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Samsung, YG unveil fashion collaboration

Cheil Industries, the fashion unit of Samsung Group, on Thursday unveiled the fashion collaboration brand NONAGON with K-pop agency YG Entertainment.

Through Natural Nine, a joint venture of the two companies, a line of bomber jackets, sweatshirts, minidresses and caps using denim and leather heavily inspired by key YG entertainers Taeyang of boy band Big Bang and CL of 2NE1 was presented to the public.

The brand will portray the dynamics of Korean street culture such as music and dance, said Yang Min-suk, CEO of YG Entertainment and Natural Nine. 
Pieces from NONAGON’s collection. (Cheil Industries)
Pieces from NONAGON’s collection. (Cheil Industries)

“NONAGON will target youngsters aged between their late teens and early 30s enjoying the global young street culture,” Yang said. “With Cheil’s professional know-how and YG’s marketing and production capability, we will surely create synergy.”

NONAGON items will be sold at pop-up stores starting on Sept. 12. at Galleria Department Store in southern Seoul and 10 Corso Como in Milano, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Then they will be in 10 Corso Como Seoul, Avenuel in central Seoul and other stores throughout October. The company aims to generate 100 billion won ($99 million) in sales by 2017.

Natural Nine, 51 percent owned by Cheil and 49 percent by YG, is the latest collaboration of K-pop and fashion businesses. 
Pieces from NONAGON’s collection (Cheil Industries)
Pieces from NONAGON’s collection (Cheil Industries)

Encouraged by the globe-sweeping popularity of Korean pop stars, fashion labels have been working with entertainers to bring a breath of fresh air to the industry and marketing opportunities. Outside of brand ambassadors or models, celebrities have become part of the design and presentation processes.

Beyond Closet, led by contemporary designer Ko Tae-yong, recently presented a collection inspired by Zico, leader of group Block B, at New York Fashion Week. Zico also mixed music for the runway.

Contemporary leather brand MOLDIR appointed Kim Jae-joong, vocalist of boy band JYJ, as art director.

“Though the brand was launched nine months ago, we are already receiving foreign clients and are selling at duty-free stores, thanks to Kim’s stardom,” a MOLDIR spokesman said.

More recently, Paris-based luxury fashion group LVMH said it would purchase YG shares worth 61 billion won, showing that global fashion houses are also aware of K-pop’s power and influence.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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