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WHAT WE TALKIN' BOUT
When I first discovered K-pop, I was ten years old. This year, it will have been a decade since my initiation, but I still remember the way I felt when I saw my first music video. It was 2011, and the top social media platform was Facebook, with Youtube following steadily behind. In my messages, a local internet friend sent me an unknown link. “u don’t know about 2NE1? u have 2 watch this!! xD” 2NE1’s “Ugly” music video had just been released, July 27, 2011. Upon clicking the link, I immediately felt the sparks I saw on screen. As Minzy smashed windows and CL led the group to storm through city streets, their sorrowful croons matched exactly what I felt. At that age, I had already internalized what an American girl, or woman, should be—and I, a Chinese American girl, was simply not it. “Just like her, I want to be pretty. I think I’m ugly, and nobody wants to love me,” 2NE1 sang.
I moved further through the rabbit hole, absolutely captivated by the bright colors, fun bubblegum pop sounds, but edginess of 2NE1’s animated music video for “Hate You.” What was there not to like? At a time where the only youth-centered Asian representation I had was Mulan, K-pop filled that gap. The following year, I was rapidly consuming more content, creating mental storages of bands and names. Tired of relying on fansubs, I also built
my knowledge of the culture and language, filling sheets and sheets with the Korean alphabet, hangul. In doing so, I may have only found another standard to abide by, but for an impressionable middle schooler, how else could I figure out who I was and what I stood for?
as the white, middle aged alumni man recalled seeing “BTS” on some American daytime talk show. As their name fell from his lips, I had thought to myself, was this what it “meant” to make it? Was this what we had aspired to, and whose standard we are still abiding by? Was this it?
Interestingly, the internet had also offered me a safe environment in which I could grow my interest. On Tumblr, I became friends with other fans who were from both the east and west coasts of the U.S., and as far reaching as Indonesia. At my middle school, the story was vastly different. My fanaticism for the music compounded with the foreign-ness that K-pop entailed. For a long time it was an interest regarded as “weird,” even by other Asian Americans around me, and often still today. It fell into nerdy subcultures such as anime, while One Direction and Justin Bieber were all the rage for my friends.
With the globalization of K-pop also comes the necessary consideration of its interactions with social problems, specifically whiteness and white acceptance. Why was it weird and strange until white America decided it wasn’t? Until white America decided it was profitable enough to co-opt? K-Pop was always something to be consumed, but it becomes more apparent when crossing these hostile borders, and as its audience became more white.
Then BTS hit the mainstream, at this point I was in high school. Their rise was meteoric and I watched from their debut, as online fandom communities across Tumblr, Twitter, and Youtube did the heavy lifting to promote the bands’ ever-constant releases: “any ARMY here?” Now everyone was representing and saying the word, “K-pop.” Although it was never really seen as “cool” to enjoy it by the average, white Western perception, K-pop was now an accepted commonality amongst Asian-Americans in my community, and surely making its way into everyone’s consciousness. I felt K-pop’s reach the most when it somehow came up in a college interview. I vividly remember my queasy shock
In the U.S., orientalist caricatures of Asian people are still rampant so it became difficult for me to reconcile that with American’s media newfound, rave reviews of K-pop.
It did not take long for these feelings to be proven correct. No matter how many records were broken, I watched how K-pop was still regarded as foreign and “othered.” Even the biggest artists continued to be disrespected by ignorant hosts, fellow celebrities, and Hollywood systems. Within fandom communities as well, discourse about BTS’s Western successes eclipsing those of other K-pop or Asian acts perpetuate xenophobia and imperialism. What is more, is that these issues are not new for many K-pop fans of color, especially those who are Black. Within fandom communities and in K-pop itself, systemic issues of anti-Blackness, racism, and colorism are abound. From cultural appropriation of South Asian, Latinx, Black, and Indigenous cultures to the regular doxxing of Black fans, K-pop and
We have to think about the fundamental reasons for where our passion and love for this genre comes from.
While we do love to see pretty people dance and sing, I believe another part of it is that we are also moved by how they have worked to accomplish their dreams, and more broadly, we understand and love what can result from believing and tapping into the creative potential of diverse groups of people. We should not let it stop there. I thank K-pop for guiding me in this path of self-discovery and to learn and connect
with people from all over the world, but I no longer rely on K-pop alone as empowerment. Our identities cannot stop at what we are proud of consuming. K-pop has only been part of my journey on learning about what it means to be Asian American, but I have found more of a foundation in the work and research of activists of color before me and those now. In just a decade, many of us have grown and developed our political consciousness, so the next step becomes how can we build the world for us, all of us, in the next ten years? For many who relate to and are proud of the struggles or discrimination that their idols have overcome in order to succeed, we should consider what structures exist that determine that, and how those can trickle down to continue to harm and create the most vulnerable populations. The lessons from K-pop should inform us into creating a world where everyone— not only the most wealthy, powerful, or those deemed as desirable—can succeed, creatively or otherwise.
In the first half of the year, each unit in NCT released an album. We were even blessed with a sub-unit of a sub-unit! Each unit has reached new heights in sales and on charts following the record breaking NCT 2020 promotions. Chart-topping albums across multiple countries, platinum certifications, and millions of streams have all helped solidify NCT’s impact on the Asian music industry. From the first trilingual song to hit Billboards Global 200, to exploring outside of their comfort zone with new collaborators, 2021 is NCT’s year…and they’re just getting started. Note: All data was collected by 06/23/21 By Davonna Gilpin @DavonnaDarling, Heather @jaehyuniepot Valerie @valschwarie
So far this year we’ve gotten 1 hour, 40 minutes, and 5 seconds of new NCT music. On Spotify we streamed this a total of 106,725,781 times. We’ve collectively bought over 2,468,000 albums (that’s alot of photocards) with more coming our way throughout the year.
Date Released: 02.17.21 Total Time: 16:47 Oricon #1 on Oricon’s Weekly Album Chart #1 on Oricon’s Daily Album Chart Billboard Japan #1 on the Billboard Japan Hot Albums #1 on the Weekly Billboard Japan Top Albums Sales #7 on the mid-year Billboard Japan Top Album Sales #10 on the mid-year Billboard Japan Hot Albums Melon J-Pop Chart #2 on MelOn’s Weekly J-Pop Chart (Gimme Gimme) #1 on MelOn’s Daily J-Pop Chart (Gimme Gimme) Spotify: 26,622,625 - Total Most streamed track: Gimme Gimme: 13,293,551
Photo Sources: SM Entertainment
Album sales: 205,000+ total-to-date 133,000 first week of release
Apple #1 Worldwide iTunes Album Charts #18 Worldwide Apple Music Album Chart Date Released: 03.11.21 Total Time: 21:11 QQ #4 QQ Music Popularity Charts (Kick Back) #1 QQ TOP1 Charts #1 QQ Mainland Music Video Chart #2 QQ Global Music Video Chart Yo!Bang #7 Yo!Bang Charts
Melon #1 - #7 on MelOn’s World Music Chart Gaon Charts #1 Weekly Album Sales Chart Platinum certification Spotify: 20,016,465 - Total Most streamed track: Kick Back: 7,496,942 Album sales: 263,000+ sales 124,831 first week of release
Oricon #13 Oricon Albums Chart Billboard #35 Billboard Japan Hot Albums
Date Released: 05.10.21 Total Time: 35:09 Melon #1 Melon Daily Chart #1 Melon Weekly Chart QQ Double Platinum Certification Oricon #1 Oricon Weekly Albums Chart #1 OriconMonthly Albums Chart
Billboard #2 Billboard Japan Hot Albums #8 Billboard World Songs #10 Billboard World Albums #24 Billboard Heatseekers Albums #51 Billboard Global 200 (excl. U.S.) #96 Billboard Global 200 Gaon #1 Gaon Monthly Albums Chart #1 Gaon Weekly Albums Chart #1 Gaon Digital Downloads Chart Double Platinum Certification
Spotify: 60,086,691 Most streamed track: Hot Sauce: 21,801,311
Album Sales: 2,000,000+ sales 1,010,700 first week sales
Back To You (album) - Kun & Xiaojun Spotify: 577,373
The Moon - Moon Sujin & Taeil Spotify: 2,154,092
WE DO - SuperM Spotify: 2,834,273
Now N New 2021 - Various Artists ft Doyoung Spotify: 19,849
Too Good - Imlay & Chenle Spotify: 572,123 DOLL - Doyoung & Baekhyun Spotify: 1,372,804
A Beautiful Human Being - Taeil Spotify: 38,167 SAVE - NCT 127 Spotify: 2,641,821
Total number of albums sold (so far): 2,468,000+
NCT has shown enormous growth in half a year and the numbers on YouTube are definite proof. On January 14, 2021, SM Entertainment restructured and ceased uploading onto the NCT Daily, NCT Music and NCT Dance channels due to a new YouTube policy streamlining all content for artists on official accounts only. As a result most content has migrated mostly onto the main NCT YouTube channel and occasionally each individual unit’s channel. At the end of 2020 NCT’s YouTube channel stood at 2.61M subscribers with 112,411,416 total views. The official NCT channel’s subscribers have now multiplied in only 6 months to 3.84M subs and 241,453,171 views. Let’s rewind on all NCT related YouTube channels in the first half of 2021!
NCT Total Videos: 63+ videos Performance Content: N/A Variety Content: 61 videos, 15:47:38 Covers: 2 videos KUN, CHENLE free love (HONNE) cover 1.7M views, 276K likes, 21K comments Doyoung Falling (Harry Styles) cover 2.6M views, 437K likes, 25K comments Most Watched, Liked and Commented & Variety: JAEMIN: 11AM-12PM | NCT 24hr RELAY CAM, 4M views, 589K likes, 34K comments So far this year, we’ve spent 15 hours, 53 minutes and 5 seconds watching NCT content on their official YouTube channel.
On March 10, 2021 WayV was the first NCT unit to make a comeback in 2021 with their third mini album titled Kick Back. Their title track, “Kick Back” has already garnered 20 million views. Throughout the comeback they’ve released a variety of content from different series to performances. The WayV channel started the year with 2.21M subscribers and has since then gained around 700K more coming in at 2.91M subscribers at present. Their channel has accumulated 229,814,203 total views, a large leap from the 131,906,059 they had in January 2021.
Kick Back MV: 20M views, 1.4M likes, 316K comments Back To You MV: 1.9M views, 450K likes, 66K comments Total Videos: 53+ released in 2021 Performance Content: 5 videos, 24:43 Variety Content: 47 videos, 7:46:18 Covers: 1 video, Xiaojun’s EXO For Life (English Ver), 2.2M views, 344K likes, 26K comments Most Watched, Liked and Commented: Action Figure Performance Video, 9.7M views, 541K likes, 39K comments Most Watched Variety: [WayV-ariety] Home with WayV, 1.5M views, 200K likes, 10K comments So far this year, we’ve spent 8 hours, 14 minutes and 16 seconds watching WayV content during the Kick Back Era.
NCT Dream was the next unit to make a comeback in 2021 with their first full length album, Hot Sauce. Their spicy lead single, “Hot Sauce” broke records for quickly reaching 34.2 million views within the first 24 hours of it’s release and has since racked up 108 million views on YouTube. The growth of their channel is expected with this extremely successful comeback. In fact their channel has grown from 2.03M to 3.51M subscribers in under half a year. Fans are clearly loving the content as their videos have been viewed 283,496,126 times, an exponentially huge leap from 35,291,633 views at the start of the year. Hot Sauce MV: 108M views, 3M likes, 1.1M comments Total Videos: 108+ released in 2021 Performance Content: 59 videos, 3:11:38 Variety Content: 49 videos, 13:23:53 Covers: N/A Most Watched & Liked: Hot Sauce with Pinkfong REDREX, 12M views, 471K likes Most Watched Variety: Welcome To Our Home | 7’llin in the DREAM | Ep. 1, 3.7M views, 460K likes, 35K comments
So far this year, we’ve spent 16 hours, 35 minutes and 31 seconds watching NCT Dream content during the Hot Sauce Era.
Total Videos: 25+ videos released in 2021 Performance Content: 3 videos, 7:36 Variety Content: 23 videos, 4:36:32 Covers: N/A Most Watched & Liked: Save MV, 10M views, 1M likes Most Watched Variety: K-학교 안 다녀봤구나 너네?｜시티고 1학년 27반｜1 교시 - YouTube 4.4M views, 430K likes, 15K comments
The 127 unit started off the new year with a Japanese comeback with title track, “gimme gimme” from their 2nd EP Loveholic. More recently - although it wasn’t a full Korean comeback - NCT 127 released an EDM single, “Save” alongside Amoeba Culture for the Samsung Memory Collaboration on June 4, 2021. The song promotes green technology and reducing carbon footprints and has become their most viewed video on their channel. Their total subscriber amount increased from 2.44M to 3.4M within the first half of 2021. Even without a comeback so far this year their views have flourished to a whopping 275,454,621 compared to January’s view count of 11,921,920. gimme gimme MV: 31M views, 1.7M likes, 307K comments Save MV: 10M views, 1M likes, 91K comments
So far this year, we’ve spent 4 hours, 47 minutes and 8 seconds watching NCT 127 content during the Loveholic/Save Era.
This year, older members Baekhyun and Taemin were expected to complete their mandatory military service, so many fans didn’t expect any new content from SuperM. The group surprised fans by squeezing in one last final release with the funky upbeat “We DO” in collaboration with life insurance company, Prudential Corporation Asia. Despite the limited content release they’ve still managed to grow from 2.11M subscribers to 2.42M this year. Their viewership count has also now totalled to 166,588,667. We DO MV: 11M views, 1.1M likes, 190K comments Total Videos: 10+ videos released in 2021 Performance Content: 7 videos, 4:40 Variety Content: 3 videos, 26:49 Covers: N/A Most Watched Video & Variety: Don’t Call Me MV reaction, 3.5M views, 13K comments So far this year, we’ve spent 31 minutes and 29 seconds watching SuperM content during the We DO Era.
Overall Time in First Half 2021 on YouTube: 46 hours, 1 minute, and 29 seconds Overall Views in First Half 2021 on YouTube: 333,711,000
Despite not being able to perform in front of a live audience, NCT performed virtually on music shows for fans all around the world to enjoy. From using props on stage to soulful duets, NCT has continued to give us dynamic performances in 2021. The first half of the year also saw Jaehyun’s year long reign as a host of Inkigayo come to a close. However, we did not have to go Neo-less as he passed the mantle to Sungchan. Altogether there’s been a total of 34 music show performances this year. Hot Sauce is the most awarded NCT song so far with 8 wins from 5 different programs.
