with the Italian maison and had a hand to play in deciding the details of the final product.

The Hyun Bin Special Edition collection is available for purchase at the Marina Bay Sands store in Singapore and on from April 12th.

4. ITZY for Charles & Keith

Photo: Courtesy of Charles & Keith

Fourth generation girl-group ITZY is another proof of the snowballing Hallyu effect in fashion. Their sophmore collection sees the quintet reprising their designer roles for local brand Charles & Keith. In envisioning “everyday essentials” and a “comfortable charm that anyone can appreciate”, the girls’s creative direction materialised in three iterations of the canvas Astra tote. “If the first collaboration was youthful and free because of its colourfulness, the second collaboration looks chic with its minimal design and colour!”, said member Yuna in an exclusive interview with Grazia Singapore.

The IT’Z Mine collection is available for purchase in Charles & Keith stores and online.

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