Recently, the new Korean-Wave (Hallyu) fetishism has emerged in Asian Countries. It seems to be very similar to Hollywood film fetishes in the 20th century. Luxury brands such as Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton have sponsored their products in Korean TV dramas to promote and attract to young spectators (Wei 2014).
Since the 1990s, Korean popular culture – the ‘Korean Wave (K-Wave)’ was initially called ‘Hallyu’ by the Chinese mass media – has spread over Asian countries, including China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. (YANG 2012, p.104).
Even though the ‘Hallyu’ was initially restricted to television dramas, it now has extended to such areas as Korean pop music, fashion and culture, and has evolved to more diverse and wider. Thus K-pop artists and their fashion styles are becoming more and more powerful following the enormous reputation of the K-Wave, ‘Hallyu’ beyond Asia.
According to the newspaper article; The Washington Post, “All things Korean — from food and music to eyebrow-shaping and shoe styles — are the rage across Asia, where pop culture has long been dominated by Tokyo and Hollywood; kim chic”(Dean 2002)
In Vietnam which is communist country, fashionable young Vietnamese have adopted new trends from Seoul, South Korea which have been provided by television dramas.
Even in Japan, South Korean pop culture is invading. The “K-Pop Collection in Okinawa” took place on November 1, 2012 in the Okinawa Cellular Stadium in Japan. The “K-Pop Collection” is an exciting combination of concert and fashion show.
“Super K-Collection in Shanghai 2012” was held in China, Shanghai on June 30 at Shanghai Stadium. This event was a collaborative fashion show with Korean fashion brands spreading internationally along with popular K-pop singers. This fashion show had a unique runway that included various performances. This event offered fashion brands an opportunity to advertise their porducts.
A local online Korean fashion brand (http://en.bagazimuri.com/) offers Korean chic fashion style to K-pop fans around the world. The company established its business with only 5 staff members in 2005 but now the number of employees became over 50 and the sales growth rate are increasing rapidly ($890,000 per month). This company also has an offline store which is located on Gangmam, Seoul, has become a popular place for the tourists from China and Japan.
“We are planning to diversify our sales channels and to improve our product quality in order to satisfy our global customers’ needs.” The CEO, Son said.
Park Man Hyun who is one of South Korea’s top stylists and the fashion and visual director of the Korean version of men’s magazine Arena, commented that he mixes both Korean high-street brands and high-fashion brands. Because nowadays, independent designers and underground designers observe how K-pop stars work. Also he said “the K-pop groups create a style purely based on their music. It is not only the outfits they wear but they create everything in one theme on stage, so that their stage designs, music and outfits make a perfect short musical.” ( Boon 2012 )
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Shim, D 2006, ‘Hybridity and the rise of Korean popular culture in Asia’, Media, Culture & Society, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 25-44
Hall, C 2014, ‘Fashion’s New Faves: Korean Celebrities’, WWD, vol.208, no.53, pp. 1-3
YANG, J 2012, ‘The Korean Wave (Hallyu) in East Asia: A Comparison of Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese Audiences Who Watch Korean TV Dramas’ DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIETY, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 103-147
Shin, S & Kim, L 2013, ‘Organizing K-Pop: Emergence and Market Making of Large Korean Entertainment Houses, 1980–2010’, East Asia, vol. 30, no. 4, pp.256-272
Sang , Y 2015, ‘Online fashion brand Bariedition lures K-pop fans’ The Korean Herald Newspaper: English Edition, viewed 5 September 2015,<http://khnews.kheraldm.com/>
Dean, V 2002 ’What Hip Asians Want: A Little Bit of Seoul; From Films to Fashion, Korean Pop Culture Becomes ‘Kim Chic’ Across Continent’, The Washington Post ,viewed 1 September 2015 , ProQuest Central database
Boon, R 2012 ‘Dressing up K-pop stars’, The Straits Times , viewed 4 September 2015, ProQuest Central database
Berry, J 2015, ‘2432QCA Contemporary Fashion Week 11 Lecture: Fashion New Media & Fashion Film’, Retrieved from Griffith University, Queensland College of Art , Learning@Griffith web site: https://bblearn.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_45372_1
Wei ,G 2014 ‘Luxury Brands Look to South Korea for China Sales Boost; Korean Sitcoms Are Popular Among Fashion-Conscious Chinese Consumers’, Wall Street Journal (Online), viewed 8 September 2015, ProQuest Central database