KCON USA presented by Toyota, as the world's largest Korean culture convention and music festival, is an unapologetic celebration of all things Korean - and one of the most significant and celebrated parts of Korean culture is Korean fashion. We took a look at the fashion at this year's KCON NY, and how attendees styled themselves with everything from streetwear to representing their favorite K-Pop group to looks straight out of a K-Pop music video.
We asked some stylish attendees about their outfit inspiration, their idol style icons, and what, or who, they were most excited for at KCON 2019 NY. Many attendees expressed their excitement for their favorite KCON musical guests through idol-inspired outfits - let's take a look!
1. Ki Jean-Noel (@empress.ki_) dubbed herself the biggest Atiny she knows - and her outfit, straight out of ATEEZ's Hala Hala music video, is proof. A tiny is the fandom name for the boy group ATEEZ, who performed at KCON NY on Saturday, July 6th. Ki's outfit is the spitting image of San's HALA HALA fit with an abundance of chains, a pop of red from a handkerchief tied to her chain belt, and the music video's iconic black wide-brimmed hat - but her double-breasted blazer dress gives it fun yet fierce girly twist.
Photo courtesy of MCountdown
It's no surprise that a highlight of her KCON weekend was seeing San and the rest of ATEEZ in the flesh at the concert, as well as their many fan engagements. Ki named Hyuna and Sunmi, both former members of the Wonder Girls that have since turned-legendary solo artists, as her style icons. She even has a lot of the same clothes as Hyuna!
Whether she's channeling Hyuna's free, girl-crush energy or ATEEZ San's ferocity, Ki stood out as one of the most stylish KCON attendees.
Mya took inspiration from ATEEZ for her outfit, citing her thought process as: "Hmm, maybe let's do something that's kind of edgy, but not way too edgy! Alright, let me just be Pirate King for a quick minute!" Hanging suspenders, combat boots, and a thick, heart-shaped choker bring edginess and contrast to her neon orange top, aquamarine hair, and bright, shiny smile - the mix of the two moods exudes ATEEZ' duality, between the light summery reggae grooves of their latest release Wave and the hard-hitting trap beats of their debut song Pirate King.
Meanwhile, Mekinzie credited Mya for being her own personal stylist, and together their KCON goal was to "pop out and be as colorful as possible! That's it," in the words of Mya. The orange accents of Mekinzie's outfit, from the laces of her multicolored sneakers to the lanyard which housed her KCON Audience pass, definitely fulfilled that goal.
Mya named BLACKPINK's Lisa and Jennie as her style icons, and also noted her love for girl groups with an edgy 'bad girl' style, like Red Velvet's Velvet concept. Mekinzie also named Jennie as a style icon of hers (since she also shared Jennie's love for making sweatpants and flip flops look like high fashion).
The highlights of KCON for this dynamic duo included seeing SEVENTEEN, SF9, ATEEZ, The Boyz, and IZ*ONE - though we can't leave out how Mya won Second Place in KCON's Cover Star K contest and had the award presented to her by fromis_9. Queens only.
3. Cara (@succubus.spit) made the KCON show floor her runway with many bold statement pieces: a cheetah-print bodycon dress, a long chain necklace, and a beret topping her half-toned grey and blonde hair. She took inspiration from (G)I-DLE, the girl crush six-member group that frequents cheetah print clothing, for her cheetah print dress.
Cara named ITZY as her idol style icons - all of them. "Everything they wear, I love it and want it," she said, and that's a sentiment all K-Pop fans can relate to with ITZY slaying everything from fishnet bodysuits to baggy, oversized camouflage pants. Cara also noted her excitement for SF9, The Boyz, and, of course, (G)I-DLE at KCON.
4. With SEVENTEEN as part of KCON NY's lineup, the Javits Center saw many Carats decked out head to toe in the group's iconic official fan colors, Rose Quartz and Serenity. Iz (left) and Audrey (right) were just two adorable drops in a sea of pink and light blue on Sunday. With their Carat bong, BongBong, and Dino fan, their love for their ult group SEVENTEEN was apparent.
