Fashion & Style

How K-Pop’s BTS Became a Global Fashion Phenomenon

Today, BTS celebrates their 4th anniversary as a band—perhaps surprising, given their meteoric rise among international fans. The last year has been a particularly wild one for the seven-member K-pop sensation, from the release of their second studio album Wings to a scene-stealing appearance at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, where they won Top Social Artist. Hitting the red carpet in a coordinated series of Saint Laurent suits, each artist found a subtle way to express his individuality, whether it was a slim leather choker or the unexpected flash of a silver boot. Looking back, it felt like the culmination of a fashion evolution that has slowly unfolded since their debut.

Poring over past photos, particularly those shared on their enormously popular Twitter account, one can see that the band has taken on an eclectic mix of personas, from more generic hip-hop to unbridled whimsy—particularly that of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, whose aesthetic practically defined the group’s concept during their 2015 breakout. Take V, for instance, who looks like a poster child in the brand’s leather slides and a floral-print shirt, a red king snake coiled across his tie, or J-Hope, who prefers to simply wrap a logo-print scarf around his neck.

Elsewhere, their style shifts between workwear staples—Timberland boots, Carhartt coats—and high-end statement accessories, like the Louis Vuitton Eye-Trunk phone case. Yet at its core, their fashion philosophy is playful in a clear and accessible way, surely one reason for their cross-cultural appeal. To celebrate today’s anniversary, they hosted a pajama party on V Live’s live-stream app, appearing in matching Pepto pink jumpsuits with polka-dotted neckerchiefs. It was simply fun—no translation required.

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