YG Entertainment has partnered up with Cheil Industries, Samsung Group’s textile affiliate, for a new fashion brand, NONAGON (NONA9ON).
As revealed on YG Entertainment’s official website, the two companies came under the name “Natural Nine” and the name NONAGON “symbolizes diversity and limitless growth.” YG Entertainment has swept the K-pop scene with the music and style of its artists, who exude charisma and a youthful, hip-hop vibe and now it aims to expand into the global fashion market.
Clothings of NONAGON displayed at a pop-up store in Cheongdam
The first pop-up store opened at the Galleria Department Store in Apgujeong on Sept. 12 and items in stock that were expected to last two weeks were sold out within just three days. One of the most popular items at the pop-up store was the 780,000-won black bomber jacket with intricate embroidery on the back.
The relay of pop-up stores has continued to two 10 Corso Como locations in Cheongdam and Avenue L and to BEAKER in Cheongdam and Hannam.
YG’s unique identity in the music industry has penetrated into the fashion industry ― Prints and designs resonate Chrome Hearts, but YG’s hip-hop, casual and chic flavor are reflected in NONAGON’s clothing.
To promote the brand, YG has been launching various teaser videos of its artists wearing the clothing. Fresh faces such as Bobby and B.I who recently participated in the rap competition “Show Me the Money 3,” as well as Big Bang’s Taeyang and 2NE1’s CL, were featured.
Lee Seo-hyun, vice president of Cheil Industries and daughter of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee, is a graduate of Parsons the New School for Design in New York. She has frequently expressed her desire for the Korean fashion market to expand globally, as shown with Eight Seconds, a Korean specialty retailer of private label apparel (SPA) brand under Cheil, which has plans to launch into China and eventually other parts of the world.
NONAGON is no exception to Lee’s interest in global expansion. The YG-Cheil collaboration will open pop-up stores in Italy, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
With the recent showing of three Korean designers at New York Fashion Week as part of the government-organized Concept Korea project, Korean fashion seems to have some presence outside Korea. Yet, some remain skeptical as to whether NONAGON can pull through in the unmerciful global fashion industry.
New York Fashion Week
Jaclyn Siu, a New York-based fashion industry insider, said, “I’ve heard of YG but I’m not very familiar with them or the K-pop scene in general.” However, she was familiar with a couple of Korean designers such as Woo Young-mi and Park Choon-moo and the Concept Korea fashion show as they presented at the New York Fashion Week.
Siu referred to NONAGON’s clothing as “Tom Ford meets Rick Owens meets Givenchy.” “I can totally picture people from Kanye West to Cara Delevigne rocking them. The clothes are super on-trend and I can see them being right at home in my own closet and within the pages of Vogue,” Siu said.
The fashion expert was also positive about NONAGON’s potential for success in the United States. “(It could be successful) especially in larger cities where people are always looking to discover newer clothing brands. The clothes just need to be in front of the right people to get that initial awareness and I’m sure the celebrity factor would help,” she said.
“Right now, sportswear and other athletics-inspired pieces are very much on trend, having been all over the recent runways and don’s show any sign of slowing anytime soon.”
Source: The Korea Times