Are you a luxury brand that's considering expanding in the Asian region? Well, have you thought about South Korea? It's one of the hottest markets for luxury goods in the Asia-Pacific region! In fact, in 2019, the Korean luxury market was valued at a whopping $12.7 billion, and top brands like Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent are seeing an increase in sales despite the rise in prices.
But wait, there's more! In 2022, South Korea's luxury spending skyrocketed by 24%, reaching $16.8 billion US dollars! And get this, their per capita spending on luxury goods is even higher than that of the US and China! It's no secret that luxury goods are a status symbol for Koreans, and only 22% of South Korean respondents believe that showing off their luxury items is in bad taste. This mindset is what fuels consumers to buy more and more, and it's why luxury brands thrive in South Korea. Additionally, this mindset is encouraged by luxury influencers on social media.
As more millennials flock to buy expensive leather goods, jewelry and perfume, the marketing and PR departments of these luxury brands have shifted their focus to other forms of advertising. Nowadays, influencer marketing is crucial for both domestic and luxury brands to succeed. And you know what the most popular platform for these partnerships is? Instagram, of course!
And if you take a look at the thriving luxury market in South Korea, you'll see that more and more brands are teaming up with famous K-pop idols and celebrities on Instagram. In fact, there are so many amazing partnerships out there, we've compiled a list of the top 17 luxury brand and K-pop idol collaborations for you to check out! Trust us, you won't want to miss it.
17 Luxury Brand Collaborations with K-Pop Idols ⬇️
17. Hwasa ✕ Gucci
Instagram: @_mariahwasa Followers: 86 million
Hwasa, the talented singer, rapper, and TV personality from the popular girl group Mamamoo, has teamed up with Gucci for an epic Instagram campaign. It's no surprise that such a trendy and iconic brand would choose someone as stylish as Hwasa for their collaboration. We can't wait to see what they've got in store for us!
16. Aespa ✕ Givency
Instagram: @aespa_official Followers: 10 million
Aespa, the four-member girl group under SM Entertainment, is quickly making a name for themselves in the music industry. And it looks like Givenchy has noticed their talent too, as they recently collaborated with the group for an online campaign. It's great to see luxury brands embracing the K-pop scene and working with such talented artists.
15. Suho ✕ Bvlgari
Instagram: @kimjuncotton Followers: 10.6 million
Suho, the leader and lead vocalist of the popular South Korean-Chinese boy group Exo, had the honor of attending the exclusive event, Serpenti Night, hosted by the iconic luxury brand Bvlgari. And he made sure to thank them for the incredible experience on his Instagram post. It's clear that Suho has a great sense of style, which makes him a perfect fit for such an exclusive event.
14. Irene ✕ Prada
Instagram: @renebaebae Followers: 11 million
Irene, the stylish leader of the girl group Red Velvet, has collaborated with two major players in the fashion industry, Vogue Korea and Prada, for an Instagram post that exudes elegance and sophistication. It's clear that Irene has a keen eye for fashion and her stunning outfit perfectly showcases the partnership between these two fashion giants.
13. Seulgi ✕ Salvatore
Instagram: @hi_sseulgi Followers: 12.7 million
Seulgi, the talented singer and dancer from Red Velvet, recently shared a post on Instagram showing off her fabulous shoes, which she tagged as Salvatore Ferragamo. It's clear that Seulgi has a great sense of style and we can't wait to see what other fashion-forward looks she'll be sharing with us.
12. Kai ✕ Gucci
Instagram: @zkdlin Followers: 14.2 million
Kim Jong-in, better known as Kai, is a multitalented South Korean artist who can sing, model, dance, and act. He's also a member of the popular boy group Exo. In this post, Kai shows off his stylish outfit and tags Gucci, using the hashtag #KaiXGucci to give his followers some fashion inspiration.
11. Hyuna ✕ Loewe
Instagram: @hyunah_aa Followers: 18.6 million
Kim Hyun-ah, or Hyuna for short, is a South Korean singer-songwriter, rapper, and model. She debuted as a member of the girl group Wonder Girls in February 2007. Hyuna's Instagram carousel features her collection of Loewe bags in different colors, giving her followers some serious bag envy.
10. G-Dragon ✕ Chanel
Instagram: @xxxibgdrgn Followers: 21.9 million
Kwon Ji-yong, also known as G-Dragon, is a South Korean rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. He's known as the "King of K-pop" and Chanel's official Instagram account posted a photo of him as the brand's house ambassador during the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2020 Haute Couture show, proving that he's a style icon both on and off stage.
