NewJeans: Fashion’s Next Big K-Pop Opportunity

In early October, the throng of cheering spectators outside Louis Vuitton’s latest fashion show spilled onto the Champs-Élysées, barely contained by the metal barricades the security team had erected to maintain order. Amongst the loudest were fans of Hyein, the youngest member of K-pop sensation NewJeans, who made an appearance as a brand ambassador for the French mega-label.

Major K-pop acts like Blackpink and BTS have lit up fashion weeks in recent years, creating valuable buzz for the brands that signed marketing deals with them. Now, some insiders predict that NewJeans will be the next South Korean act to become a major force in fashion. The girl group’s five members have already inked high-profile contracts with top luxury houses: Minji with Chanel, Hanni with Gucci, Danielle with Burberry, Haerin with Dior and Hyein with Louis Vuitton.

NewJeans’s rapid ascent has been unlike anything the K-pop industry has seen before. When the group debuted in July 2022 with its single “Attention,” the track was successful in getting the group exactly that. Alongside their deals with luxury brands, the members of NewJeans have also been tapped by household names like Apple, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, and taken turns doing solo covers for the South Korean editions of major fashion titles, from Vogue to Harper’s Bazaar. Nearly 10 million people follow the group on Instagram, up from 3 million just five months earlier.

“No K-pop group has had this momentum,” said Paul Jeong, co-founder of Altm Group, a company that advises fashion brands on celebrity partnerships in Asia. “Part of that is [other Korean bands like] BTS and Blackpink starting the conversation for them but in terms of endorsements even Blackpink didn’t have this many endorsements this early on.”

Blackpink snagged contracts with brands such as Adidas while individually members of the girl group are the faces of Chanel, Calvin Klein, Dior, Cartier and more, but those deals were several years…

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