K-pop fashion is known for being eclectic, with new styles and looks to accompany each artist’s concept. These style choices set the stage for larger fashion trends in Korea and around the world. Recently, 90s fashion has been making a comeback, and this is especially true for K-pop and Korean fashion in general. We’ve compiled a list of trends that are making a comeback, and the 90s K-pop icons who made them popular in the first place!
Seo Taiji and Boys, DEUX - 90s Hip-Hop Style
Seo Taiji and Boys and DEUX were not only trendsetters in Korean music, but also in the fashion world. Similar to how they were the first to draw from the American hip-hop and rap genres while writing their music, they also did the same in their styling choices. These iconic groups were the first in K-pop to popularize the baggy, oversized clothing style by Western hip-hop artists in the 90s. Now, artists such as BTS have also incorporated this type of fashion into their personal looks, showing their seniors' lasting influence in the K-pop world.
BTS also covered Deux member Kim Sung Jae's song "As I Told You" for MBC Music Festival in 2016. Check out their cover below!
Lee Hyori - Casual Chic
Lee Hyori is one of the original K-pop idols, with a career that has spanned over twenty years. She debuted through Kpop’s 1st generation idol group Fin.K.L and continued as a solo artist, often showcasing the casual chic look, with staples such as stonewash jeans, cropped tank tops, sweatpants, and other athletic clothing. Accessories such as hoop earrings, beaded wristbands, and bandanas were also part of this look. During this time period, Lee Hyori earned a lasting reputation as a trendsetter who could sell out clothing items simply by wearing them! Today, popular artists such as (G)-IDLE are incorporating this fashion into their recent comebacks, truly calling back to the beginnings of K-pop.
(G)I-DLE also covered one of Lee Hyori's songs, "U-Go-Girl," showing tribute to their senior's successful career.
H.O.T. - The First Modern Idol Group
Nowadays, it’s common for K-pop artists to change stylistic concepts with every comeback. This actually originated with H.O.T., which is the first modern idol group. Although they started off with an urban street style with Descendants of Warriors, this iconic boy-band swapped over to a bright, youthful concept full of color for their first comeback. For the remainder of the group’s active years, they continued to drastically change their hair, clothing, and accessories in order to fit the aesthetic of each comeback that they were promoting. Seeing that this is now a regular occurrence in K-pop, there is no questioning H.O.T.’s lasting influence!