And that’s no mean feat. K-pop, and k-culture in general, has gained mighty strides in the past few years — just try to chart the meteoric rise of BTS, or count how many global ambassadors rank among luxury houses such as Chanel, Dior, and Gucci. As for Kai, member of popular South Korean band EXO, he’s been a Gucci global ambassador for the past two years, though now with a significant upgrade. With Kai x Gucci, the idol has become the first-ever Korean celebrity to have his own capsule collection with Gucci.
The first thing you’ll notice? Teddy bears. This classic childhood toy is everywhere across the selection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, most noticeably on handbags, shoes, and accessories, and dons a distinct blue bow tie. These pieces are designed by Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, who was inspired by Kai and his love of bears. Of the peculiar motif, some have likened it to one of his fan-given nicknames, “Nini Bear”, as well.
Here’s what Kai himself has to say though. “The Kai Capsule Collection is a collection that embodies my favourite animal, a bear,” he said to Esquire Korea, translated by Soompi. “Gucci is a luxury brand and it doesn’t give off the feeling that it’s something you wear typically in your everyday life. But with the cute bear, it seems much more casual.”
Too cute to resist? We know, they both are. You can at least snag a Kai x Gucci bag in stores when the collection launches here on 15 April 2021, exclusively at the ION Orchard store.
The Kai x Gucci collection, available exclusively at Gucci ION Orchard on 15 April 2021.