Gimmie Gimmie - 2 performances Music Station: 1 CDTV!: 1 Kickback - 11 performances Inkigayo: 2 Music Bank: 2 Music Core: 2 MCountdown!: 2 Show Champion: 1 The Show: 2 Hot Sauce - 12 performances Inkigayo: 3 Music Bank: 3 Music Core: 3 MCountdown!: 3
Dive Into You (B-Side) - 5 performances Inkigayo: 1 Music Bank: 1 Music Core: 1 Mcountdown: 2 Back To You - 5 performances Inkigayo: 1 Music Core: 1 Mcountdown: 1 Show Champion: 1 The Show: 1
Total wins: 8: Hot Sauce Inkigayo - 1, Music Bank - 2, Music Core - 1, MCountdown! - 3, Show Champion - 1 Total Appearances: 30 Total Stages: 34
Not only did NCT keep fans entertained with music, but they also participated in variety programs to give fans a glimpse of their personalities! There is enough content to last up to 36 hours,18 minutes, and 47 seconds-- just over a day and a half! WayVision Season 2: Winter Sports Channel (4:03:01) ............................................. 12 episodes 7llin’ in the DREAM (2:58:27) ........................................................................................... 6 episodes Boys Mental Training Camp 2 - NCT Dream (4:13:27) .............................................. 10 episodes Lucas on Keep Running Season 9 (20:07:04) ............................................................... 12 episodes
Guest Appearances The Daily Show Special (00:27:28) The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: Remotely Educational Super Junior Idol vs. Idol Ep. 37-40 (3:00:00) ................................................................ 4 episodes Winwin and Lucas on Happy Camp (20210515) (1:29:20) .............................................. 1 episode
While not much is known about what is to come in the second half of 2021, NCTzens can look forward to NCT Dream’s upcoming Weekly Idol episode and NCT 127’s upcoming SM C&C STUDIO program Analog Trip Season 2.
NCT are known as a unit, but they are also a group of spectacular individuals who shine outside of group promotions. Their individual projects include dramas, photoshoots, radio shows, soundcloud, and musicals. With so much under their belt, fans are certainly spoiled with content. Musicals
Doyoung as Axel Von Fersen in Marie Antoinette
Doyoung on Cafe Midnight Season 3 - The Curious Stalker Xiaojun on Hello My Youth
Followers: 352 thousand
Streams: 1.37 million
Streams: 19.73 million
Likes: 105.47 thousand
Likes: 939.7 thousand
Jisung on Allure Korea (February)
Chenle on Akdong Seoul
Yangyang at New York Fashion Week for Jarret (February)
Yuta on YUTA at Home
Sungchan on Allure Korea (March) Renjun on Elle Idol Digital Magazine (March) Doyoung and Jungwoo on Cosmopolitan Korea (March) WayV on L’Officiel Philippines N°1 (Spring) WayV on Dazed Korea (April) NCT 127 on Men’s Non-no (April) Doyoung on WKorea (May) NCT 127 on Elle Men Japan (May) Doyoung and Jungwoo on @Star1 Magazine (July) Yuta on GINGER Magazine (July)
For many idols, social media the past year and now has been the best way for artists to connect with their fans in this global pandemic. Standing out amongst billions of content creators can be difficult but NCT has cracked the code spreading out to all sorts of platforms. They’ve demonstrated a great understanding on how to engage with fans with more than half of the members even opening their own personal accounts on Instagram.
On VLIVE all NCT members - with the exception of WayV and SuperM - stick to live streaming on the official NCT account and usually use their respective unit channels for uploads of performances, fancams, or teasers. Their consistent communication with fans has allowed them to stay within the top 5 channel rankings on the VLIVE app. NCT
102+ videos in 2021 (54 live streams)
21+ videos in 2021
Most watched & liked Live: NCT 127 Day, See You Today (01/27/2021) 5.7M plays, 255M hearts
Most watched & liked Live: NCT Dream (Hot Sauce Restaurant) (05/10/21) 5.3M plays, 343M hearts
7+ videos in 2021
18+ videos in 2021 (5 live streams)
Most watched & liked Live: NCT 127 Day, See You Today (01/27/21) 5.7M plays, 255M hearts
Most watched & liked Live: WayV Comeback Kick Back (03/11/21) 1.3M plays, 61.3 hearts SuperM 642,469 Members 11.1M plays 795M hearts 1.1M comments 3 videos in 2021
All accounts have organically grown their following after the conclusion of the NCT2020 project group by keeping fans up to date with all member activities and announcements. @NCTsmtown
January 2021: 5,380,810 followers
January 2021: 1,459,800 followers
Present: 6,718,181+ followers
Present: 1,813,017+ followers
January 2021: 4,638,152 followers
January 2021: 2,392,619 followers
Present: 5,763,887+ followers
Present: 2,855,262+ followers
@NCTsmtown_DREAM January 2021: 4,020,903 followers
Present: 5,351,559+ followers
The members of NCT can get the most creative with the constantly changing trends of TikTok. WayV in particular have taken advantage of this platform the most by uploading funny videos that showcase their goofy personalities.
January 2021: 3M followers
Present: 1.1M followers
Present: 5.1M followers
Most Viewed & Liked: 02/10/21 Mark accepting chocolate 2.8M views, 814.8K likes
Most Viewed & Liked: 05/11/21 #HotSauce challenge with Mark, Jeno, Jaemin and Jisung 13.9 views, 2.9M likes
Similar to Twitter, fans can get all news coverage of NCT’s upcoming activities and announcements on Facebook. NCT: 3M followers NCT 127: 2.5M followers NCT Dream: 1.2M followers WayV: 833,988 followers SuperM: 696,332 followers
January 2021: 200K followers
January 2021: 1.2M followers
Present: 3M followers
Present: 1.5M followers
Most Viewed & Liked: 01/24/21 Lucas Emoji Song 14.6M views, 3.1M likes
Most Viewed & Liked: 01/21/21 Lucas dancing “We DO” 577.8K views, 178.9K likes
Through Instagram the NCT members can get more personal with posts on their individual and main accounts. Members like Mark Lee has shared his own poetry, Xiaojun with short covers of songs, and Ten showing off his artwork.
@nct January 2021: 8,474,774 followers Present: 10,485,369+ followers
@nct127 January 2021: 9,709,046 followers Present: 11,141,485+ followers
@nct_dream January 2021: 5,302,924 followers Present: 6,690,122+ followers
@wayvofficial January 2021: 4,601,180 followers Present: 5,733,609+ followers
@superm January 2021: 4,953,025 followers Present: 5,283,494+ followers
@kun11xd January 2021: 3.5M followers Present: 5.1M followers Most Liked post: 06/10/21 1.4M likes @tenlee_1001 January 2021: 5.2M followers Present: 7.5M followers Most Liked post: 05/01/21 3.36M likes, 8.71M plays @wwiinn_7 January 2021: 3.8M followers Present: 5M followers Most Liked post: 05/18/21 1.81M likes @lucas_xx444 January 2021: 6.2M followers Present: 9.5M followers Most Liked post: 01/24/21 3.22M likes @djxiao_888 January 2021: 4M followers Present: 5.2M followers Most Liked post: 01/15/21 1.38M likes @i_m_hendery January 2021: 3.7M followers Present: 4.6M followers Most Liked post: 06/04/21 1.52M likes
@yangyang_x2 January 2021: 3M followers Present: 4.6M followers Most Liked post: 06/04/21 1.24M likes @johnnyjsuh January 2021: 4.5M followers Present: 6M followers Most Liked post: 03/21/21 1.87M likes @yuu_taa_1026 January 2021: 4M followers Present: 6M followers (Yuta is also the most followed Japanese male celebrity on IG as of 02/26/21) Most Liked post: 04/30/21 1.83M likes @_jeongjaehyun January 2021: 6M followers Present: 8M followers Most Liked post: 04/17/21 3.18M likes @na.jaemin0813 January 2021: 3.8M followers Present: 5.8M followers Most Liked post: 03/16/21 2.62M likes
@do0_nct January 2021: 4M followers Present: 6.9M followers Most Liked post: 04/30/21 2.32M likes @onyourm__ark Opened account 01/25/21 Present: 5.2M followers Most Liked post: 01/25/21 2.81M likes @taeoxo_nct Opened account 02/18/21 Present: 5M followers Most Liked post: 02/18/21 2.28M likes @_shotaroo_ Opened account 04/16/21 Present: 2.7M followers Most Liked post: 04/15/21 1.61M likes @yellow_3to3 Opened account 06/23/21 Present: 1.8M followers Most Liked post: 06/23/21 1.7M likes
Photo Source: SM Entertainment
Meet the Designer Behind Karina’s Corset in the aespa Teasers that Broke the Internet BY DONYA | @DONYAYAYA_ AND SAMRUDDHI HARVE | @NCTEAPARTY æspa’s latest comeback has continued to capture the attention of K-pop fans, from the “Next Level” teasers to their detailed make-up looks in the SM Culture Universe. It all started with Karina’s solo pictorial teasers, capturing the group’s leader riding a motorcycle in a vibrant, futuristic setting. Fitting the theme, the singer wore a Nusi Quero corset, as many eager fans noted. Allow EnVi to introduce you to the designer behind the iconic piece.
NEXT LEVEL BEGINNINGS
Quero himself began in the music industry as part of a band. Since then, he’s gone from architecture to rendering to couture. However, all these combined experiences have led him to this point. “I think that there’s a vocabulary of principles that I’ve been able to think about as like, cross-disciplinary or cross contextual. And then I’ve been able to practice in all different versions of these fields. I don’t know what to call it. I think about words like composition, contrasts, melody, harmony. All of these words are rhythm,” he told EnVi. “They’re all things that are all present in architecture.
It was like a synonymousness that I found between making music and then practicing or designing architecture.” Though seemingly different, each of the roles he has taken on has given him perspective. He explained, “I think there are certain intuitions, mostly that I’ve been able to develop from practicing all these things, but keeping these sorts of concepts that span the fields between them in mind while I’m working on them.”
With his previous work, especially in architecture and compositional art, he was able to establish himself as a designer with his own niche in couture.
From the start, his work has been impactful.
“It was a really profound feeling for me the first time I made a piece. I had a friend come over, and I was like, ‘Hey, can you try this on?’ I didn’t know if it would fit. I didn’t know if it would work. Or if it would be uncomfortable or ridiculously not proportioned right, or whatever. So, I just had a friend over and she tried it on,” Quero explained. “And luckily, I mean, miraculously, kind of, it fit her perfectly. And she was really into it. She was feeling herself, strutting around… and, I thought that it was amazing I made this thing that empowered someone, that made them
Photo Source: SM Entertainment
feel different, and I kind of love that feeling. I love the idea of doing that for people and doing that for women.”
NUSI’S WORK IN FASHION Quero has built a large portfolio. In the process, he has been able to work with many celebrities and has gained plenty of attention for his creations. Since the start, however, he has been committed to letting the pieces speak for themselves. “I’m pretty straight to the point. I actually have a pretty big issue, usually with metaphors in art. The neck thing on the pieces I make, it really just makes your neck stay up. And, when I do renderings and stuff, I really try to get rid of any ambiguity,” he stated.
more traditional parents. “I’m a mama’s boy. I was raised by my mom. I wouldn’t call her stereotypically feminine, but I do feel that I was raised under this sort of nurturing and empathic environment, and whether or not that’s feminine, I’m not sure.” With these influences, Quero continues to explore femininity as a designer, creating pieces with a purpose, “I don’t pretend to solve those problems, but I do want to make things that when people wear them, they feel powerful, they feel a new way.”
For the designer, this goes further than just saying so. He incorporates these elements into his designs themselves. “I’ve done some intentional things with the designs on some of them. I’ve added a “With my pieces, I want them collar that’s built into to be sort of like armor simultait. I did it originally, neously, sort of something just just because I love peculiar. And definitely, a sort this aristocratic sort of of empowered sexiness, hopeway it looks. I thought fully, that is felt by the wearer. it was beautiful. But I think that we’re at a time right now, in the sort of Zeitgeist when what I noticed, just like when someone put it people are tired of containing themselves... They’re tired of not on, they couldn’t put being allowed to, like, celebrate their chin down. They couldn’t look at the their sexiness without being under threat of sexual assault and ground. They kind of just had to be this like, stuff,” he expressed. bad bitch.” This revelation led VISION OF FEMININITY Quero to center his work not only on style It seems that women have always but also on signifiplayed a strong role in Quero’s cance. life. Growing up with his mother, he cherishes that his upbringing “I thought that that gave him the space to be was an amazing thing. creative, in contrast to those with You know it’s almost
like a corset or a trainer for confidence. There’s the sort of intentions that I have with pieces in terms of how they are embraced or worn by people who identify as feminine.” When creating, he has a strong image in mind. He has translated that to his physical work. “When I’m designing these pieces for women to wear, I always imagine this sort of archetypical, shamanic Goddess woman, who’s just way too cool, way too hot. And like, has a pack of wild cats following her around,” he said. This has been influential imagery throughout his career as an artist.
Jumping into K-pop Quero’s work appealed to Cece Liu, the stylist for æspa’s teasers. She reached out to him to feature his pieces in the photos that would be taken by Bryan Hyunh and designed by Rodolfo Hernández. “They asked me for a while to make a piece for this. And I had a very complicated couple of
months. And it was very hard. I ended up only being able to ship one. I was hoping to be able to do a look for all, but I was very glad that I could get a piece out there. And, I thought that it worked really great. I really wasn’t involved with the styling of it, though. I’m really, really happy with how it turned out though.” Fans were just as pleased with the look and quickly rushed to thank the artists behind the work. For Quero, seeing the power of K-pop fans was unique. “It was my first time making something for an artist in K-pop. And I think the most interesting thing was how a lot of the æspa
fans, what most of them said to me was, ‘Thank you. Thank you for making this for this person that we adore,’” he shared with a laugh.
Photo Source: SM Entertainment
“Before I was making the couture that people would wear, I was just making renderings. I was making images and in the images, I got kind of fascinated with this like empress archetype, then I would often try to interpret it in pieces I was making. ”
“I thought that that was really sweet and unique. And I also thought it’s a different sort of fandom that exists for K-pop artists. It’s really amazing to see like 10 minutes after this image goes up that there are already people finding out all of the things that everybody’s wearing and getting a link and showing the price and everything on a document they’ve already photoshopped together. It really was mind-boggling to me. I think that was the biggest takeaway from it was just how amazingly dedicated K-pop
Photo Source: SM Entertainment
fans are. It’s really, really special.”
LOOKING FORWARD Having gotten a taste of working in the K-pop industry, Quero is eager to continue collaborating with K-pop stylists and working with their vision. “All of their worlds are so amazing and inspiring. All of the walls of the room are painted and it’s very, very interesting. And, so, I would say that if someone wanted to work with me, that the more they bring to me, the more that will come back because I’ve been really yearning to have a more involved sort of co-designed commission, or like a collaborative process in making a piece for somebody or a look or more,” he shared.