5. Breanna (@breannajane7, left) and Sarah (@sarah_gooseyy, right) also repped their love for SEVENTEEN and were decked out in Rose Quartz and Serenity. Sarah's outfit, with a light blue sweater, white shorts, and bright pink FILA sneakers that matched her bright pink hair, lent themselves to her ideal look which she named, "a walking Carat Bong." Meanwhile, it was actually Breanna's birthday - KCON doubled as her birthday party, and she celebrated by crafting a comfortable yet cute outfit.
Breanna named GOT7's Bambam as one of her style icons - "Honestly, he's probably the number one person that comes to mind when I think about fashion." With Bambam's model proportions and penchant for making the airport his runway, so it comes as no surprise that he's style-icon worthy. Sarah compared her everyday style to Vernon, who makes comfy clothing like sweatpants and long-sleeved Anti-Social Social Club shirts look effortlessly cool.
6. Timoy represented his love for SEVENTEEN not with their official colors, but in a different yet just as poignant way: with a T-shirt emblazoned with a meme of SEVENTEEN's main vocalist, DK.
"I really love DK's vocals, and I told my friend who was buying [me] gifts, 'Yo, could you get me a DK shirt? No matter what it is, no matter what DK shirt, I'll wear it.' And then he got me this." Timoy recalls the backstory of his T-shirt, depicting DK's derp face. Other than showing off his snazzy shirt, a highlight of Timoy's KCON weekend was "being blessed by DK's vocals" - a sentiment that we at KpopStarz can definitely share.
Many attendees took cues from their favorite artists for their style - and not just the artists in attendance at KCON.
7. Nelson (@n.lson_) stunted a mesh crop top, a pair of technical, strappy joggers, and combat boots for a fit that channeled the powerful BDE of BLACKPINK's 'Kill This Love.' A Girl-Crush concept lover, Nelson named his style icon as BLACKPINK's Lisa and his KCON favorites as (G)I-DLE.
8. Similarly, Haris's (@styledaebak) style proclaimed her love for NCT with a cropped windbreaker and a mock-neck crop top lined with their iconic neon green color. She brought in "a little bit of some BLACKPINK" with cargo pants, chains, and platform Dr. Martens.
"There's too many," said Haris in response to being asked her idol style icon. The way her outfit is a mash-up of stylish groups only speaks to the amount of inspiration that K-Pop groups can hold. "But, I would say G-Dragon just because you can't beat him, but there are so many right now!"
"I really like K-Pop idols' style and Korean streetwear, and I used that to inspire this outfit," said Aniyah, with a bucket hat, cargo pants, and a long belt straight out of any idol's airport outfit. "A bucket hat and these cargo pants are kind of in trend now!"
Brianna also cites her love for K-Pop as an influence on how she dresses: "I do get inspiration from artists, especially girl groups. I love it when they wear airport fashion clothing and stage outfits!" They both named Chungha as their idol style icon, as she looks amazing even if she's relaxed.
With their ATEEZ hand fans and K-beauty-influenced blush on their cheeks, Brianna and Aniyah proved that they're great at surfing waves - whether it's ATEEZ's new single Wave, or the Hallyu wave itself.
10. William (left) and Leelo (right) gave us serious streetwear vibes - Leelo's fit featured a relaxed silhouette from a graphic tee layered over a striped long-sleeve shirt (with BTS Jimin-esque sweater paws), Air Jordan 11s, and olive green pants. Small details like an orange belt that peeked out from his French tuck and a black face mask beneath his chin gave his outfit a sleek, effortlessly cool vibe.
William accessorized his own summery outfit with a text-embellished yellow fanny pack, a thick chain necklace, a black bucket hat, and, perhaps the best thing we saw all weekend, gold glitter in his beard.
"I always love short shorts, so I was like, let's bring 'Team Short Shorts!' to KCON! This is my first time ever being here so I needed to go in there [looking] fly," said William.
The duo was as funny and thoughtful as they were stylish, bantering as we asked them who their idol style icons were:
Leelo: [My icon is] GD. He's the man. And Mino from Winner, he is saucy!
William: Who's that guy from NCT U? Taeyong? Yeah!
L: I see a lot of idols that I idealized fashion-wise, like - it'd be a simple look, and I'll try to match [my clothes] around it. All their styles are awesome, even from the girls!
