6 Times BTS Wore Louis Vuitton (and We Swooned)
Congratulations to LV for having excellent taste in brand ambassadors.
In what may very well be the greatest pairing since chocolate and peanut butter, BTS recently signed on as Louis Vuitton's newest brand ambassadors. It's a thrilling partnership, especially with Virgil Abloh at the helm of the brand's menswear category. An American designer's French fashion collections worn by Korean superstars? It's global fusion at its absolute best.
Of course, this won't be the first time BTS has dipped into the luxury fashion house's enviable closets. Louis Vuitton outfits are like stars in the BTS universe, dotting some of the idols' most important moments in the constellation of their recent history.
So, let's stargaze a little, shall we?
While this won't be a comprehensive list of every time BTS wore LV, ever, I hope I picked enough of your favorites to overlap with mine. Besides, as always with Bangtan, the best is yet to come.
Jimin's Airport Drip
Kpop has blessed the world with many things — too many to succinctly name here — but if I were to give you a complete list, one thing on it would be a whole new category of sartorial relevance: Airport style. At airport terminals, where mere mortals wear leggings and sweats, idols drip with unreleased streetwear, luxury labels, and six-figure jewelry.
Pictures of BTS as they walk from chauffeured car to private airport security are now just as widely circulated as almost any press junket or red carpet event. In these perfectly curated style moments, Bangtan is able to showcase their personal aesthetics without having to coordinate together as an idol group, much like they do for performances and appearances. Freed of those matchy-matchy restrictions, fans are fed with gorgeous individual fits.
Jimin's sartorial splendor in particular is often punctuated with gems from Louis Vuitton, including a personal favorite: The Wizard of Oz-inspired varsity jacket from Virgil Abloh's Spring/Summer 2019 collection. Whimsical and bright (just like Jimin!), the rare piece is now a Holy Grail for hypebeast collectors, fetching upwards of $8k on resell markets.
And, speaking of that Wizard of Oz collection. . .
Saturday Night LiVe
In April of 2019, BTS made their SNL debut as musical guests, performing mega-hits 'Boy With Luv' and 'Mic Drop,' the latter of which might just be my all-time favorite BTS song. It's an anthem to swagger, a glorious stadium-shaking declaration to their awe-inspiring success as global artists. It simultaneously gives a middle finger to the haters ("You thought I was gonna fail but I'm fine, sorry; Sorry Billboard; Sorry worldwide" SUGA boasts), and reminds everyone of their humble underdog roots pre-debut ("Yeah, who said my spoon is dirty?" j-hope asks). What better fashion choice for this huge performance than Virgil Abloh's very first line for Louis Vuitton?
The layers of this moment! This was a Chicago designer's first chance at the helm of an esteemed Parisian fashion label (the first Black artistic director at Louis Vuitton, too, by the way) and, as a major collection motif, Abloh chose to screenprint scenes from an American fairytale, The Wizard of Oz. The story is about a group of misfit friends who band together to travel through an epic adventure — just like our OT7 idols did.
Another parallel: Both Virgil and BTS are constantly having to live up the hype they've created, and every time, they silence the critics with pure talent. Go ahead, watch the full SNL 'Mic Drop' performance and find a flaw. I dare you.
Plus, those Louis Vuitton clothes looked good on them. Like, really good. I may be biased (pun intended), but RM was particularly crush-worthy in the oversized, tie-dyed parka. ARMY had been treated to a sneak peek of this specific look, since he had worn that same jacket for the music video for his MOTS:7 solo song "Persona" just two weeks earlier.
Monsieur j-hope's Double Denim
When the world locked down and BTS had to cancel their 2020 global stadium tour, ARMY feared we might never get to see a performance of j-hope's MOTS:7 solo song "Outro:Ego." Luckily for us, Bangtan never lets their fans down, and pivoted to produce a virtual Map of the Soul ON:E concert in October.
In total, almost a million viewers from 191 countries logged on to swoon over our Hobitonin. For the super-special "Ego" debut, j-hope blessed us by donning a rhinestone-encrusted double denim ensemble from Louis Vuitton, which sparkled (almost) as brightly as he did.
Breaking the Internet in LV Pastels & Lisa Frank Neon
The brilliant creative team at PAPER magazine really outdid themselves in 2019 for their annual Break the Internet edition. The issue paired our favorite global phenomena with Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2020 soft pastels and Lisa Frank's neon-cutie-pie, '90s aesthetic visuals. The results: A spread that drove ARMY downright deranged. Myself included — it's been my lockscreen ever since.
And, let's be (Lisa) frank: Nothing says "fuck off" louder to toxic masculinity than this shoot. How very sexy of BTS to continue to upend traditional gender stereotypes. They lead by example, giving their fans the permission and confidence to wear, do, and be whatever makes them happiest. RM said it best when he appeared at the United Nations and gave his now iconic "Love Yourself" speech: "Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you're from, your skin color, gender identity: speak yourself."
SUGA's Sweet as Honey Monogram
Things were bleak in August 2020. The world was in one of the thickest, hardest stretches of the COVID pandemic. At best, people were scared, sad, and exhausted. It seemed like everything fun in the world had been cancelled. Then, BTS dropped 'Dynamite'. The song was a cultural reset. A bright and catchy dance track meant to be a balm to our weary souls ("Ladies and gentlemen: I got the medicine so you should keep ya eyes on the ball," RM sings, with his dimple-bracketed smile). Of course, the song became a pop culture juggernaut, smashing records and earning critical and commercial accolades for BTS.
Louis Vuitton once again made a cameo for this very important chapter in BTS history.
In the 'Dynamite' music video, SUGA dances across a basketball court in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton logos, layered perfectly with a Tune Squad throwback jersey. The outfit's retro '90s aesthetic is pure joy — I'm into that. I'm good to go.
We Have to Talk About the Grammys
When BTS was nominated for a Grammy, I screamed as hard as Jungkook did. The spetent from Seoul had been long and unduly ignored by the Academy's nomination committee, even as they broke cultural barriers on a global scale, out-sold other Grammy winning artists, and dominated both the American and worldwide charts.
While the night itself ended with disappointment for ARMY as the Grammys used BTS's influence for clout without rightfully awarding them their American award (yes, they absolutely did that), this was still a major moment in BTS's story. It was their first-ever Grammys nomination. It was the first time a Korean group would perform solo at the Grammys. And what, we all wondered with bated breath, would Bangtan Sonyeondan wear for the (virtual) red carpet? They had access to every huge designer in the world — for past Grammys nights, they'd worn JayBaek Couture, YSL, and Bottega Veneta — and every label must have been begging to dress them for this historic moment.
They ended up picking Louis Vuitton.
Bangtan arrived on the live stream (in the middle of their Korean night) wearing pieces from Virgil Abloh's Fall/Winter 2021 Louis Vuitton collection. It was a perfect choice: Suiting remixed and sweetened with touches of wholesome beauty — like RM's stuffed animal creature, clinging to his hoodie strings, and j-hope's exuberant flower corsage — just like BTS.
Plus, let us not forget the grace and humility BTS displayed that chilly night. As #BTSOurGreatestPrize trended, the half-asleep Bangtan men took to V-Live under a "Thanks ♥ Army" balloon banner where RM reminded the fans, "You guys are our prize." (That V-Live clocked in 11.1 million views, by the way. Peak Grammys views were 7.8 million.)