A NEW FORM OF FASHION SHOWS In the meantime, Quero’s gearing for his first show, set for the fall of 2021. However, like the rest of his work, he promises that it will stray from the traditional fashion scene. “I don’t like fashion shows,” Quero stated. His avant-garde pieces made from futuristic techniques are very
much pieces of art. Rather, his show will be able to further display his development and purpose as a creator. He has a clear goal in mind. “I’ve decided I’m decidedly not a fashion designer. I’m not. I’m not a musician. I’m not in the music industry. I’m not in the fashion industry. What I’ve decided is that I’m kind of in the goosebumps industry. That’s what I want. That’s what I want to give people. I don’t care if they have that piece, I want them to have a feeling. I want them to have goosebumps,” he said. “I want them to feel funky and uncomfortable or amazed from it. And, so, on that note, when I do a ‘fashion show’ where I essentially showcase people that are wearing the things that I make, I’ve decided to do an experience. I’m going to call it a ritual that people witness.” With such a unique career, Quero’s creative direction has continued to stun the fashion industry. Now that he has done the same in the K-pop world, there are surely plenty of eyes on Quero, waiting for his next big move.
TAEYONG NATAL CHART BY DIANA | @kyotosgirl
Taeyong’s ascendant sits at 7° Pisces. This degree indicates that success may be obtained by remaining humble and helping others, rather than by being self-centered. At first glance, Taeyong is graceful, caring, and concerned with fairness and harmony. He is charming and may be well-liked by authority figures and influencers.
Photo Source: SM Entertainment
The planet Saturn deals with responsibility, limitations, cautiousness, and maturity. It sits in the first house at 24° Pisces, suggesting a slightly refined version of the sternness that Saturn can present. This degree may also indicate victory, resilience, upright character, and prosperity. Taeyong is a person who has a lot of responsibility because he is seen as capable of handling it. He may feel pressure to perform and be self-conscious as a result. His first house ruler is in the ninth house, suggesting a love of travel, learning about other cultures, and exploring his beliefs. All of these factors are likely a part of his core identity. His second house begins at 22° Aries, with South Node at 2° Taurus. This degree warns against associating with toxic and jealous people surrounding them. In the second house, this may indicate that some people may be jealous of the opportunities he receives, his financial status or possessions, or even his self-esteem. His South Node in this house indicates
that he is more comfortable doing things independently rather than depending on others or their resources for him to grow. The third house sits at 23° Taurus. This is an empty house, so there is not much conscious energy devoted to writing, communication, technology, and driving. The third house lord falls in the fourth house. His writing and speech come from a place of strong emotions, especially those related to his family or his past. He may also be prone to overthinking things he did in the past. He cares deeply about people close to him and he likely tries to communicate with them as often as possible. The fourth house starts at 17° Gemini, with Mercury at 17° and Venus at 25°. This indicates someone who is ambitious and has a strong will to carry out their plans. In this case, this may indicate that Taeyong is someone who is quite capable of expressing his emotions and what goes on in his private life. The fourth house being in Gemini may allow for an easier time putting words to feelings than it would in a water sign, such as Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces. Venus and Mercury in this house indicate youthful and fond feelings towards family and childhood friends. Venus at 25° can indicate someone who is very witty and clever with words, with a stubborn nature and strong concern for others. Taeyong’s Mercury and Venus
square Saturn, which may indicate he receives a lot of criticism for what he says and his art, or he may feel disrespected when other people give unsolicited advice about those things. The fourth house lord is in the fourth house, so much of his mental energy is put towards his private life and emotions. The fifth house starts at 8° Cancer, with the Sun at 9° Cancer. This degree indicates humility, contentment, virtue, and success. The ninth degree of Cancer suggests fruitfulness, industriousness, and honor. The projects he creates will make him very successful and he will likely feel content in what he puts out into the world. There is a great deal of depth and wisdom to the art he creates, and he lives and breathes the very essence of creation. He may also get along well with people younger than him. His sixth house begins in 3° Leo, with the Moon at 18°. These degrees signify patience, determination, self-control, and potential for pridefulness. He is very patient when it comes to his work, and he is dedicated to making sure it comes out perfectly. However, he must make sure he takes care of his emotional well-being, as those with the Moon in this house can become physically ill if their emotional health suffers. He has an affinity for animals, and is quite fond of them. He is also very responsible, and taking care of daily tasks can be quite soothing to him. The sixth house lord is in the
fifth house. A large part of his persona is included in his art. He is also a born performer, and possesses strong charisma, especially during his performances. The fifth house Sun native is a joyful, bright personality, and it shows when they decide to express themselves. With the Sun trine his ascendant, his charisma matches his true personality well and is communicated effectively to any audience in front of him. The seventh house begins at 7° Virgo, with Mars at 18° and Chiron at 21° Virgo. These degrees suggest a strong sense of fairness, thoughtfulness, generosity, sincerity, and sensuousness. The theme of self-restraint and being cautious of who he surrounds himself with has popped up once again, so this is something to take to heart. He is a generous and sincere person, but not everyone
is on the same wavelength. Mars conjunct Chiron indicates some emotional pain regarding one-on-one relationships, and even those who are supposed to be his supporters. Essentially, he has been screwed over multiple times by others, and understands that heartbreak all too well. His seventh house lord is in the fourth house. The fourth house deals with family, childhood, and one’s inner world. With Mercury and Venus in this house, he may care a great deal about these things and might only open up about it if he wants to become closer to someone. This may mean he is reluctant to share his feelings and thoughts, and it can create resentment in the other person. There is clear tension due to the Mercury square with Mars and Chiron, and this will likely take a lot of effort to balance.
His eighth house begins at 22° Libra, with the North Node at 2° Scorpio. These degrees suggest carefulness, patience, and realism. When it comes to close relationships with others and their resources, he is wise and conscious of how he interacts with both. He is independent and does not like to rely on other people as it makes him uncomfortable, but he will be better off if he learns to accept help when he needs it. The ninth house falls at 23° Scorpio, with Pluto at 28° Scorpio and Jupiter at 7° Sagittarius. These degrees indicate utility, industriousness, innovation, and cautiousness. His beliefs and values are very important to him, and he highly values learning and continued growth. This can indicate someone who is a strong perfectionist, and who will never be content until it is perfect in their eyes. While this can be a good thing, it can also be to the native’s detriment, especially considering he has Pluto
squaring the Moon. This indicates perfectionism getting in the way of his emotional well-being. The ninth house ruler is in the seventh house. His relationship encounters play a large part in how he views the world and what his values are. This is why keeping good company is extremely important for him. He also has a strong pull on his international fans, and is likely very popular in other countries. The tenth house begins at 17° Sagittarius. It indicates eccentricity, genius and a lack of order, as well as passion. Taeyong has no planets in his tenth house, however, his tenth house lord falls in the ninth house. To him, a career that can provide him with opportunities for growth, learning, travel, and freedom to create is of the utmost importance. He wants to be seen as someone who is always improving and working hard to be their best, and his work ethic proves this. The eleventh house starts at 8° Capricorn, with Neptune at 24° and Uranus at 29°. These degrees symbolize a need for patience, danger of superficiality, ambition, and a potentially impulsive nature. This seems to apply more to his fans, as they have no option but to be superficial because they have little knowledge of what
happens behind the scenes. There may be times where fans project their wishes and goals for Taeyong onto him, and in reality he may not want it at the time, or at all. Taeyong seems to be hesitant in terms of putting out solo work, but he is not impulsive about it and takes his time until he feels confident in his work. His eleventh house ruler is in the first house, reintroducing the idea of fan projection onto him. As he grows as an artist and as a person, he is becoming more confident in his decision making. Sometimes, this may clash with the fans’ expectations of when certain things happen, but it is highly likely he sees and has goals to put out solo work and content. His twelfth house begins in 3° Aquarius, which indicates trustworthiness, merit, talent, and authority. He tries hard to show people he cares, as it seems like he may be afraid of seeming cold or unapproachable to other people. The twelfth house ruler is in the first house, suggesting that a lot of subconscious energy is put towards his status as the leader of NCT. He is very aware of the role he has been given, and does his best to fulfill this, but his perfectionistic nature may have him experiencing self-doubt often.
Photo Source: JYP Entertainment
MUSIC DANCE MUSIC
C, DAN EMUS C, DAN For most fans, the word “K-pop” is unanimously recognized as an umbrella term for popular music made in South Korea. But for many non-fans or newcomers, there’s a preconceived notion of what K-pop is and sounds like.
Music, Dance: A Look Into the History of Pop, Hip-Hop, and R&B BY CHYENNE TATUM | @CHYANDBLACK
“Bubblegum Pop” might first come to mind, with songs like “Gee” by Girls’ Generation or “TT” by Twice. Or maybe the strong EDM and trap-laced “God’s Menu” by Stray Kids. Even within K-pop fandoms, there has been a growing interest in learning the different subgenres that come into play with some of our favorite songs.
EnVi’s “Music, Dance” series will discuss these intricate nuances and the history behind some of the most popular subgenres in K-pop, as a recurring column to expand on fandom conversations. But first, let’s start with the basics by breaking down pop, hip-hop, and R&B.
Pop, which originated in the 1950s era of the United States and the United Kingdom, is one of the most popular genres to date. Pop music was mostly synonymous with the rock and roll scene of that time and encompassed the “youth-oriented” styles that were emerging. The typical pop song will feature a catchy, repetitive hook, a danceable rhythm, and written with a basic verse-chorus (sometimes bridge) structure. But even with these signature qualities, pop music is arguably the most diverse of the bunch, with dozens of subgenres under it.
A decade after pop had taken off, bubblegum music introduced an upbeat style marketed to children and preteens. Described as lightweight and simplistic, producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffry Katz coined the term “bubblegum” in the late 60s while contemplating its target audience. After getting wind of the creative analogy, Buddha Records executive Neil Bogart popularized the term, and eventually, it caught on. Most bubblegum acts in the early 70s (apart from the Partridge Family and Tommy Roe) were considered one-hit wonders, and the popular craze swiftly died down by the end of the decade.
One of its first resurgences occurred on kids’ TV networks throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, most notably on the Disney network. Today, bubblegum pop is a staple in creating iconic K-pop hits that are beloved in Korea and beyond. These hits include: • “Lion Heart” by Girls’ Generation • “Chewing Gum” by NCT Dream • “Knock Knock” by TWICE • “Very Very Very” by I.O.I • “FIVE” by Apink
Short for ‘synthetic pop,’ synth-pop is a subgenre that was picked up in
Photo Source: Play M Entertainment
Photo Source: SM Entertainment
IPthe late 70s and uses electronic sounds, drum machines, and synthesizers to replace all other instruments. It was most popular during the post-punk “New Wave” era in the U.K. and Japan, with many bands embracing its artificiality and strong melodies. In Japan, however, the term “techno-pop” is preferred — as coined by late music critic Yuzuru Agi — but can be used interchangeably with synth-pop. One of the criticisms of synthpop at the time was that it was “soulless” and limited the creativity of musicians. However, many prominent artists defended the genre, and it progressed with the likes of Donna Summer and
the Beach Boys at the forefront. Today, synth-pop is practically synonymous with the 80s, where it dominated the pop music scene in both the UK and the US. By 1991, synth-pop lost its popularity in the U.S. but returned in the late 2000s and 2010s with the help of Calvin Harris, Lady Gaga, Kesha, and many more. Simultaneously, the genre was revived in Japan and Korea with groups Perfume, f(x), Wonder Girls, and Girls’ Generation. The latest “retro phase” saw international success in 2020 from both Korean and Western acts alike, from The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, and Everglow. • “La Di Da” by Everglow • “I Feel You’ by Wonder Girls • “Caffeine” by Eyedi • “New” by LOONA’s Yves
DANCE MUSIC DANCE MUSIC • “Sweet Dreams” by EXO-CBX • “After Midnight” by WayV
During the same synth-pop era of the 70s and 80s, dance-pop formed from a combination of disco, post-disco, and synth influences. Dance-pop is the home of the world’s most popular acts, such as Madonna, Michael and Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, and *NSYNC. The subgenre lives in between dance and pop music—it’s more uptempo than regular pop music, but more structured than dance music and is producer-driven.
According to Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Madonna launched and led the dance-pop movement in the 80s. Because of her widespread charisma, sex appeal, and infectious dance music, she set the standard for other dancepop artists for years to come. With technology becoming more
accessible and experimented with, dance music continued to thrive in various forms from the 90s to the 2010s. As hip-hop and R&B rose in the early 2000s, dance-pop artists infused more modern elements into the songs to keep up with the times. Similarly, the electronic wave of the 2010s influenced modern dance-pop from artists like David Guetta, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. Seeing as the K-pop industry borrows from American and Western trends, it wasn’t a surprise to see dance music thrive there, as well. Most of the songs on this list are mixed with other electropop, bubblegum, and R&B elements. • “Chu” by f(x) (a mix of bubblegum, dance-pop, and electro influences) • “The Boys” by Girls’ Generation (dance mixed with electropop and R&B) • “No More Perfume On You” by
E C, E C,
Teen Top (dance & synth) • “Breathe” by miss A (dance, electro, synth) • “Heart Attack” by AOA (dance & electropop) •
HIP-HOP & RAP
Along with pop music, hip-hop has become the one of most popular genres internationally. With artists and fans from different ethnic backgrounds, the trend has embedded itself deep within the music industry to where almost everything is influenced by it. But before it caught fire worldwide, the genre started in the Bronx of New York City. It consists of a certain rhythmic flow in the speech pattern and lyrics that can be delivered slowly through spoken word or lightning speed. With its earliest roots in Blues and gospel, hip-hop was formed by the inner-city Black, Latinx, and Caribbean youth, and was largely popular at block parties. While early hiphop was influenced by the party aspects of disco, it was also used to evoke social commentary and change.
• “I Know” by Seo Taiji and Boys • “90’s Love” by NCT U (Oldschool hip-hop and R&B) • “Boy in Luv” by BTS (hip-hop mixed with rock) • “Uh-Oh” by (G)I-dle • “Love Again” by NCT Dream
TRAP In the early 90s, trap music was created as a subgenre to hip-hop
in the Southern United States. Historically, trap music is known to be more aggressive than the average hip-hop style, thus its lyrical content often refers to drugs and violence. Compared to hip-hop, the signature sound of trap music consists of snare drums and hi-hats to create a hard-hitting atmosphere. Through the 90s and early aughts, artists and producers making trap music included Lil Jon, T.I., and Master P. Eventually, trap grew even more throughout the 2010s with Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and Rick Ross. Today, trap music is arguably the most influential subgenre of hiphop and can be found all
Photo Source: SM Entertainment
Musically, hip-hop is accompanied by many different elements, such as beatboxing, turntables, instrumental tracks. While there are many pioneers in hip-hop, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and DJ Disco Wiz helped establish the culture throughout the 70s and 80s. As seen in the K-pop Evolution series on YouTube, hip-hop did not affect the Korean music industry until the early 90s with
Seo Taiji and Boys. Since then, hip-hop and rap culture has grown exponentially in Korea through the idol group scene, and underground. Because this category is so vast, here are a few hip-hop tracks that are not fused with the upcoming subgenre below.
