BLACKPINK Case Study: The Faces of Luxury Fashion

BLACKPINK Case Study: The Faces of Luxury Fashion

Blackpink is a name that is familiar to many as they are the most popular girl group in the world right now. The South Korean girl group debuted in 2016 and consists of four members: Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa. In less than 6 years, each of the four members managed to capture the hearts of French fashion houses Chanel, Celine, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior and have become global brand ambassadors for each of the brands. Ever since Blackpink’s debut, the girls have always been styled in head-to-toe luxury brands. Even though all the members are part of one group, the four members have individual styles that lend themselves well to the brand they are partnered with. This article details the pairings of each Blackpink member with their respective fashion house and how both parties have benefitted from such collaboration. 

Chanel x Jennie

Chanel was founded by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1910. The brand is known for combining historical art and avant-garde fashion with modernity, simplicity, and minimalism. Chanel officially announced Jennie as their global ambassador in March 2019. This announcement marked the first time a Blackpink member scored a global ambassadorship with a luxury brand. Before even becoming the global ambassador of Chanel, Jennie was already known to be a loyal customer of the brand. When she was a young girl, she would always go looking in her mom’s closet for her vintage Chanel clothes. Her fans even gave her the nickname “Human Chanel” because of how often the double C logo was spotted on her. Jennie wears Chanel in music videos, stage performances, appearances, and even in her daily life. As a lover of the brand, it made sense for Chanel to pick her as their global brand ambassador. 

In addition to Jennie publicly declaring her love for the brand, Chanel noticed that Jennie is a trendsetter and has the ability to revamp the brand’s image. Before Chanel’s desire for modernizing the brand, they targeted older women with their mature and classic designs and styles. In order to capture the attention of their new target audience, young and trendy millennials, they needed a face to help them. Jennie is the perfect person for the position because of her ability to style Chanel in a way that appeals to her fans, the young and trendy millennials Chanel is after. Jennie loves pairing Chanel with more casual pieces and styles, which shows her fans that Chanel is not limited to older women but also for women around her age and younger. 

It also helps that Jennie frequently posts herself wearing Chanel on her Instagram account @jennierubyjane, which currently has over 62.2 million followers. She is the second most followed member of Blackpink on the platform. From January 2020 to June 2021, Jennie made 27 promotional posts for Chanel on her account. According to LaunchMetrics, the posts generated $28.4 million in earned media value and received 944 million impressions, which averages to $1.05 million EMV per post. Through their partnership, Jennie gets to be decked out in Chanel and Chanel gets increased brand awareness and sales through Jennie and her fans. The same sentiment can be applied to the other members of Blackpink with their respective ambassadorships. 

Yves Saint Laurent x Rosé

Yves Saint Laurent, also known as Saint Laurent, was founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé in 1961. Yves Saint Laurent values freedom, creativity, and pushing the boundaries, which perfectly matches Rosé. Rosé is strong-willed and free-spirited with a unique singing voice. Yves Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello saw these qualities in her and chose her to be the brand’s global ambassador. They made the official announcement by releasing a video of her for Yves Saint Laurent’s fall 2020 campaign on June 29, 2020. The video, shot by David Sims and directed by Anthony Vaccarello, received 400,000 views within 12 hours of its release and currently has over 7.6 million views.

Similar to her members, Rosé holds power in bringing in views and creating a buzz. Rosé was the first Korean idol to attend the MET Gala in 2021. As the MET Gala is such a large fashion event, everyone was curious about who and what she was wearing. Rosé attended the event wearing a short, black Yves Saint Laurent dress that had a large white bow on the chest. Some people thought her styling was very plain compared to other attendees who were wearing more flashy outfits. Whether or not her styling was plain or fit the theme well, just her appearance at the event made her stand out. She attended the event with Anthony Vaccarello himself. For people who did not know Anthony Vaccarello, once they learned that he is the creative director of Yves Saint Laurent and that Rosé is wearing Yves Saint Laurent, it all came together to notify people that Rosé is an ambassador for Yves Saint Laurent. Variety posted a video of Rosé and Anthony Vaccarello when they arrived on the carpet, and it garnered over 3.4 million views in three hours.

Although Rosé has the least amount of followers on Instagram compared to her members, she still has over 55.1 million followers on her account @roses_are_rosie. While her members will mainly post about the brands on their Instagram feeds and stories, Rosé is the only member to have dedicated Instagram highlights for Saint Laurent and YSL. She seemingly has the closest relationship with her brand’s creative director as shown by their joint attendance at the MET Gala, and Rosé herself mentioning that they are always contacting each other. Rosé’s and Yves Saint Laurent’s collaboration has done well at showing the power and importance of having close relations between a brand and its brand ambassador.