9. Baekhyun ✕ Burberry
Instagram: @baekhyunee_exo Followers: 21.7 million
Byun Baek-hyun, better known as Baekhyun, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, and actor, and a member of the boy group Exo. In this post, Baekhyun shows off his Burberry Pocket Bag, making a bold fashion statement while representing the luxury brand.
8. Sehun ✕ Zegna
Followers: 23.3 million
Oh Se-hun, also known as Sehun, is a South Korean rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, model, and dancer. He's a member of the popular boy group Exo, and Zegna's official Instagram account featured him and William Chan as the new faces of Ermenegildo Zegna, showing off their fashion-forward looks and impeccable style.
7. Chanyeol ✕ Prada
Instagram: @real__pcy Followers: 23.9 million
Park Chan-yeol, also known as Chanyeol, is another talented member of the boy group Exo. He's known as a South Korean rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, actor, and model. Chanyeol's post features him rocking a Prada bag, and he excitedly announces that he's now an ambassador for the luxury brand, showing his love for high-end fashion.
6. IU ✕ Gucci
Instagram: @dlwlrma Followers: 29.4 million
Who doesn't love IU? Lee Ji-eun, also known by her stage name IU, is a South Korean singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. IU appeared on the cover of Dazed Korea wearing a leather shoulder bag and suit from Gucci.
5. Jackson Wang ✕ Fendi
Instagram: @jacksonwang852g7 Followers: 31.5 million
Jackson Wang is a triple threat - rapper, singer, and fashion designer based in China. Despite being based in China, Jackson entered the K-Pop scene by becoming a member of South Korean boy group Got7. On this post, Jackson showed off his Fendi bag, captioned with "Fendi Roma."
4. Rosé ✕ Yves Saint Laurent
Instagram: @roses_are_rosie Followers: 67.6 million
Rosé has us seeing stars! Roseanne Park, known as Rosé, is a Korean-New Zealand singer and dancer based in South Korea. Rosé is a member of the world-renowned girl group Blackpink. On this post, Vogue featured Rosé, stating that she is Yves Saint Laurent Beauty's new muse.
3. Jisoo ✕ Dior
Instagram: @sooyaaa__ Followers: 69.2 million
Jisoo from Blackpink is an absolute queen! Kim Ji-soo, known as Jisoo, is a South Korean singer and actress. Dior featured Jisoo on their official Instagram page, stating that Jisoo is the new global Dior ambassador for both Fashion and Beauty. Dior chose Jisoo as ambassador because she perfectly encapsulates the brand's femininity.
2. Jennie ✕ Chanel
Instagram: @jennierubyjane Followers: 74.8 million
Jennie from Blackpink is a true fashion icon. Jennie Kim, known as Jennie, is a South Korean singer and rapper. Jennie studied in New Zealand for five years before returning to South Korea in 2010. Chanel featured Jennie on its official Instagram page, declaring her as the brand's house ambassador, attending the CHANEL in the Snow show in Paris.
1. Lisa ✕ CELINE
Instagram: @lalalalisa_m Followers: 89.1 million
Lisa from Blackpink is always serving looks! The Thai rapper, singer, and dancer recently shared her favorite photo from Celine's photo booth in Paris on her Instagram page. It's safe to say she knows how to work the camera! Lisa posted this photo on her Instagram page, captioned with "My favorite photo from @celine ‘s photo booth in Paris."
Ambassadors over Models?
Ambassadors are not exactly models. Although both have signed contracts with the brands to promote their products, ambassadors tend to focus more on the interaction with customers, while models rely on physical appearance to drive sales. Ambassadors bridge gaps between a brand and audience in a more personal manner.
“As K-pop stars such as BTS and Blackpink started gaining worldwide popularity, Korean celebrities have been establishing a strong presence in the fashion industry,”
said Lee Kyeung-un, a director at ESteem Entertainment. The strong presence of Korean idols on social media is also appealing to the international luxury brands. Every idol on this list has at least 8 million followers and as many as 77 million (Blackpink's Lisa).
Instagram is a powerful platform that allows brands to be able to reach a loyal and diverse audience. By targeting these younger 20 and 30-year old followers via social media, luxury brands have been highly successful in helping the growth of the luxury market in South Korea. Consumer trends point to another year of growth yet again, for 2023.
AJ Marketing | Unlock the Power of Influence