Photo Source: SM Entertainment
R & B
radio. Many K-pop and K-hiphop acts are now utilizing trap mechanisms just as much as they are hip-hop, and it’s taken the industry (particularly boy groups) by storm. The rhythmic subgenre is also very commonly fused with EDM, as heard in some of the examples below. • “Wonderland” by ATEEZ • “Yeah Yeah Yeah” by WayV • “Double Knot” by Stray Kids • “Jealousy” by Monsta X • “The 7th Sense” by NCT U
R&B Dating back to 1916, rhythm and blues originated in rural Black communities in the south and largely consisted of many jazz instruments, such as the piano, saxophone, bass, and guitars. The “blues” aspect of rhythm and blues was born out of the oppression and struggle that came with the Black American experience. Its lyrics were both sorrowful to express the pain and joyful to uplift their spirits during dark times. According to the Folklife & Cultural Heritage Magazine of the Smithsonian Center, “The emergence of R&B as a music category reflects its simultaneous marginalization as a form of African American music and its centrality to the development of a wide repertoire of American popular music genres, most notably rock ’n’ roll.” Before “rhythm and blues” was deemed the appropriate term for the genre, the Black community simply referred to it as “race music.” In the postwar world, however, it became an offensive term and was thus changed to
“rhythm and blues” by Billboard as early as 1943. As the country shifted into the 50s and 60s, the evolution of R&B began to change. Instead of using jazz as a focal point for the genre, rock and roll, gospel, and soul music seeped their way into R&B. What started as a mostly Black dominated market, slowly grew in popularity with white teenagers of the 1950s, and jumpstarted the rock n’ roll phenomenon. Out of that phenomenon came Little Richard, an innovator of early rock n’ roll, funk, and R&B in the United States. Meanwhile, the birth of “British rhythm and blues” developed in the UK with rock bands like Rolling Stones and the Who adopting the sound, as well.
CONTEMPORARY R&B During the late 80s, the sound changed again as contemporary R&B became popular, combining funk, disco, hip-hop, and electronic music with it. Writer and producer Robert Palmer described rhythm and blues as, “a catchall term referring to any music that was made by and for Black Americans.” Similar to hiphop, R&B has influenced artists of all races and remains a mainstream genre in music. Notable pioneers throughout the decades include Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, and Aaliyah. According to Circulation Mag, the nearest precursor to contemporary R&B came at the tail end of the disco era in the late 70s when artists like Michael Jackson would create more “dancefloorfriendly” songs. Stephen Thomas Erlewine described MJ’s Off the
Wall (1979) album as a “visionary album that combined the colorful elements of disco with smooth soul, pop, and soft rock.” Throughout the 90s and 2000s, contemporary R&B flourished with Mary G. Blige, Alicia Keys, Usher, TLC, just to name a few. Today, some of the best-selling musicians of all time have come from R&B, including Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey. As far as Korean notoriety, R&B did not make an impact until the group Solid introduced the genre in the early 90s. Today, contemporary (and even traditional) R&B is deeply embedded in the modern Korean music industry, with groups and soloists carving out their signature sounds. • “Attention” by eSna (traditional R&B and jazz sound) • “Mmmh” by Kai (with pop influences) • “MONO-Drama” by Jonghyun • “Automatic” by Red Velvet • “Back 2 U (AM 01:27)” by NCT 127 As music evolves, the industry is quick on its feet, always adapting to the next sonic wave of trends. Regardless, pop, hip-hop, R&B continue to lay the groundwork and serve as the foundation for dozens of fusion genres throughout history. K-pop was never “fully” Korean; it’s always borrowed from popular music in the West and has now built an empire by tweaking and expanding on it. That’s the beauty of creativity and limitless ideas. Each of these niche genres has a story, and EnVi’s “Music, Dance” series is dedicated to uncovering them one by one.
By Heather | @jaehyuniepot
There’s a Korean proverb that says “to catch a tiger, you have to go to the tiger’s den,” which in the West we may know as “no pain, no gain.” It means that without one putting in all their hard work and effort, they’ll never reach for what they aspire. In the case of Mark Lee—who is often lovingly compared to a baby tiger by fans—he embodies this to a tee.
Unknowingly, his environment would influence his future path. Even his deep faith in Christianity introduced him to dancing and singing in front of others through church. He noted that although he enjoyed music it had never crossed his mind to pursue it seriously. Instead he originally dreamed of becoming an author and publishing his own book someday. To this day, he’s stayed true to his word and is still writing, and even sharing his poetry on his personal Instagram.
His story officially began in 2012, a monumental year for K-Pop with the Before he was the superstar idol we know him steady rise of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” all as today, Mark was just an ordinary student across the globe. Although Mark is now well growing up between the towns of Vancouver, known for his rapping prowess, he first got Toronto, and New York. As he bounced along into SM Entertainment through his singing the East side of North America, he focused abilities. As if by fate, the one day he had a on his studies, citing himself as a studious day off from school there was coincidentally student. Growing up he was surrounded by a SM Global Audition in Vancouver, music—his father was a music vocal major Canada—which at the time was rare since K-Pop had not yet become the Hallyu wave and his mother had a background in piano we see today. and jazz.
He auditioned with the song, “Grenade” by Bruno Mars and joined the company that same year heading to Seoul, South Korea, 6,603 miles away from everything he knew. Describing it as his life’s first turning point he was more scared and worried than excited living
on his own in a strange country. His mother has expressed regrets that she had let him audition at the tender age of 13, since in exchange for the fame he sacrificed indispensable precious youthful memories. However, seeing his growth as an artist has made her reassured he’s made the right choice with this once in a lifetime career. Mark’s goal to become an idol flourished as he drew inspiration from artists he greatly admired. As seen by his audition song selection - Bruno Mars was a huge influence on him. It was after seeing Bruno Mars’ performance that he thought for the first time in his life that he wanted to be on stage too. Mark has also often referenced Justin Bieber as an artist he has dreamed of collaborating with since he was little. He explained that he was able to relate with Bieber who started his career at a young age as well. This commonality drew him to look up to Bieber’s style of music.
His training began and within a few months he became a standout trainee. In this time he would meet Mq, his rap teacher who would become a significant person in his career. According to Ep. 7 of Boys Mental Camp Season 2 (2021), Mq is attributed to the discovery of Mark’s natural talent and igniting his passion for rap. It came to no surprise on December 16, 2013 when he was quickly introduced to the public for the first time as a prospective trainee-to-debut with SM’s predebut project dubbed SM ROOKIES— the project aimed at cultivating the next generation of global artists. Mark in particular drew attention for being foreign to Korea as a Canadian, which appealed to international fans. He became well known for being a part of SM ROOKIES’ “foreign swagger” line consisting of fellow members Johnny and Jaehyun who could also communicate in English. Fans were able to get glimpses of his down-to-earth demeanor, his most notable being his music video reaction with Haechan to Red Velvet’s debut, “Happiness.” By 15 he would go on to further develop as an entertainer through several TV broadcast opportunities.
He made his first variety show appearance on EXO 90:2014 (2014) dancing short covers and playing games with EXO and fellow SM ROOKIES’ members. Mark and the younger SM ROOKIES revealed a quick preview of them dancing to EXO’s “Growl” on the show, which they later performed at their first concert on August 15, 2014 at SMTOWN Live World Tour IV in Seoul. This would be Mark’s first chance at a live performance before an audience and an opportunity to show off the dance skills he was polishing. As one of the youngest trainees, he joined alongside his future NCT Dream group mates as cast members for the revived Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club in Korea on July 8, 2015. This became a valuable experience for him to become well known to the public, allowing him to exhibit his dance and rap on a regular basis. Here, fans were able to delve in deeper into his personality and talents with various performances, skits, and games. The
Mouseketeers’ cover of The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea” currently has 2.9 million views on YouTube, their most viewed performance from the show online. Despite not even debuting yet, the SM ROOKIES formula was working. Their consistent social media posts and large amount of accessible content attracted a steady fan base by 2015. So much so, that the male subunit was granted their own concert series named, the SMROOKIES Show where they toured in Korea and Thailand from 2015-2016. Mark’s original rap for their cover of “Under The Sea” blew fans away proving not only his unique rap style, but his abilities as a future lyricist.
With the success of SM ROOKIES the next steps for the future of these members were clear. At a press conference, Lee Soo-Man announced a new mega boy group on February 1, 2016 called Neo Culture Technology—whose concept of localization would be the foundation for the company’s future. Mark’s rap could be heard in the teaser for NCT U’s “The 7th Sense” as it introduced the fresh new talent to debut. By July, Mark would be placed in the fixed and second unit of NCT, NCT 127. Before debuting for the second time, he and the members appeared in their first reality TV show series, NCT Life in Bangkok (2016), which followed them to their debut day. Anticipation was high when the fiery title track “Fire Truck” dropped July 7, 2016 and peaked at number two on the Billboard World Album charts. Barely a month later, NCT Dream was announced to debut with the popping track,
“Chewing Gum,” and once again, Mark was in the line up. Grabbing the title of “Pro Debuter” it became a topic of concern for fans who worried the teenager was overworking himself. Regardless, if he was overwhelmed or not Mark stayed diligent throughout the rest of 2016 without rest. His dedication to his groups bore fruit and by the end of the year he stood proudly on stage collecting the coveted MAMA “Rookie of the Year” award where he thanked his family, fans, and most importantly, God, for taking them all the way.
With the start of the new year, Mark challenged himself by joining the first season of survival reality show, High School Rapper (2017). The format of the show followed high school representatives from each of Korea’s districts as they battled one another with
their rapping abilities. He viewed this as an opportunity to shed prejudice he faced as an “idol rapper,” wanting to prove his sincerity towards the craft of rap and hip hop. Mark represented the Gangseo district of Seoul and was able to reach the final round placing seventh overall. Throughout the show, he demonstrated his humble mindset and hard working demeanor. Even with his busy schedule between comebacks and school work, he was often seen jotting down ideas and lyrics any chance he got. His fellow NCT members have mentioned themselves that he “practices rap even in the car” and “Mark was considered the most sincere/hard working trainee during our trainee days.” His final iconic solo stage, “Drop” with Red Velvet’s Seulgi features his honest thoughts of stereotypes and how the grind never stops.
Mark thrived at the beginning of 2017 as he snagged the first music show win alongside the NCT Dream members with their upbeat comeback song, “My First and Last.” NCT 127’s comeback “Cherry Bomb” on June 14, 2017 cemented their popularity and signature “NCT Noise” sound that would be found in ensuing songs later on. Once again, Mark’s rap verse was met with high praise from critics and the general public. His powerful rapping style alongside member Taeyong was changing the image of SM’s “idol rappers” that were belittled before. He would stand on a joint stage with other “idol rappers” in the industry at the MAMA’s award show in Hong Kong by the end of the year confirming this point, rapping alongside GOT7’s Jackson, MONSTA X’s Jooheon, and Seventeen’s Vernon. Leading into 2019, Mark was booked and busy with solo endeavors and ambitious projects. He collaborated with the likes of EXO’s Xiumin for SM Station’s “Young & Free” and Park Jaejung for “Lemonade Love” during July 2017. While juggling long work hours he graduated high school from the School of Performing Arts Seoul majoring in Practical Dance in February 2018. That very same month he would become a regular MC host for Show! Music Core with gugudan’s Mina and Ong Seongwoo.
A few months later he joined the cast of the reality-variety show It’s Dangerous Beyond the Blankets (2018) and showed how he enjoyed his time as an adorably awkward introvert—a stark contrast to him on stage. Project group, NCT 2018 brought great success to the NCT brand especially with the NCT U Boss subunit which Mark participated in. The dynamic song is one of NCT’s most popular songs to date having been covered by a number of idols.
In the midst of this all, Mark’s impending graduation from NCT Dream befell him since he would be a legal adult after December 31, 2018. On the final seven member mini album, they dedicated a song “Dear DREAM” to say goodbye to Mark and reassure fans everything would be OK. Mark’s heartfelt lyrics about his time as a member of NCT Dream touched fans who could feel his bittersweet farewell. Mark’s tremendous global popularity as an NCT member made him a perfect fit for the super group, SuperM which combined remarkable talents from SM’s top boy groups: SHINee, EXO, NCT and WayV. The group ultimately aimed to broaden the K-Pop genre in the western market. Already being able to connect with international fans and having trendy rap and dance skills made it pretty clear why he was
chosen. They debuted with their title track, “Jopping” on October 9, 2019 which has since accumulated 100 million views. They shortly went on a world tour making stops in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America. He had the crowds going wild performing an unreleased, self-written solo track, “Talk About” at each concert. However it was Mark’s groundbreaking rap verse from title track “Jopping” that had the entire audience chanting it with him. Even as years passed, NCTzens couldn’t help but express their displeasure at NCT Dream still being a graduation unit. Growing fond of the original seven members, they couldn’t imagine a future without the seven performing together. Realizing the overwhelming popularity of the group, in April 2020 SM Entertainment abolished the graduation system and announced the reinstatement of Mark into the forever fixed unit of NCT Dream. Since coming back to Dream, Mark alongside his members have continuously proven their value together by breaking records left and right. They’ve become double million sellers with album sales, swept an all-kill on music charts, and rightfully won seven music show awards. The contributions Mark has made for NCT are undeniable. Starting from the very beginning he’s been a member of the group with good reason. Being immensely talented he’s changed the rap game for not only NCT as a group but SM Entertainment as a whole. Both professionals and peers have complimented
the all-rounder as, “an artist who is known for his overwhelming passion and sincerity.” Time and time again fans have seen him continue to transform with each performance. The relatable messages he leaves through his work seeks to encourage fellow youths to dream and console them of the struggles of growing up and figuring out who they are. Mark has come a long way to find his forever family and supporters, becoming a special existence to so many. With all that he’s been able to achieve by 21 we can only imagine what else is down the road for him.
PARK JISUNG, 19, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA:
THE FOREVER MAKNAE 2004-2012: Early Beginnings They say “it takes a village to raise a child.” For Park Jisung in particular he was able to find 22 hyungs that created a nurturing environment that would guide him along the way as the youngest member of NCT. With the love from fans that he’s developed a strong relationship with as well, he's transitioned into adulthood effectively. It’s astounding seeing him change from a bright eyed timid baby into the confident artist we know now. Born in the year 2002, Jisung had an early start in the entertainment industry with his mom as his manager. Jisung began brushing up on his already extensive resume through child acting and modeling. He developed his showmanship through comedic skits on variety shows such as Crisis Escape No. 1 (2005) and the educational TV Kindergarten Funny Funny (1982). He also showed his emotional range as an actor in a few films like the thriller Go, Stop, Murder (2013) and Boys, Be Curious (2012). This was short-lived when Jisung turned his attention back towards dancing. He had originally shown prodigal genius for it - being good enough to perform at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece for their
closing ceremony alongside the Popping Hyunjin Kids Dance Crew. It’s important to note here that Jisung was barely 3 years old internationally at the time. As he grew older we continued to see early on peeks of him in a MCOUNTDOWN dance battle and even as a background dancer in Show Me the Money, Season 1. The first dance style he learned was popping which clearly expedited his career once he perfected it. He was seen polishing his skills with several other talented kids on SBS’s Crayons In My Heart, a youth documentary. It was clear dancing was his life’s passion and through all these opportunities, they would converge into a single path for his future.
