South Korea was fully represented for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2023 season at New York Fashion Week this year. Not only did Concept Korea SS23 spotlight three up-and-coming Korean designers UL:KIN, BESFXXK and CAHIERS, but it highlighted other areas of K-culture throughout the evening’s show.
For Tuesday night’s (September 13) show, Min, singer-actress and former member of the chart-topping girl group miss A, was present at the show along with fellow actors Abraham Lim and Patrick Park of all in the middle of the test for kpop, the next Broadway musical for the musical stage.
Meanwhile, designers and reps working behind the scenes with top K-pop and K-drama talent sat among the NYFW guests. The show had an additional boost of star power in the model lineup, with iKON’s DK making his runway debut during the UL:KIN presentation.
The K-pop boy group member (full name Kim Donghyuk) gave two looks during the show, which showcased UL:KIN’s eco-friendly focus on the material used in “magnet fishing,” which sifts trash and debris from the waters, in their creations. . For his first look, DK rocked a fisherman-inspired sports coat highlighting his sculpted physique and UL:KIN’s focus on recycling before strutting down the catwalk in a leather overcoat with a mesh overlay and pants that resembled a fishing line with magnets.
Minutes after making his final turn during the UL:KIN final, Billboard caught up with a happy DK backstage at Spring Studios in Tribeca. Visibly ecstatic after his first walk and catching up at his hotel before heading to The Daily’s after-party on the rooftop at RT60 at the Hard Rock Hotel, DK spoke of seeing a “dream” come true at the show and featured new music. .
While the likes of TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney and fashion model Coco Rocha celebrated the concept of Korea at the afterparty, the singer, songwriter and producer closed out his first fashion experience from a reserved table, making sure to call his fans – the iKONICs of iKON – even taking the time. to snap a picture with one who saw him entering his private home after a long and eventful day. Read more with DK below.
Billboard: You just made your runway debut at New York Fashion Week. How do you feel?
DK: It’s a great experience and I’m really honored to be here. I really want to say thank you UL:KIN, you and everyone who came out. I am very happy; this is my first time doing any kind of hike or track. It’s my dream to come to New York Fashion Week. I really wanted to come to get all the fashion stuff, but now I’ve debuted on the runway. I met a lot of people here and learned a lot about fashion in general. I will never forget this moment in my life.
What did you learn?
I learned more about the fashion world in general, but mostly how all people have all different styles, have their own color, have different ways of thinking. When I go back to Korea, I want to study and get more knowledge about fashion so that I can gain more and more of it.
Are modeling and fashion important interests of yours?
Absolutely. I love fashion. I have a lot of model friends, they’re amazing, they’re really cool. I am very happy to know more about their world and their real experience. I asked them for advice and how to walk like other models. One of them said: “You are not model,” he said. “You are a singer! Just walk your style with confidence and show everyone who DK is.”
What other preparations were made for this?
Well, I’m on a diet. [Laughs] And I watched a lot of videos of past runway shows and tried to imagine myself in them. I spent two days practicing walking at my house.
As someone from Korea who works with a Korean brand, does it feel special to be that representative at an event like this?
Although there are many celebrities and big models from Korea, I would like to thank UL:KIN for inviting me to the show and I want to share what I experienced today and throughout the project with the people of Korea. I look forward to being invited to more and more shows in New York. [Laughs] I will be there for you for all seasons.
Were your iKON members excited?
Oh yeah, I told my members and they’re like, “Oh, you’ll do well, let’s go DK!” These days I really talk to Jay a lot, he’s like an older brother, but he said, “You’re too young to be a model.” And I said, “Come on, bro!” [Laughing] He was just kidding. He always talks to me and gives me emotional messages. When I landed in New York, he checked in like, “Are you okay? how are you feeling is everything ok? You will do well.” Really supportive.
Do you think any of the other members would make good models?
We have June and Chan; they are both really tall. Especially Chan, his physique is perfect for a model. I just debuted so I can’t have any real opinions or advice yet!
What are some of your favorite brands?
I have many favorite brands, especially UL:KIN. I love streetwear. But these days I’m really looking at Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Chanel – those are my favourites.
iKON last performed in New York in 2019 after your SXSW performance. How is it coming back?
I was so excited to come here. This time I walked a lot. We walked down Wall Street, Battery Park, walked down Fifth Avenue and passed by Rockefeller Center. I really felt like, “Wow, I really love this city.” New York and Seoul are similar, but New York is really big – I just love the buildings, the people walking, the whole feeling and atmosphere. All our members want to come to New York. Jay even responded on my Instagram saying, “I envy you.”
What else comes with iKON?
These days, members are focusing on their schedules. Some of the members are preparing their solo albums, some of the boys are preparing to film [TV] drama or a movie. Everyone is doing their own thing, so I think our fans are going to love it. I hope they like it.
Do you work with music?
I am still working on my solo album and my members’ solo albums. It’s not collaborations or features I’m producing – well, I’m trying to, but I’m not sure [if the songs will be chosen].
What is the sound of your solo music?
Well, there are a lot of great, really talented artists, but I’m trying to cover all genres. When you listen to my music, you will feel very calm. These days in Korea, there are a lot of people in the R&B world that I really love like DEAN and Crush. And I’m still a big fan of Chris Brown and Tory Lanez. Now, I’m producing, writing songs and trying to get into the fashion thing. So please, everyone, take care of me. I will always do my best.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Please make sure this is included: I love our fans, our iKONICs, I really miss them. And I hope to see them soon.