W: J-Hope is the sauciest. The sauciest ever, like it's him and Crush who I look at, as far as fashion. And Dean!
L: The whole [KCON] experience in itself is an experience. It's amazing overall. The people, the diversity - it's amazing!
11. Mya Karinchak's all-black fit showed off her love for K-Pop with subtlety - her BT21 t-shirt and bucket hat are K-Pop stan staples.
"Korean fashion has a big part in it!" said Mya, when asked about the inspiration for her outfit. "I feel like the skirts and the crossbody bags are definitely more of an Eastern trend than here in the West. And the bucket hats too, obviously."
At KCON, Mya was most excited to see SF9, who she's been supporting since their debut. A testament to the popularity of an all-black fit and a bucket hat in Korea, the leader of SF9 Youngbin has sported a similar outfit to Mya.
12. Travis (@lagomarsini_travis) exuded the clean elegance of Korean fashion with his layered pink and white top, slim-cut blue trousers, and sparkling white shoes (How anyone can keep white shoes is a mystery to us, but Travis makes such magic happen!). We also can't forget the cherry on top: a dangling gold cuff earring.
Travis' love for Korean culture feeds into so many aspects of his life: "my look, the way I dress, just how I go about, trying to make myself better and how I like to present myself. I take inspiration from the way [K-Pop idols] dress and the very symbol of being well-kept and elegant while still keeping casual!" And with the essence of casual elegance in mind, it's no surprise that he named V as his style icon: "V as the biggest influence on the type of ideas I get when I put outfits together."
Travis also expressed his gratitude and excitement to see Edward Avila at KCON: "I started watching his videos about makeup tutorials and it made me, as a guy, feel more comfortable about wearing makeup!"
13. Gail (left) and Luke (right) also showed off their sleek streetwear style at the Javits Center. Gail accessorized a cropped neon pink long-sleeve shirt, mom jeans, and checkered Vans with a black knit beanie and tortoise-shell hoop earrings. Luke's backward baseball cap and camouflage Bape jersey gave him a cool, sporty vibe - ready for the exercise of jumping up and down for the concert later that day. Luke named G-Dragon as his style icon, while Gail named BTS' V!
14. Three of the most eye-catching outfits came from this trio from North Carolina: Vie (@webster_vie), Elle (), and Meme @meeshy_ah) brought the Powerpuff Girls to life with their own streetwear-infused take. Everything from the dainty colored sunglasses on the top of their heads down to the matching colored Fila sneakers on their feet exuded coolness, even amid the July summer heat.
15. Moses (@moshe.moshi, left) and Max (@amaxhs, right) stunted their love for K-Pop and each other through matching finger-heart tank tops. (Many finger hearts were sent around that weekend, with groups like fromis_9 and ATEEZ being masters of fanservice and sending the hearts of their fans).
"We're best friends, and we want to match," said Max, simple and true. "He's my best K-Pop friend; we talk about it all the time."
Moses chimed in right after, "We always send each other Snapchats and finger hearts! He's been trying to get me into K-Pop for like, a decade, and finally last summer I was like, I'm all in. Let's do this - and since then it's been K-Pop 24/7!"
Max was super enthusiastic in naming his idol style icon, commenting, "Soyeon, Soyeon, Soyeon, a million times over! Everything she puts on is so perfect all the time!"
Courtesy of CJ E&M, Proof of Soyeon and all of (G)I-DLE slaying everything they wear.
Max and Moses made sure to take advantage of everything that KCON had to offer, raving overseeing ATEEZ at the KCON Star Stage (Max: "I was blown away at how perfect they look in person!") and learning dances at the dance workshops.
These fifteen looks (24 outfits total!) gave us everything from sleek music video styles to simple streetwear looks, and we loved hearing what inspired these outfits. Fashion is just another way to celebrate what you love - and at KCON 2019 NY, these stylish individuals celebrated their love and excitement for K-Pop through their clothing.
But wait, there's more! These outfits were just the tip of the iceberg. For all the amazing styles we saw that weekend, https://photos.app.goo.gl/RBp39UiQPq7HdfJS9
This year's celebration hasn't ended yet - get your tickets for KCON 2019 LA now at kconusa.com!