2013-2015: Destiny’s Calling With an amazing talent for dance, Jisung joined several dancing competitions and showcases - quickly becoming famous amongst the ranks of youth dancers. Destiny called on December 31, 2012 when Jisung crossed paths with a future group mate, Chenle at the International Children’s Concert in China to welcome the new year. Jisung represented South Korea by dancing to Psy’s
a huge fan of SHINee and TVXQ agreed to let him enter the company at the age of 11.
“Gangnam Style” which had become a huge hit earlier that year. Not knowing they would be friends in the near future the two were captured hanging out with the other contestants backstage. Fast forward a couple months later, the South Korean survival dance show, Dancing 9 (2014) announced they were holding auditions. Being so young and extremely talented, he immediately caught the eye of SM casting directors who happened to be there. At the time he was quite confused and had no idea what entertainment companies were let alone who SM Entertainment was when he was approached. Luckily his mother who was
At first he was only focused on dancing, to the degree that he remained stagnant in his skills and wasn’t improving. Even in a top entertainment agency his idol dreams didn’t solidify until he watched EXO’s concert performances. On Ep. 7 of Boys Mental Camp Season 2 (2021) he recounted that the energy between EXO and their fans was electrifying like a movie. As each of the lyrics from their songs resonated in his ears, his dream became bigger. He quickly honed his technique and within a few months of joining in December 16, 2013 he was deemed eligible as a new member for the predebut trainee project, SM ROOKIES. This was the public’s first glance at Jisung since his days as a child star. At the time many still marveled at how young he was even as a trainee. His early start would set a precedent for the future of the K-Pop training industry as we began to see more and more idol trainees entering their companies at younger ages. When we first met Jisung in 2013 he was a much smaller, shyer child off stage. In SM ROOKIES YouTube content we can see that his demeanor completely changed once he
took center stage performing. His captivating stage presence became renowned amongst the company’s trainees as they linked him to the likes of his dancing predecessors TVXQ’s Yunho, SHINee’s Taemin and EXO’s Kai. This is understandable as Jisung has often cited the three as his role models since pre-debut. He’s explained on several occasions that they are multifaceted all-rounder artists he aspires to be one day. SM ROOKIES continued providing numerous opportunities for him to improve and show off his skills. Jisung would make his first variety TV show appearance since he became a trainee on EXO 90:2014 (2014) dancing to a short snippet of EXO’s “Growl.” He would later cover the song in full with the fellow young members of SM ROOKIES at his first official concert, SMTOWN Live World Tour IV in Seoul on August 15, 2014. At the start of the new year, on February 13, 2015 Jisung graduated from the Seoul Mia Elementary School undeterred by his chaotic schedule. He’d try to simultaneously balance his education and work in later years but ultimately would leave middle school due to a 2017 South Korean law passing that no longer exempted idol students from continuous absences. He would complete his
schooling by taking the middle school and GED equivalency exam requirements later on. His leave from school might have been necessary as the popularity of the SM ROOKIES were rampant enough that they were given their own concert series called The SMROOKIES Show, touring Korea and Thailand from 2015 into 2016. Jisung stole the hearts of fans with his fun popping dance, especially in their infamous “Under the Sea” cover where he takes center stage in his own solo dance break. On July 8, 2015 Jisung became a Mouseketeer cast member of Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Club in Korea. Here he would continue showing his capabilities as a dancer and improvisation during game show segments. Several seasoned artists would make guest appearances dropping their knowledge and wisdom for these rising stars. Being thrown into show business at a young age this show became the chance for him to enjoy being a kid in a professional setting. They were able to take a break from the rigorous training and even take a relaxing camping trip as a result. Just like the American version that shot Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Reynolds and Justin Timberlake into the limelight, the show allowed the general public to learn their names.
He debuted as the main dancer of the third NCT unit, NCT Dream at 14 years old with “Chewing Gum” on August 25, 2016. The teenaged subdivision was all about empowering the youth through their growth period. During this time he not only drew attention with their hoverboard choreography but he monumentally became one of the youngest K-Pop idols to debut. NCT Dream’s had an aged based graduation system with all members averaging 15.7 at the time and would stay in the group until they reached adulthood. Their songs represented fresh and
youthful feelings in contrast to the older members of NCT who gave off a darker sound. Fans adored the dynamic between the seven members so much that they would famously become the first NCT unit to snag a music show win with their comeback title track, “My First and Last” on Valentine’s Day of 2017. Feeling overwhelmed and thankful for all the love, Jisung burst into tears at this amazing feat they had only dreamed of as trainees. As the years continued to pass, fans couldn’t help but wish that the seven members could stay together as a fixed unit. Despite his experiences in variety he was still a rookie and needed the proper training now freshly debuted. He had the chance to shoot a NCT Life: Entertainment Retreat (2017) with his NCT Dream team to get tutoring of the know-how’s from none other than the comedic Leeteuk and Shindong from Super Junior. These efforts were not put to waste and he even found a way to combine it with his love for dance. Utilizing NCT’s various platforms he was able to show his dance progress, often posting covers on YouTube such as his 2017 swag filled
#LEMONDANCECHALLENGE. The immense reception only made sense that his next move was to exhibit his skills to a broader audience. WHYNOT - The Dancer (2018) was a dance reality show that premiered on May 5, 2018. It showcased idols and famous Korean choreographers collaborating with popular international choreographers. Jisung was able to join as a cast member for three episodes alongside Taemin, Highlight’s Gikwang and Super Junior’s Eunkwang. To be on the same playing field as seasoned veterans famous for their dance skills this was a big opportunity for Jisung who was still a rookie artist. Through the show he was able to refine details in his dance from the minuscule movements to his facial expressions. Also being a minor Jisung had to comply by South Korea’s child labor laws that monitored how many hours minors were working. He could often be seen disappearing off screen from live broadcasts or TV shows as he headed off to bed promptly at 10 PM.
He would continue making a name for himself in the dancing community by shooting Dancing High (2018) an elimination based variety show for dancers from the ages 1019. Although his team did not win, the show became a valuable experience, allowing him to sharpen his skills by competing with other talented dancers his age. This show became significant for Jisung who had found it difficult to make friends at school since he couldn’t relate to them with their different backgrounds. He found the stage more comfortable than school and luckily through the show was able to find like minded peers outside of NCT. The synergy between him and Jang Yoonjun for his “Barcode” performance would become one of his most notable stages for the show.
Jisung and the rest of the members would fill up Mark’s absence from the group pursuing a more mature sound with each comeback. Their growth into young men was a natural transition with their rebranded music. Even as their sound transformed it held the boyish charm that made NCT Dream so likeable
from the beginning. Following their goodbye concert NCT Dream Show in 2018 the team would hold their first solo concert tour during 2019 titled, The Dream Show. They toured around different countries in Asia performing their hit favorites. The team would prosper in this new direction and hearing the wishes of fans and the members, on April 13, 2020 SM Entertainment decided to scrap the rotational graduation system and reinstated Mark into the group. The great news was shortly followed by their mini
album Reload on April 29, 2020 and helped them become the first NCT unit to reach number 1 on Melon’s real time charts. Reasonably the anticipation was high with Mark’s return to the team alongside the release of “Deja Vu” through the NCT 2020 promotions. Jisung’s status as the well loved youngest remained even with the introduction of two new members into the NCT verse. In fact, it was a chance for him to show a more mature side, helping the new members adjust and learning from them in return. It was finally years after debuting as NCT Dream that this project group let him re-debut into NCT U with the addictive dance track, “Work It.” Unfortunately Jisung sustained an injury that forced him to sit out most of the time. He'd make it work one way or another to not let down NCTzens or his members. Now that NCT Dream had become whole again their first full length album Hot Sauce, would shatter records for NCT and SM Entertainment. Released on May 10, 2021 the songs swept the top of the digital streaming charts receiving an all-kill ranking on Melon. They snagged trophy after trophy on music shows totaling eight awards. Jisung became
the youngest member of the second K-Pop group in history after global superstar BTS to reach 2 million album sales. The build up of all those years of pouring out sweat, soul and diligence were finally producing their well deserved results. Now in 2021 Jisung has become an official adult. It feels as if it was just yesterday he was squeaking out his well rehearsed introduction for SM ROOKIES and dancing straight into our hearts. NCTzens have been lucky enough to watch the documentation of Jisung’s growth before their eyes. He’s grown physically to a whopping 180 cm in height and mentally into a fine young man. Despite spending his adolescence in the spotlight he’s remained unassuming and levelheaded showing his strong mentality in this business. His wide variety of skills he’s demonstrated over the years will only continue to open more doors for whatever direction he chooses to take. He’s dedicated his youth to his artistry and we hope his passion continues to burn strongly as he takes us on his ride to the stars.
Photos: Courtesy of SM Entertainment
Sun&Moon: Your July 2021 Astrological Forecast By Diana | @kyotosgirl
July is bringing forth a need for introspection and growth. The beginning of the month brings out people's sensitivity and emotional nature, pushing them to mature in their selfunderstanding. The latter half of the month lightens the mood, and provides a more bubbly, playful and productive burst of energy. Here's what these transits mean for you this July based on your rising sign.
Important dates: July 9 — New moon in Cancer (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) July 11 — Mercury enters Cancer (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) July 15 — Chiron retrograde in Aries (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) July 19 — Vesta enters Libra (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) July 21 — Venus enters Virgo (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) July 22 — Sun enters Leo (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) July 23 — Full moon in Aquarius (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) July 27 — Mercury enters Leo (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) July 29 — Mars enters Virgo (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) July 31 — Ceres enters Gemini (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces)
Aries If you’re an Aries rising, the first half of this month will be focused on your emotional world and family life. You may be more inclined to spend time at the house and feeling a little more self-conscious than usual, and we all have our moments, so don’t stress! However, be willing to change plans, and go spend time with friends later in the month. You might even have a summer fling if you’ve been hoping for it. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “Picky Picky” – Weki Meki
Taurus This month has been all about communication for Taurus risings. You may find the words are coming much easier to you than normal, and you have been full of inspiration for the past month. As the month progresses, you will be called to look inward and reflect on your personal habits. The key to growth is self-awareness, and the Chiron retrograde demands that you maintain or expand your understanding and become more in tune with yourself. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “WANNABE” – ITZY
GEMINI Gemini risings may find themselves spending left and right for the beginning of the month, and this theme may continue when Vesta moves into your first house. This month may be the embodiment of treating yourself, but going forward, you may be asked to take another look at the company you keep. The later half of the month may push you to have necessary conversations, however unpleasant, if you have been avoiding it. The good news is that it might be easier than normal to do so. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “sorry” – The Rose
Cancer If your rising sign is Cancer, all eyes are on you at the beginning of this month, with the sun, moon and Mercury spotlighting your image, individuality, and the things that bring you joy. You may experience a small rebirth this month, but beware of power struggles later in the month and don’t be afraid to stick to your values. It may also be a good time to try a new hairstyle or experiment with beauty, you might find something you really like.
A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “Stylish” – LOONA
Leo risings should step back and reprioritize their emotional health for the first part of the month, as it may be quite draining if you're pushing yourself too hard. Try going out and doing something new —if you can safely—around the 20th-23rd. If you're looking for love or friendship, you may find some new prospects around this time, just be careful not to ruffle feathers unintentionally. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “Kingdom Come” – Red Velvet
Virgo If you're a Virgo rising, the beginning of this month will have you focused on friendships, networking and wishful thinking. This would be a good time to go out and meet new people, if you are able to do so safely, otherwise look at taking practical steps to achieve your goals. Later in the month, you may be feeling more drained than usual, although Mars going through your first house will provide an extra kick and refresher for you. The keyword for this month is proactiveness. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “Genie” – Girls’ Generation
Libra This month may be quite challenging for Libra risings, although opportunities for fun are on their way later in the month. Be prepared to re-evaluate the relationships you have starting around the 15th, and don't be afraid to let go if they're not good for you. Towards the end of the month, you may notice you're having trouble completing tasks and being motivated, so be sure to take breaks so you don't burn out. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “Don’t Call Me” – SHINee
Scorpio Scorpio risings may find themselves craving a getaway from their routine. Now would be a great time to plan a dream vacation to somewhere you’ve never been, far away from where you’re currently living. However, this month also asks you to take learning into your own hands, and learn something new. The latter part of the month will highlight your career, image and public persona. This would be a great time to put in extra work, in order to further grow your prospects. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “STEP” – KARA
Sagittarius This month, you’ll likely find yourself doing more introspection and developing your relationships during the first part of the month, as the sun, moon and Mercury highlight the area of life dealing with intimacy. There is a serious need for communication and understanding between you and the people in your life at the moment. However, once you come to a mutual understanding, the second part of the month may bring more fun for you. Just make sure you’re both doing the work, as a relationship is a two-way street. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “Better” – BoA
Capricorn Capricorn is one of the rising signs facing significant opportunities for introspection this month, with the sun and Mercury activating themes around secrecy and intimacy around the 22nd of the month, and the Chiron retrograde happening in the area of life dealing with family, privacy and emotional health around the 15th. Your values may be called into question, and this may be a time where choosing your battles is important. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “Advice” – Taemin
Aquarius Aquarius risings should focus on their health and routines for the first part of the month, with the sun, moon and Mercury activating the house of practicality and responsibility. Sometimes, the best self-care is taking care of what needs to be done. The second half of the month may bring romance, if that’s what you’re looking for. If not, you might find yourself becoming closer with your friends and feeling extra appreciative of the people who bring positivity into your life. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “Lucky One” – EXO
Pisces For those who have their ascendant in Pisces, enjoy the time you’re being allotted to pursue your passions and have fun. Later in the month, things will shift and you will be expected to take care of business. Don’t forget to indulge a little bit, as improving your surroundings may help improve your emotional health and bring life to your space. Be careful about overspending this month, and make sure you have some cash stored away for a rainy day. A Recommendation from EnVi’s Cosmic Playlist: “FLASH” – X1
Make sure to check out EnVi’s full Cosmic Playlist here:
E T I R O V A F ENVI’S
GRAPHIC DESIGN PIECES
by Valerie | @valschwarie
You can find translated versions of this article by scanning the QR code to the left! Languages include: - Chinese (中文) - Spanish (español)
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... MAL @_emptydisco
Role: Chief Creative Officer Favorite SM Group: NCT
NCT 127’s Cherry Bomb mini-album, music video, and teaser images. Taemin's Never Gonna Dance Again album, teaser images, and other promotional items. NCT 2019 Seasons greetings board game. The one that first comes to mind is the animation/illustration work for the NCT 127’s Cherry Bomb mini-album and music video. The colorful, almost graffiti-like animations and illustrations used on the teasers, on the album, and in the music video added something new and playful to the NCT 127 concept. The bright pinks and yellows, the graphic illustrations, all were very eye-catching and matched the tone and feel of the music!
