Why legacy beauty brands are rushing to hire Korean faces

Published: 6-Jun-2023

Global prestige brands are celebrating the power of Korean idol-turned-ambassadors like never before, writes Babette Radclyffe-Thomas

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Global luxury beauty brands are celebrating the power of Korean brand ambassadors like never before. Only a few months into 2023, Danielle Marsh, a member of the South Korean girl group NewJeans was named YSL Beauty brand ambassador; Armani Beauty appointed NewJeans dancer Hanni as its new global make-up ambassador and Lancôme tapped Squid Game’s Hoyeon Jung.

Founder Giorgio Armani said at the time of Hanni’s appointment that “she has personality, which for me is the most fascinating trait, always.” Appointing Korean actors and pop stars has been de rigueur in luxury fashion for a while now, from G-Dragon of Big Bang’s work with Chanel back in 2015 when the heritage French brand staged their Resort 2016 collection in Seoul, to more recent appointments such as Hanni at Gucci in 2022. So why are beauty brands now turning to K-ambassadors?

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