News / Features / Fashion & Style

Why G-Dragon Is Chanel's Ticket To Asian Market Expansion

By Tamar Herman | January 28, 2016 11:20 AM EST

Chanel is more than happy to wrap its style in K-pop packaging to make headways into Asia.

G-Dragon (Kwon Ji Yong), the leader of Big Bang, one of K-pop's most popular idol groups, managed to capture the attention of international media outlets after his recent appearance at Chanel's Paris runway show. Known for his artistry and style, the K-pop artist is the perfect icon to help Chanel further expand in Asia, and South Korea in particular.

G-Dragon, who has more than 7.6 million Instagram followers, has been appearing at Chanel's shows for several years in what the New York Times describes as a planned move by Chanel in the company's quest for dominating more of the international luxury goods market, particularly in Asia.

"His chameleon style, kaleidoscopic hair shades and catchy songs have won him an army of fans in the millions in Asia, especially in his home country," wrote The Times' Elizabeth Paton on Wednesday. "This no doubt explains part of his appeal for Chanel, who has identified South Korea as a leading luxury growth market."

Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld took a picture with G-Dragon at the recent Paris event and the two have been seen together at previous shows that the Big Bang member attended.

G-Dragon's rise to front and center at Chanel shows, which has led to the highest praise from world-renowned fashion magazine Vogue, comes at a time when Chanel has all eyes set on the Asian market. As the leader of Big Bang and one of the wealthiest young celebrities in South Korea - and while many in Asia are taking cues from Korean pop culture - G-Dragon is better than any ad campaign.

Chanel has a walking, talking billboard in the form of G-Dragon to attract Asian customers, a huge feat when considering that more than half of the world's population lives on the continent. There are also more than 35 million dedicated fans of Korean culture around the world, according to a recent report from the Korea Foundation.

Trends change constantly in South Korea and the daily outfits of an innovator like G-Dragon are talked about by fashion bloggers and magazines both inside and outside the country. By putting G-Dragon front and center, Chanel and Lagerfeld apply their kiss of approval on the pop star as a fashion icon and likely hope that the rest of Korea follows.

It wouldn't be incorrect to compare G-Dragon to the likes of Justin Bieber when it comes to popularity in Asia, with Big Bang's songs being some of the most popular domestically and internationally in 2015. 

Of course, Bieber hasn't held his own art exhibit at a major museum.

G-Dragon, who has floundered during a few drug and dating scandals, can do no wrong musically or in the fashion world; he's the poster child of K-pop and Korea's forward thinking innovation, and nothing beats that in Asia nowadays. 2015 brought Big Bang to new heights with their "MADE" album and a worldwide tour that brought them to major music venues throughout the globe, with G-Dragon at the front and center of everything and that's exactly the type of publicity Chanel is looking for in South Korea, the current heart of Asian fashion.

In May 2015, Chanel held its first show in South Korea, featuring a cruise line that incorporated Korean and Asian traditional style elements. At the time, Lagerfeld described Korea's society as "young and playful" and described Asia as "the future."

After the show in Paris, the New York Times spoke to G-Dragon about his role as a fashion innovator and potentially as a fashion designer.

"I would only create clothes myself if I felt I could do something really different - create a new style subculture for my generation and that is very ambitious," said the Big Bang member. "What is more interesting to me is how all my worlds appear to be colliding at the moment - music, film, fashion and art - you can be one man, but be a force that combines all of those sectors together. There are business opportunities to be found within that."

---

Tamar Herman is a multi-media journalist and the co-founder of KultScene. She is a freelance writer and copy editor, and has written for MTV Iggy, Noisey, and Paste Magazine.

Tagged :  G-Dragon, Big Bang, chanel

Featured

Oversea Event 11.06.17 | 07:53AM EST

2017 Rock The Moon concert in Kuala Lumpur

2017 Rock The Moon concert in Kuala Lumpur

Oversea Event 11.01.17 | 08:34AM EDT

Wanna One to Meet Their Fans in Malaysia through Wanna One 1st Fan Meeting in Kuala Lumpur “Wanna Be Loved”

Wanna One to Meet Their Fans in Malaysia through
Wanna One 1st Fan Meeting in Kuala Lumpur “Wanna Be Loved”

11.03.17 | 07:56AM EDT

WANNA-ONE Meets The Press And Fans In Singapore [PHOTOS]

WANNA-ONE Meets The Press And Fans In Singapore [PHOTOS]

Real Time Analytics