I also loved Taemin's Never Gonna Dance Again ACT 2, more specifically the album design and teaser photos. This concept as a whole was BEAUTIFUL! It fits the aesthetic that Taemin has set for himself and can be continued on. I loved the thin, twisty serif font and the 'archway' cut-out used on the packaging. It made you think of religious imagery without doing it in an obvious manner. I really liked how they use ALL of the design trends.
My runner-up would be the NCT 2019 Season’s Greetings. I thought it was clever that they included a little board game with NCT members as game pieces. I do wonder how many people used them though. I believe that the illustrated pieces and the colors are what really made the design pop. The photography, new design trends, and the concept itself were innovative and new. I haven't seen anything like that before.
Role: Web Developer, Graphic Designer Favorite SM Group: NCT & EXO
EXO's logo is simple and so easy to memorize. I remember drawing it everywhere when EXO debuted. I like that they made so many versions over the years but you are still able to recognize EXO and read EXO on the logo.
Role: Writer, Graphic Designer Favorite SM Group: NCT
The GIF teasers and the concept/aesthetic for F(x)’s “4 Walls”, and the album for Pink Tape. Both of these concepts and ideas were extremely creative and unique for K-pop. To my memory, there hasn’t been any other design or execution like it even now, years after they have been released. With the VHS styling of Pink Tape, it meshed beautifully with the unique vintage sound of the album and played with ideas of modern (CD) and old music formats. For the “4 Walls” teasers, the very simplified color scheme with the moving parts of the photo made it feel like an actual stand -alone art piece, rather than just a teaser. It also corresponded well to the sound and vibe of the album. It really demonstrated SM’s role as the blueprint for a lot of K-pop design concepts.
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Role: Graphic Designer Favorite SM Group: NCT & EXO
WayV’s logo for Take Over the Moon and the album design. It’s my favorite WayV logo so far and I like how it suggests the concept of the album. This era also gives off a sense of royalty through the typography and concept photos. The ring around the V and the moon in the middle definitely stand out in the logo for me. For the album design, I like the gold details on the cover and on the edges of the pages. The layout of the pages in the photobook is simple but really well put together and with some interesting touches. I love the combination of the photos with the celestial illustrations. I think it’s cool how they used translucent pages in the album as well.
Role: Creative Director/Deputy Editor Favorite SM Group: SuperM
I really love EXO’s logo! I love how it can evolve and change, yet you can still read “EXO” there. It's fluid based on their concept but still maintains their identity. The subtlety of EXO pops out to me, and that’s why I like The War era logo the most. I think it’s genius, and no other SM group’s logo has that.
Role: Senior Writer Favorite SM Group: NCT & EXO
My favorite pieces are Red Velvet’s “Russian Roulette” era content and æspa’s “Next Level” teasers by Cece Liu, Rodolfo Hernández, and Bryan Huynh. The promotional content and music video for Red Velvet’s “Russian Roulette” comeback were simply fun and cute! Even the logo, a pastel yellow heart with an arrow the shape of the words “Russian Roulette” piercing through it, is a work of art on its own.
In the video, the transitions between scenes and backgrounds were vivid. In addition, the video even featured a black and white cartoon mouse that chased a cat around to depict explicit scenes of violence. What stands out most is the use of juxtaposition for different aspects of the visual content. The song’s bubbly sound is reflected by the bright color palette and bubbly graphics and animation, while the darker theme and meaning behind the song are reflected by the acts of violence done by the animated characters in the video. The animated characters are also eyecatching since they are depicted in black and white animation while the rest of the content is so colorful.
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As for æspa’s teasers, I genuinely adore the video game feeling I get from the CGI animation. The visuals are breathtaking and the members look awesome. The lighting and intricate details in the background made me feel as though I was seeing a teaser for an epic tale. It helps with world-building for æspa’s overall concept. I loved getting a glimpse of the infamous KWANGYA, mentioned both by æspa and NCT. Contrasting with the simple visuals in “Russian Roulette” content, æspa’s teasers stand out for the amount of intricate detail they possess. Each item— including the member’s individual styling— was done so that the members are the focal point of the images and exude a powerful, protagonist aura. I think what pops out most is the overall tone of the piece! It’s like the teaser of a superhero story!
K-pop fans can expect high-quality designs across various media formats because SM Entertainment adopted their own “CAWMAN”—Cartoon, Animation, Motion Graphics, Avatar, Novel— style of storytelling. The company started adopting CAWMAN story -telling elements with their SM Culture Universe live-action short film. This video expanded on æspa’s “Black Mamba” lore, which featured avatars, motion graphics, webtoons, and CGI animation. SM Entertainment can continue to explore their artists’ concepts with mixed-media content for fans to look forward to in future comebacks.
B E AU T Y
Beauty Trends to spice up Spice Up Your 2021 summer Summer By EnVi Beauty Team Following the recent pandemic, the still-recovering world is slowly opening up, which means a lot of people are getting ready to venture out. Public places across countries welcoming visitors with open doors, music festivals release tickets, and dining out is more common. As life seems to become more “normal”, we want to prepare you for some of the latest trends you’ll be seeing out and about!
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GRAPHIC LINERS Graphic liners are all the rage this summer! To make a bold statement with and without a mask, graphic liners are the way to go. Influencers like June (@visiblejune on IG) are rocking our social media feeds with thoughtful liner looks. Using a more alternative approach to liners, she can artfully create her looks. Graphic liners have also been utilized by influencers like Antoinette (@esantoinette on IG). Her eyeliner looks gain thousands of likes regularly on platforms such as Instagram. The influencer community isn’t the only community picking up graphic liners. Celebrities like Doja Cat have posted images with different variations of liner looks. For graphic liners, we recommend the NYX Vivid Brights Color Liquid Eyeliner. The product comes in nine different colors and is affordable for your next graphic liner look! This will be a staple for the summer. Photo Source: Instagram (@dojacat)
Photo Source: Instagram (@chaunlegend)
WAVY NAIL ART Much like the graphic liner trend, bold line art has penetrated through the different beauty mediums and has subsequently reached nails. Many influencers, such as Sophia Tuxford (@sophiatuxford), have posted the trendiest wavy manis, racking up large numbers of likes and interactions. Even celebrity nail artists like Chaun (@chaunlegend) have recreated the look over and over again, with local professionals such as Anna Haynes (@__ nailsbyanna) following in their steps, keeping on top of the trend. Usually built on top of a neutral base (like Essie’s Topless and Barefoot Nail Polish), many of the designs feature a monochromatic color palette such as green, blue, or pink, however, there are
a monochromatic color palette such as green, blue, or pink, however, there are more vibrant variations depending on what fits your style! The free-flowing lines make this trend super easy to do at home. Grab yourself a polish of your choice (we recommend Nails inc. London’s newest release Relationship Status: Proud 4-Piece Nail Polish Set), a long “striper brush,” and wave away to your heart’s content. Finish with a topcoat (Ciaté London Plant Pot Speed Top Coat is fast drying and super shiny) and you’re ready to tackle summer, hands-on. With wavy lines and cute color combos, it’s clear this nail trend will prevail in summer.
SKIN-LIKE MAKEUP With the rise of skincare and our need to stay the most at home for over a year, we have a newfound love for natural and skin-likelooking makeup. Whether it’s wearing a very light foundation (a style that influencer Kali Ledger truly mastered) or just going in with concealer (and maybe barely even wearing complexion makeup at all), a lot of people are preferring light and soft makeup over tons and tons of layers, especially in their daily lives. Lightweight skin tints are the best for this, like Catherine Hill’s CHill liquid foundation. Another cool technique, following the faux freckle fever from 2020, is emphasizing moles or even drawing new ones, to make the foundation look even more like skin and give your face a more natural look, even with a little bit of coverage. We suggest using an eyebrow pen for this effect, like the Klasme Eyebrow Marker. Photo Source: Instagram (@kali.ledger)
YELLOW-ORANGE EYELIDS Nothing more summer-like than warm colors! The bright yellow/ orange trend is perfect for the hot weather and great for simply rocking bold colors. Be it matte or shimmer, like done by Soph (@glowbysoph), this style has been going around since the middle of spring and is definitely staying for this summer. It’s been showing up in many K-pop concepts, like with NCT Dream and Itzy. You can try this style using just one flat tone, or using different shades of the same color (the Miami
Sunset Duo by Lovely Makeup and the Seja Sua Melhor Versão palette by Vizzela are great for this!). You can even match this with the graphic liner trend and spice up your bright warm lid with a cool design like done by influencer Alexa Jennah (@alexajdmakeup). Another way is matching yellow and orange together, like this look by Deandra Michelle (@deandramichelle__), or even with other colors like pink, peach, and lilac for a more fun look!
We can’t wait to see these trends in action! If you try any yourself, make sure to tag us on socials @envimediaco interactions, hashtag #EnVi.
NEO’S IG: @taeoxo_nct WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS POST?
dinosaurs Name: Ellie Forte | @filthy
This is one of my favorite Taeyong Instagram posts because of the lighting. When taking pictures, I personally love the look of being covered in shade. The contrast of the sunlight interacting with Taeyong’s skin makes the picture interesting. There are subtle parts of the Instagram post, like the rainbow shining on his arms and pants that add to its beauty.
LOOK BREAK DOWN: For this look, I wanted to mimic the lighting in Taeyong’s post, but make it my own and go with a full face of glam. I started off the base with brows, contour, then foundation. In the post, the rainbows on Taeyong’s hands and clothes are subtle. For my eyes, I used those same rainbows for my eyes and decided to add red and pink on my inner lids while finishing the rainbow. The colors I used after that were yellow, green and blue. To make a statement, I also used blue eyeliner and added eyelashes. I finished off the look with lip gloss and highlights.
PRODUCTS USED: YSL All Hours Foundation YSL All Hours Concealer e.l.f Lock on Liner and Brow Cream Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Eye Primer BH Cosmetics Modern Mattes (Discontinued) Anastasia Beverly Hills Jackie Aina Palette NYX Vivid Brights Color Liquid Eyeliner Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer G4EBeauty Eyelash Doll Collection - Sherri
lor_louisem y a t @ | e is u o L r lo Name: Tay
Bias: Mark NEO’S IG: @onyourm_ark WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS POST? Mark’s poetry posts are some of my favorites throughout all the content he has shared—mainly because they’re the written form
of his thoughts, making them extremely personal. In the post chosen, the poem is about late night thinking. The way I interpreted it, his mind was busy with thoughts and so he wasn’t able to sleep. For me, this poem resonated strongly, which is why I chose this post as inspiration.
LOOK BREAKDOWN: The majority of the post has warm, brown tones, with the background being predominantly dark, deep brown—making me feel that rich, matte browns were the best base to build from. There are also small gradients, moving from teal-blue to a lighter turquoise shade, which is why I began with these specific shadow shades. Likewise, there was a small pink-coral shape that I chose for the highlight color. On top of a base, I built up a brown gradient from the crease upwards, making sure I was blending evenly. Once I was happy with the blending and gradient, I then started to carve out the halo-cut crease with a light concealer. I really wanted to use some of the curved lines and shapes that were scattered within the poem’s background, so this is why the rounded edge of the halo-cut crease was used. To do this, I used a light concealer, as mentioned before, and with a flat, circular edged brush, I created the shape above my natural crease. I patted the concealer on to ensure minimal smudging of the existing
shadows. Since the concealer was damp, it was easy for the vivid coral shadow to stick. Following the coral shadow, I bordered the cut crease with a gold liner, which represented the edges of the detail and significance of the words in Mark’s post.
PRODUCTS USED: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade Revolution Beauty London Fast Base Foundation Stick Iconic London Illuminator Revolution Beauty London Conceal and Define Concealer Morphe 35B Artistry Colour Burst Jeffree Star Cosmetics Conspiracy Palette Clarins Supra Volume Mascara Morphe 35B Artistry Colour Burst Clarins Supra Volume Mascara
nnie Name: Annie | @_whoisa
Bias: Jaehyun, Haechan, Ten NEO’S IG: @_jeongjaehyun WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS POST? I’ve been obsessed with Jaehyun’s black and golden suit ever since the “Kick It” music video teaser came out. Maybe because I was sad I’d have an outfit that cool, but mostly because it was such a unique piece of clothing and Jaehyun pulled it off really well. I wanted to do something with those colors, so I chose this post.
LOOK BREAKDOWN: Because I’m treating a skin allergy and cannot currently put on makeup, I decided to draw it out and Taylor helped me bring it to life. I started with a messy brush stroke of black pigment, to give it almost a paint-like feeling. I transitioned it with a dark shimmery brown, also shading the entire crease. The rest of the eyelid was a transition to a copper shimmer, then a golden glitter in gel, that I also used under the eye. The main point of the look was the golden leaves, inspired by the outfit print. I used a chrome golden eyeliner to draw the leaves on the outer part of the eye. To finish off, I suggested using a highlighter with golden undertones and a nude lipstick.
Products used: Colormake Pigmento em pó Matte (2984) Ruby Rose Desert Palette Ruby Rose Delineador Glitter Shine 1 Luisance Chrome liquid eyeliner (Cor C) Ruby Rose Iluminador Glow Duo Highlighter 2 Essence this is nude Lipstick (3- Bold)
The Best of LGBTQ+ Beauty Brands BY ENVI BEAUTY TEAM June has arrived and with it we celebrate the LGBTQ+ Pride Month and the fight for equal rights. But instead of praising brands that just slap a rainbow on their items or social media and are done with it, at EnVi we lift up the voices of those who are actually part of the community. Here are 3 beauty brands that are founded, owned and ran by people in the LGBTQ+ community and you totally should check out! Courtesy of @madebymitchell
Brand: Made by Mitchell Owner: Mitchell Halliday
About Made By Mitchell sells a variety of About: cruelty free makeup products and tools. Founded by Mitchell Halliday, the brand’s ethos revolves around “products for the makeup lovers, for the makeup addicts and for the self-expressionists.” Following Mitchell’s own success online and in the beauty industry, the brand was launched in 2020, after four years of development. Mitchell has based the entire Made By Mitchell brand on creating products that aid with an individual’s beauty journey, allowing
them to express themselves with help from his products. In an interview with Kirsty McKenzie, for Glasgow Live, Mitchell stated “Makeup doesn’t have a gender, an age, a religion, sex – it’s a one size fits all. It is so empowering and diverse.” His all accepting outlook on life translates to his products, as many are accessible to the masses with a reasonable price tag and perfectly homed formulas. If you haven’t checked out Made By Mitchell already, make sure to show this LGBTQ+ brand some love!
Brand: FLUIDE Owner:: Laura Kraber Owner
Brand: BIOGLITZ Owner: Saba Gray About: BioGlitz is a sustainable makeup About: brand that sells biodegradable glitter. The brand works to create a product that is inclusive of all identities. The brand found its beginnings in 2014, when founder and CEO Saba Gray recognized a contradiction in her mission towards sustainability with her love for glitter—BioGlitz was born. The brand uses plant based materials to create a sustainable option for all glitter lovers. On their website movements like #TaketheLitteroutofglitter is highlighted and not only is the brand sustainable, but it is also cruelty-free. Aside from it’s sustainability, BioGlitz also works to include people of all gender identities and they make it their mission to highlight LGBTQ+ community. The brand tells the story about its origin explaining, “Glitter was no longer “girly”, but rather a genderless, universal tool for self expression. It could be punk, chic, funky, high fashion, pretty, scary, and everything in between.” Want to try out BioGlitz? We recommend the Pride Glitz Kit!