Celine x Lisa

Celine is a brand that has transformed a lot in recent years. Celine was originally founded in 1945 by Céline Vipiana and her husband Richard as a custom children’s shoe business. After about a decade, they expanded into women’s footwear and even wider into women’s fashion. Originally, the brand prioritized practicality, functionality, and minimalism. As time has gone on and creative direction changed, the Celine we see today is chic, edgy, strong, and powerful thanks to the current creative director Hedi Slimane. Slimane has been the creative director of Celine since 2018 and chose Lisa as his first global ambassador in September 2020. As a rapper and dancer, Lisa is very charismatic and has a boyish style. She describes her everyday style as comfortable, but she loves wearing fancy and bold outfits on the stage. In the past, her style may not have fit Celine’s image, but she seems to be a good fit for the new image Hedi Slimane wants for the brand.

In fact, Lisa’s partnership with Celine was a great gateway for the brand to put its stake in the Asian market. Along with K-pop, K-dramas are majorly on the rise worldwide. Following the announcement of Lisa becoming Celine’s global ambassador, protagonists in popular K-dramas were seen to be wearing Celine. In addition to K-dramas, Celine was blowing up in China, where Lisa has a huge fanbase. Originally, Chinese netizens were not happy with Hedi Slimane’s reinvention of the brand, but they grew to love the brand’s new look. Celine’s sales just in Mainland China experienced double-digit growth. They have also been able to increase their prices three times in one year and still see sales. Although Lisa is Thai, she has helped get Celine popular in other parts of Asia. 

One milestone in the partnership between Celine and Lisa is when Lisa made her runway debut in December 2021 at Celine’s Spring/Summer 2022 fashion show. This made her the first member to walk the runway. Lisa posted a 13-second clip of her cuts onto her Instagram account @lalalalisa_m.  She is the most followed Blackpink member and overall most followed Korean idol on the platform. In the video, she is seen walking on the Observatoire de Nice rooftop in an outfit that screams “Lisa.” She was rocking jeans with a hoodie and green varsity jacket over top. Her hair was styled in its usual bob and bangs. As the post was shared with Lisa’s 73.1 million followers, it garnered over 7.3 million views and nearly 4 million likes. Lisa most likely had a lot to do with Celine’s recent success after its reinvention that caused a bit of a stir. In 2021, Celine got the title of “the fastest growing luxury and premium brand.” Their brand value increased by 118% to $1.5 billion according to Brand Finance. 

Dior x Jisoo

Dior was founded in 1946 by Christian Dior and is a brand that sells clothes, shoes, handbags, fragrances, and beauty products, all of which can be bought in Dior stores and on their website. As a brand, Dior values sophistication, elegance, and femininity and inputs these values into their products. As the oldest member and visual of the group, Jisoo has the sophistication and feminine beauty that contributed to her becoming Dior’s global ambassador in March 2021. Although Jisoo has not held a global ambassador position for nearly as long as her fellow members, she has already made waves for the brand. 

Before becoming an official global brand ambassador, Jisoo was already working with Dior. Although she was unable to attend Paris Fashion Week in fall 2020, the brand posted a photo of her onto their account. That post became the brand’s most highly rated Instagram post and had double the success compared to their post from the prior season. More success was bound to come Dior’s way once Jisoo attended Paris Fashion Week in person the following year. She traveled to Paris and sat front-row at Dior’s 2022 Spring/Summer fashion show. She posted photos of her at Paris Fashion Week on her Instagram @sooyaaa__ with 56.1 million followers. Just looking at the results following Paris Fashion Week, Jisoo was crowned the top celebrity with only two posts valued at $15.7 million in media impact value. Dior also became the top brand account with 8,088 posts valued at $39.1 million. 

Aside from numbers, it seems that Dior really loves Jisoo. At Paris Fashion Week, Jisoo met Dior’s CEO Pietro Beccari. ELLE Taiwan managed to capture a video of him jokingly telling a staff member of Jisoo’s company, YG Entertainment, “If YG fires her, message me. I’ll take her.” Also during her stay in Paris, they invited her to explore Dior from an actual store to how they do models’ makeup and to where constructing pieces take place. In the video they posted onto the Dior Youtube channel, viewers can see the reciprocal love between Dior and Jisoo. Jisoo kept saying, “I love this” about all the designs, bags, and makeup she saw. The Dior staff even gave her one of the bags she liked to her surprise and let her take home some makeup. After seeing what she and Dior have done together so far, everyone is looking forward to what the future has in store for the two.

Final Thoughts

When looking back at the fact that Blackpink was wearing designer brands since their debut 6 years ago, the stars were already aligned for all of the members to become global brand ambassadors at one point in their careers. Occasionally, it may seem like either the brand or the ambassador needed the other party when agreeing on a collaboration, but Blackpink’s ambassadorships for Chanel, Celine, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior just scream powerhouse with powerhouse. No group in history so far has achieved what Blackpink has when it comes to fashion. Blackpink is the only group where all the members as individuals are global brand ambassadors of luxury brands. This article only covered four brands, but all four members are ambassadors of other big-name brands as well. Overall, Blackpink brings a whole new audience to these luxury brands.

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What Inspires a Fashion Collection?

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