South Korea clothing brand gets a ‘BTS’ bump, report says

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Nov. 4 (UPI) — An upscale South Korean clothing label has been a hit with online luxury retailers, including Net-a-Porter, following its association with BTS.

Andersson Bell, a contemporary casual brand based in Seoul, is selling out of merchandise online after BTS band member Jungkook wore a pair of shoes from the company to the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, the JoongAng Ilbo reported Wednesday.

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The fashion label, which “merges Korean urban street-inspired style with a minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic,” was founded in 2014 and experiments with “gender-bending styles, progressive silhouettes, with a youthful and slightly rebellious attitude,” according to its official website.

Most South Korean fashion brands do not have an overseas presence, particularly in European or North American markets. Andersson Bell has sold out 92% of its products on Net-a-Porter, according to the JoongAng.

The association with BTS has boosted the brand, which was the first Korean label to be added to a pop-up exhibit at Liberty’s, a luxury department store in London. Andersson Bell is planning a massive expansion in 2021, with a total of 150 stores globally, the report says.

The fashion label began as a mid-priced brand but started to raise prices about 20% to 30% in 2017. The company then began to invest tens of thousands of dollars in video content. The rise in prices did not hurt the brand but rather tapped into a critical demographic of “enthusiasts” among millennials and Generation Z, according to the JoongAng.

BTS has been credited with boosting the South Korean economy. According to South Korea’s Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange in 2018, 7.6% of foreign tourists in 2017 had been motivated by BTS to visit the country.

Billboard reported Monday BTS is to perform at Korea’s 2020 Fact Music Awards. The awards are based on album and digital song sales. Other Korean artists including Monsta X, Nu’est and Seventeen are also expected to perform at the December event, the report says.