Courtesy of @bioglitz
About: Created as a vegan and crueltyAbout: free makeup brand designed to all gender expressions, FLUIDE was made “to support young people’s self-expression and creativity”. Co-founded by Laura Kraber and Isabella Giancarlo, and backed by an amazing and diverse team, FLUIDE’s mission is to create makeup for everyone and push forward the idea that makeup has no gender. The website states, “through providing a platform and amplifying the voices of queer and gender expansive identities and through showcasing queer beauty, we hope to inspire others to create their identities on their own terms, opening up possibilities for everyone’s self-expression.” It’s visible through their products, models and creative team how much the brand values and lifts up queer voices. As Laura Kraber put it, on their website, “My dream was to create a beautiful and intimate online universe where everyone is comfortable being themselves—to evolve the mainstream conception of ‘beauty’ while creating a space for people to express themselves authentically”. If you also believe in makeup as an identity expression tool, FLUIDE is very much worth a try!
Courtesy of @fluidebeauty
ENVI'S SPF FAVES By Taylor louise | @taylor_louisem and Envi Magazine | @envimediaco
SPF For Every Skin Type SPF is very important for the protection of our skin, not only in summer but all year round. The body’s skin is the largest organ a human owns and is also a very fragile organ, which is constantly exposed to the outside world. Sunlight, in particular, can be extremely damaging to the skin, with the risk running high of various medical complications such as skin cancer. Luckily, we can help ourselves by fighting some of these dangers-- one of the best ways being sunscreen! Finding the perfect sunscreen for your skin can be difficult, with many of us needing specific attributes that match our skin type. Here at EnVi, we have gathered some noteworthy SPF products for you to try.
Why is it so good? “My favorite is Supergoop. It’s designed specifically to be lightweight and it doesn’t leave a white cast on your skin. I find it particularly great because I have brown skin and I don’t like it when it’s obvious that I'm wearing sunscreen. Also, Supergoop smells really great and doesn’t have that typical ‘sunscreen smell,’ so it works great for everyday wear.”
Name: D Role: Photo Team Skin type: Combination Product: Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
How do you use it? “I put it on my face in the morning after washing my face and applying my other creams and serums. And then, I reapply every 2 hours, so my skin is protected all day. Even though I don’t leave the house as much anymore, I still wear it during the day, at home-- since I have my windows open and things like that. Sunscreen protects from UV rays in general, so I try to start wearing it as soon as I'm awake in the morning to start my day.”
Why is it so good? “It doesn’t make my face oily all day, I don't notice much of a white cast, and I feel like it keeps my face pretty moisturized.” How do you use it? “I use it every day after applying toner and serum. I squeeze out two long strips onto my fingers and pat it onto my skin.”
Name: Maya Role: Podcast Host Skin type: Normal Product: Kiehl’s SPF Moisturizer
Why is it so good? “It’s super light and thin but also protects my skin. It works both as a moisturizer and sunscreen. It also prevents fading of tattoos.”
Name: Maui Role: Video Editor Skin type: Combination Product: Rohto Mentholatum - Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Essence SPF 50+
How do you use it? “I usually wash my face right before I leave for work in the morning, so I apply the sunscreen right away, as it works as both a moisturizer and a sunscreen. It helps a lot with keeping my skin even because I like to be in the sun. I also apply the product to my tattoo twice a day since it’s unscented, and it helps with preventing the fade of the tattoo when I go out in the sun, and it keeps it from drying.”
Why is it so good? “It’s oil-free, it’s moisturizing, there’s minimal clay, aloe vera, panthenol, vitamin E, etc. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and vegan!” How do you use it? “I use it as part of my skincare routine after I wash my face and put on my toner, then I put on my sunscreen, even if I’m not going out or anything... But not at night! Only during the day.”
Name: Gabi Role: Translator Skin type: Oily Product: Anasol SPF 70
If you have any of your own SPF faves, or if you try any of our recommendations, please share with us by tagging our socials @envimediaco and using the hashtag #EnVi. Scan the QR Code to read this article in Indonesian and Spanish!
Major K-pop Fashion Moments in the First Half of 2021 by May Peralta | @lesjoursdemay According to experts, K-pop idols have landed on the top echelon of social media, becoming “the most universally effective influencers.” Over the past months, there has been intense coverage about the allure of these celebrities in the fashion industry. No longer having to prove their influence and commercial power, K-pop stars have accumulated several accomplishments under their belts and made a lasting impact in the global luxury market.
Whether it is gracing the cover of international publications, collecting brand deals, or flaunting their flawless style on a normal day, K-pop celebs continue to make waves in the fashion world. From ambassadorships to collaborations and inspiring creatives, these multifaceted artists have changed the fashion game forever. Here’s a recount of 10 major fashion moments in K-pop during the first half of 2021.
Scan the QR Code to read this article in Spanish!
L’Officiel Philippines is a new chapter for this local edition.
Considered to embody the essence of French style, L’Officiel was first introduced as the official magazine of the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, and 2021 marked its 100th anniversary. The magazine is published in several countries including the US, Singapore, México, Italy, Malaysia, and now the Philippines. Though L’Officiel Manila already circulated in the country between 2015 and 2017,
Styled by Ryu Sihyuk in Louis Vuitton outfits, the members of WayV delivered a mature and stylish image that perfectly portrayed what we can expect L’Officiel Philippines to bring in upcoming issues: “global fashion and pop culture”. And certainly, the cover stars did not disappoint. On June 2, L’Officiel Philippines revealed its debut number was reprinted and sold out on three occasions, setting a high bar for upcoming issues.
G-Dragon Dazing in Chanel
Despite the restrictions linked to the COVID19 pandemic and the Paris Fashion Week moving to the digital scape, on March 9, Chanel still found a way to showcase its front-row VIPs through several clips where the brand ambassadors joined a virtual waiting room and countdown to the FallWinter 2021/2022 RTW show. Amid a stylish group that included—among others— BLACKPINK’s Jennie, top model Soo Joo Park, former f(x) member Victoria Song, Belge singer Angèle, and actress Margaret Qualley, G-Dragon surely stood out as the only male celebrity. Directed by Caroline de Maigret, the video shows the BigBang frontman clad in signature pieces from the French house—a tweed jacket, several pins with the brand’s logo, and glass pearl accessories— while he playfully paces up and down, anticipating the virtual show.
Photo Source: L’Officiel PH
Partaking in the reintroduction of such an important title was undoubtedly a remarkable feat for WayV, especially because according to the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Danyl Geneciran, the group was chosen alongside Nadine Lustre and Yumi Lambert for a three-cover launch, after considering its “relevance and impact” in the music industry.
2 Photo Source: Dazed Korea
WayV on the Cover of L’Officiel Philippines
On March 5, the fashion magazine L’Officiel Philippines released a teaser for the cover of its firstever printed copy, hinting that things were about “to get wavy.“ A few days later, the publication offered more clues teasing that the “Vision” was “getting clearer and clearer”. With those cues, fans of the NCT unit, WayV, were quick to discover that the publication was alluding to the international group as the cover star of the Spring issue.
A month later, the King of K-Pop, graced Dazed Korea’s 13th Anniversary Edition as the publication’s muse. The magazine introduced the singer, rapper, and model as the “main character” of the issue and explained they chose to feature him because he’s “the world’s most iconic and assertively, the most DAZED-like person, who loves music, fashion and enjoys art.” Photographed by Kim Hee June and wearing looks from Chanel’s Spring-Summer 2021 RTW collection, G-Dragon offered a look at the “most perfect yet raw moments” of his life and spoke about his love for the legendary brand. “Each person may have different images of Chanel, but I think I enjoy the fun of wearing some clothes and adding a twist,” he said.
In addition to his design ventures, Jackson landed on the covers of L’Officiel Hommes Korea YK Spring/Summer edition, Maps’ March issue, and Wallpaper’s April number. The multi-hyphenated artist also fronted Fendi’s most recent global campaign, lending his looks to publicize the Summer 2021 Capsule Collection with the Chinese artist, Jike Junyi.
Lisa Selected as a Guest Jury of the ANDAM Fashion Award
Photo Source: Celine
Photo Source: Team Wang Design
The multi-talented rapper, singer, and entrepreneur received 2021 with the launch of his second design project under Team Wang. Combining minimalism and luxury into all-black, velvet pieces, Jackson’s fashion label dropped a collection of 11 items titled COOKIES—THE VELVET. To promote it, Team Wang opted for a model-less marketing approach and showcased the brand through “the invisible man”, a concept that Jackson created
in an attempt to encourage people “not to limit themselves.”
Photo Source: Cartier
Jackson Wang’s Fashion Exploits
There’s no doubt Jackson Wang is one of “fashion’s most soughtafter” K-pop stars and a proven adroit businessman. From his publicized and long-standing relationship with the Italian fashion house Fendi to his own endeavors with Team Wang Design, and becoming the face of Cartier’s iconic Pasha Watch alongside global stars like Rami Malek and Willow Smith, Jackson has truly carved out a place in the world of high-end fashion.
Though the beloved rapper and dancer of BLACKPINK, Lisa Manoban, is no stranger to the fashion scene—serving as the official ambassador of brands like Celine and Bulgari—she cemented her status as a fashion icon earlier this year when she was announced as a jury member of the ANDAM Fashion Award. This important French competition grants money and mentorship to promising fashion designers and has previously been awarded to innovators of the likes of Martin Margiela, Christophe Lemaire, and Viktor & Rolf. The panel that picks the winner is composed of 19 permanent members and 14 guest juries selected by Cédric Charbit, CEO of Balenciaga, who was appointed as Jury President this year. According to Charbit, he chose a varied group of people from across fields that “represent the different facets and faces of creativity today.”
With her media exposure and links to the fashion industry, it only makes sense Lisa was listed alongside international personalities like the former Creative Director of Céline, Phoebe Philo; Lou Doillon, French singer and actress; Sally Singer, Head of Fashion Direction in Amazon; stylist Marie Chaix and Kerby JeanRaymond, founder of Pyer Moss. The winner of the Grand Prize will be unveiled next month, but so far the names of the 14 finalists have been disclosed. The lists include—among others— Casablanca, Wales Bonner, Bianca Saunders, and the London-based fashion brand Rokh, founded by the Korean designer Rok Hwang, who recently dressed Jennie for the cover of Vogue Korea.
The fashion show was broadcasted on February 17 and marked the
On the other hand, YangYang switched to a more sartorial style for his modeling initiation. The multi-talented artist wore two modern suits that stood out in the dreamy setting JARRET chose to showcase its art-inspired designs. Before the show, YangYang took to Instagram to briefly express that he appreciated the opportunity.
Photo Source: Louis Vuitton
6 BTS as the House Ambassadors of Louis Vuitton
After a successful NYFW debut in 2020, the brands WNDERKAMMER, JARRET, and UL:KIN were selected—for a second time—to represent the Korean fashion scene. UL:KIN— with Lee Seong Dong at its helm—tapped Yeonjun and BIBI as their models while JARRET, the brand founded by Lee Ji Yeon, enlisted WayV’s YangYang.
debut of these K-pop stars on the runway. Yeonjun and BIBI stepped out in streetwear-influenced black outfits from UL:KIN’s LSD collection. In an interview with Singles Korea, the member of TXT shared that he enjoyed the experience, but also revealed that he took walking lessons from a professional model and practiced in his downtime. The exciting partnership between Yeonjun and the Korean brand didn’t cease after the digital runway. Following the show, UL:KIN unveiled a capsule collection in collaboration with the rapper.
Photo Source: Ulkin, Jarret
K-pop Stars Modeling at New York’s Fashion Week
As part of the official program of New York’s Fashion Week, TXT’s Yeonjun, NCT’s YangYang, and solo singer BIBI walked the digital runway for Concept Korea, a collaborative show organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). This government-sponsored initiative was established in 2010 and it is aimed to showcase the work of rising Korean designers, serving as a platform for their breakthrough into the global market
Just a few days after the announcement of a hugely publicized collaboration with McDonald’s, BTS revealed their latest fashion endeavor. This time, the K-Pop group snatched a deal with none other than the luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton. On April 22, the French house took to their social media accounts to welcome the septet as their new ambassadors. Although the report surprised fans, the appointment was anything but unexpected. For one thing, BTS had been hinting at the upcoming partnership, first joining the digital audience of the brand’s Fall/Winter 2021 Menswear Collection and then showing up at the Grammy Awards clad in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton looks. For another, the luxury brand has built a diverse portfolio of brand friends, ambassadors, and collaborators over the past years— think of Takashi Murakami, Liu Yifei, or Kris Wu—, which included other K-pop stars like EXO’s Sehun and most recently, Somi. In a statement, Louis Vuitton’s Menswear’s Artistic Director, Virgil Abloh, shared his thoughts on this massive team-up. “I am delighted BTS are joining Louis Vuitton today,” he said. Abloh, who is known for constantly crafting new collaborations, added “I am looking forward to this wonderful partnership which adds a modern chapter to the House, merging luxury and contemporary culture. I can’t wait to share all the very exciting projects we are working on.”
Givenchy’s creative director, Matthew M. Williams said in a statement that he was impressed by aespa’s energy “both as a group and individually.” He also reflected on the members’ appeal, explaining that each of them owns a distinctive personal style that “naturally reflects the spirit of Givenchy.”
Accompanying this photo session, there’s an insightful interview where the Seoul-based NCT unit spoke about fashion and music.
Photo Source: Gucci
Considered to be the “Rookie K-Pop Group to Watch” by TIME Magazine, aespa continued to show its potential across fields in 2021. On February 10, the girls were announced as Givenchy’s new Global Ambassadors. The appointment marked the first time this French luxury house collaborated with K-Pop stars and the first time an entire group was selected to represent a luxury fashion brand.
Due to the restrictions issued because of the COVID19 pandemic, the cover was lensed in Korea. However, the staff of ELLE Japan gathered to remotely monitor the photoshoot, video recording, and interview, where the members of the boy group opened up about the places in Japan they want to visit in the future, their latest “obsessions” and NCT 127’s strengths.
On the other hand, the cover of MEN’S NON-NO highlighted a strikingly different side of the NCT subunit. Leaning more towards streetwear and titled “NCT 127 ON THE STREET,” this pictorial was divided into two parts: the first displaying Seoul’s fashion trends and the second, “the current fashion from Tokyo.” Stylists Kim Young Jin and Taichi Samura teamed up to create an “eye-catching” concept that represents the DNA of NCT 127 as a group, while simultaneously accentuating each member’s style.
Photo Source: Men’s Non-no
Last year, the four-member girl group, aespa, made their debut under SM Entertainment. With an electropop track titled Black Mamba, Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning set the record for the most-watched debut music video for a K-Pop group, in the first 24 hours after its release on Youtube.
Photographed by Kim Do Won and styled by Kim Young Jin, NCT 127 donned a sartorial style for the cover of ELLE. Johnny, Mark, Haechan, Doyoung, Taeil, Jungwoo, Jaehyun, Taeyong, and Yuta modeled bright colored suits from ME:YOOMI, Fendi, Kimseryong Homme,
and Lemeteque, for the group shots. On the individual stills, each member was portrayed in all-white outfits from an endless array of designers and brands including Dolce and Gabbana, Wooyoungmi, Burberry, Saint Laurent, and Rick Owens.
Photo Source: Givenchy
NCT 127 on the Cover of Japanese Fashion Magazines
aespa Becoming the First K-Pop Act to be Selected Brand Ambassadors as a Group
Following the successful release of their second Japanese album LOVEHOLIC, the members of NCT’s subunit, NCT 127, were selected as the cover stars of ELLE Japan’s Special May issue and MEN’S NON-NO April edition. Both magazines are publications of heavy circulation in the fashion-forward Japanese market, but NCT 127’s popularity guaranteed immediate sold-out.
Photo Sources: Tiffany & Co., Calvin Klein, Dior, Celine
Basically, Everything Blackpink Did
Considered to be the biggest girl group in the world, BLACKPINK’s record-breaking music career can only be rivaled by the myriad of fashion accolades they’ve collected over the years. The members of the quartet deserve a list on their own, but here’s a quick recap of Lisa, Jisoo, Rosé, and Jennie’s fashion feats in the first half of the year. Other than keeping their already established links to Parisian fashion houses—Jennie as an ambassador of Chanel, Lisa representing Celine, and Rosé partnering with Saint Laurent— the girls of BLACKPINK landed new exciting brand deals. In March, Jisoo was officially appointed as Dior’s ambassador for the fashion and beauty branches. The announcement came with the news of Maria Grazia Chiuri herself highlighting Jisoo as one of the inspirations behind Dior’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection. Just a month later, Rosé was designated as Tiffany and Co.’s new Global Ambassador and the face of the HardWear Collection. Finally, on May 16, Jennie was revealed as the image of Calvin Klein’s capsule collection Drop 02.
Kai and Gucci Team Up for a Nostalgia-inducing Collaboration
10 Though the alliance between Kai and Gucci has grown over time, marking new milestones for the K-pop star every season, this partnership took to new heights in 2021. After years of a prosperous ambassadorship, Kai was revealed to be the muse of a special capsule collection to commemorate Gucci’s 100th anniversary. Inspired by the idol’s love for teddy bears and a nickname Kai has been given by fans, Gucci’s Artistic Director, Alessandro Michele, created an arrangement of items centered around a vintage teddy bear motif, dubbed Kaigom—Kai bear. The KAIxGucci Collection includes an assortment of womenswear and menswear staples, accessories, and shoes that were unveiled through a fashion pictorial on Esquire Korea. In an interview for the same magazine, Kai shared his thoughts
on becoming the first Korean celebrity to partner up with Gucci for a fashion line. “I am incredibly grateful and just as thrilled—it’s not easy to have a collection with your name,” he expressed. “It’s a huge opportunity and an act of fortune, so I’m at a loss of words to describe how happy I am that it came to me.”. The 27-year-old also spoke about the teddy bear and what it means to him. “It has become something that symbolizes me—a connection between me and my fans,” Kai explained. The promotion of this fashion collaboration included giant bear balloons stationed in emblematic spots across South Korea. The art installations designed by the pop artist IM Jibin were placed in locations like the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Namsan Tower, and Hanok Village. In addition, Kai filmed a lighthearted video
Additionally, the foursome appeared on the cover of fashion magazines individually and as a group. Jennie graced one of the covers of THE CHANEL BOOK— alongside Lily-Rose Depp and Margot Robbie—and fronted the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine. After her successful solo debut, Rosé was featured on the cover of Vogue Australia, made it to the front of W Magazine’s May issue, and became the cover star of ELLE Korea’s June number. Meanwhile, in April, Lisa took the cover of ELLE Korea and Harper’s Bazaar China. She also landed ELLE Thailand’s cover in May and sold out two covers of Vogue Japan’s June Issue within minutes. Jisoo graced the cover of various fashion magazines: ELLE Korea’s January number, W Korea’s February issue, and ELLE Hong Kong’s June edition. The group was also spotlighted on the cover of Vogue Korea’s June issue. Lensed by Kim Hee June, Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé posed for individual and group covers that were inspired by the Pantone Colors of the Year 2021.
where he took viewers on a tour around Seoul accompanied by his—bear—friends. Talking to Chosun Ilbo in May, the CEO of Gucci, Marco Bizarri, addressed the “special relationship” between Kai and the fashion house. Bizarri said, “Kai’s style is very unique and modern. I can feel absolute freedom from his music and dance, which is in line with Gucci’s values.” As experts report, fashion brands are just starting to feel the power of K-pop artists as “bankable for social media engagement.” The wide appeal of these celebrities will undoubtedly continue to open doors for brand deals and collaborations in the future. Let us know what your dream fashion and K-pop partnership would be by tagging @envimediaco on Twitter.
NCT DREAM OFF-D LOOK Dive Into NCT Dream’s Off-Duty Looks With EnVi By Samruddhi Harve | @nctteaparty
Over the last 5 years, we’ve seen NCT Dream evolve into the record breaking million album selling artists, donning custom pieces on stage. Playing off of each others’ looks, they shine bright on stage whilst performing their chart topping songs. But, offstage, their individualistic sense of style is apparent yet there are similarities building a cohesive air around them. Dive into their off-duty styles and incorporate them into your closets with this list!
Photo Source: Twitter (@ NCTsmtown_DREAM)
M’S DUTY KS
Photo Source: Instagram (@onyourm__ark)
Taking inspiration from the trend with its origins in the 20th century, the fashion world has seen a plethora of sweater vests recently. One striking feature in the fall 2020 season was the sweater vest. The once “uncool” fashion item made it to many racks including Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, Gucci, and Prada. Recently, NCT Dream’s leader sported the trendy garment over a white T-shirt in “7llin’ in the DREAM.” Mark’s pick was thisisneverthat’s knit vest in olive.
shop similar products: Venus Chunky Knit Sweater Vest by Hope Macaulay or Sleeveless Tunic Jumper by Ally Bee.
shop similar products:
Arielle’s Power Jacket and Prowess Pant Photo Source: Twitter (@NCT_OIFFICIAL_JAPAN)
Sweater Vest With T-shirt
Proving to be one of the most versatile pieces, it looks like the blazer trend is here to stay. A trend that took over social media in 2020 and continues to dominate wardrobes in 2021, due to its modernization using new fabrics and silhouettes! Likewise, it made it to NCT Dream’s wardrobe, specifically Jaemin’s. Jaemin often spices up his airport looks with the addition of a beautiful blazer. His wardrobe includes pieces by Prada and BELLBOY. He styled his Prada blazer by incorporating it in a monochrome outfit, along with loose fitting pants, a white turtleneck, and a crossbody bag. The look was finished with a black bucket hat and Chelsea boots.
Photo Source: Twitter (@ NCTsmtown_DREAM)
The Classic Off-Duty Look
Photo Source: VLIVE (NCT DREAAM)
Skinny jeans, a hoodie or sweatshirt, along with a cap or beanie is arguably every artist’s favorite look. This combination is pretty hard to miss in K-pop and is the epitome of “off-duty” looks. The functionalities of the outfit are usually tested near a comeback when the members have to hide their new hair color. NCT Dream members exude their unique charms with their different hoodies. Jisung, a pioneer in pulling off this look, showcases his charisma through a wide mix of high end luxury and local brands. His recent picks include Thom Browne’s navy pullover, F Vertical Hoodie by FIX NOTHING and Stüssy’s ash heather sweatshirt.
shop similar products:
Organic Terry Raglan Sweatshirt by MATE the label (extended sizes available), Gingham Cashmere Sweater by NAADAM and Emma Skinny Jeans by DL 1961
Photo Source: Twitter (@ NCTsmtown_DREAM)
Photo Source: YouTube (NCT DREAM)
When travelling as much as NCT Dream does, a bag is a must have. Though Jisung said that Jaemin never carries a bag in the first episode of “7llin’ in the DREAM,” all Dream members have been spotted carrying designer bags. Renjun and Haechan both hold their essentials in the Saint Laurent Large Sac De Jour Bag, though Haechan occasionally opts for a sporty Off-White duffle bag. Jaemin uses the chic yet utilitarian Dior Book Tote with his name personalized on the bag. Chenle’s pick is the Louis Vuitton Christopher Backpack.
shop similar products: Brown Cork Backpack by Corkor, Leather Backpack by Cuyana and Maxi Quilted Floral Totebag by Sézane.
Photo Source: Instagram (@onyourm__ark)
Top It All With A Cap
A K-pop idol essential, the baseball cap, frequently appears within NCT Dream’s looks. An item that dominates the fashion scene from high fashion to high street, the baseball cap serves a multitude of purposes. NCT Dream usually brings out their caps prior to a comeback, often shielding their latest hair trends. Jaemin uses the Classic Baseball Cap by Balenciaga while Jeno often dons the Vibrate Split Ball Cap. Mark recently sported the Polo Ralph Lauren logo embroidered cap in an Instagram post.
shop similar products: Everlane Baseball Cap
HOW BLACK AMERICANS CREATE THE CULTURE BY ELLIE FORTE | @FILTHYDINOSAURS The day is December 31st, 1999. Millions of Americans are sitting at their clocks waiting for the new millennium. For many who lived through it, Y2K is the ‘Year 2000 Problem”. At the turn of a new millenia, many believed that their data would be lost or that technology would not be able to compute moving into the new millennium. For young adults today, Y2K is an iconic fashion movement that took place in the early 2000’s. Low-rise jeans, chunky heels, tiny bags, you name it. Y2K fashion is coming back in a fierce way. You may have seen videos on your TikTok “For You Page” featuring creators in their
favorite outfits reminiscent of the historic era. Y2K stands for “Year 2000”. The early 2000’s were a cultural turnpoint for fashion, music, and movies. Despite the major fashion moments that came about during this time, the creators of the cultural movement have been erased: Black Americans.
Scan the QR Code to read this article in Spanish!
For creatives like Marc Ecko, his start to fashion began in highschool. He would often take the clothing of classmates and customize their denim jeans for them. Daymond John would sell his clothes by popping onto music video sets around New York City, when by chance in the late 90s he snuck one of his items into a GAP commercial that featured LL Cool J, causing a skyrocket in the brand’s popularity. Dapper Dan, a New York-based designer, gained notoriety for printing high fashion logos onto his designs which inspired the logomania that came to prominence in the 00s. Visionaries like Kimora Lee Simmons changed the game with the brand BabyPhat in the year 1999. The streetwear brand was the first of its caliber designed solely for women. Simmons took note of how urban streetwear aimed at women was still shapeless and baggy as the male counterparts and made sure to include a traditionally feminine edge to her designs. After she saw her Gen Z daughters participating in the revival of Y2K fashion, she decided to bring Baby Phat back through a special collection with Forever 21. When asked about Baby Phats legacy, Simmons stated, “When I created Baby Phat 20 years ago, it was because women – especially women of color – had no voice at all in the streetwear category.”
Not only was Baby Phat instrumental for its clothing but highly impactful due to their runway shows. Simmons was known for her legendary modeling career, her connection to hip-hop and overall status of celebrity. Through that, Baby Phat was able to put on diverse, entertaining and celebrated fashion shows that helped the brand become “an intersection of womenswear, hip hop, and streetwear.” Fashion was forwarded by Black celebrities in the late 90’s to early 2000’s. Musicians such as Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, Missy Elliot and TLC were photographed in what would be categorized as Y2K today. Left Eye especially, was known for her cutting edge style as well as her ability to piece together iconic looks. Also the early aughts brought the rise of the “video vixen,” – models who were hired to play love interest in popular Hip-Hop and R&B music videos – who became popular in their own right, gracing magazine covers and red carpets. Along with supermodels Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, and Selita Eubanks, they brought urban city fashion trends to the mainstream. They were the influencers of fashion before what would be known as the “Social Media Influencer.” Black artists have a long history of being the tastemakers in society. From mannerisms, to clothing, to media, their influence on fashion cannot be ignored.
Aaliyah - “We Need A Resolution” (2001) Screenshot courtesy of UMG
Leading into the 00’s, streetwear was very prominent due to the rise in “Bling Bling” culture, a celebration of Black capitalism, found in Hip-Hop and R&B at the time. Brands like FUBU (started by “shark” Daymond John), Sean John (from music mogul Puff Daddy/P. Diddy), EKCO and Rocawear (Jay-Z), capitalized on the trend to cater to the everyday Black consumer.
Fusing influences from the 90’s, Hip-Hop and R&B were major avenues for fashion. From as early as the late 90’s with the trends of “Afrofuturism” in popular music videos, the roots of Y2K began to blossom. At the turn of a new millennium, the American general public saw a shift. The culture moved towards a new era anticipating technological and cultural advances. Creating a
Tracksuits were not the only hot item of the era. Many people incorporated denim into their looks. Some of these pieces include patchwork
their style took elements from the glamor of the Motown Era but with a modern urban twist. Tina’s designs were heavily criticised by the industry at the time as “low-budget” and “ghetto” but all the while inspired trends worn by the group’s white counterparts Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson. In a conversation with supermodel Beverly Johnson, Tina stated, “As an AfricanAmerican, I know, I’ve always
Oftentimes, Black creatives are criticized for their works, only for it to be accepted on non-Black people years later. Tina’s innovative style allowed for the members of Destiny’s Child and the group to become a staple in pop culture and fashion. The group sported low-rise jeans frequently as they graced the red carpets and sometimes even wore entire outfits made of denim for photoshoots and press appearances. Knowles added feathers, fringe and rhinestones to unique shapes and silhouettes in their outfits.The group’s ability to make fashion their own was apparent in music videos like “Bootylicious”. Not only were artists crafty with their outfits, but their ability to accessorize set them far apart from their nonblack counterparts. The beauty supply store in particular, was a place where Black people could not only find hair products, but accessories and clothes as well. From big rings to “blinged out” necklaces, Black Americans were able to take pieces from their local beauty supply stores and create fashion moments.
Missy Elliott - “Work It” (2002) Screenshot courtesy of WMG
Artists like Missy Elliot pushed visuals in both music and fashion. Her influences could be seen as her career progressed. In 2002 she released the music video for “Work It.” In the video, Missy and her backup dancers wore different Addias tracksuits as a statement piece in the music video. Missy took a traditionally male clothing choice for comfort and made it sexy, feminine and fun. Only a year after the release of “Work It” would brands like Juicy Couture see immense popularity for their own velour tracksuits. A-List celebrities like Britney Spears, Beyonce, and Alicia Keys would be photographed with the tracksuit.
Also known for wearing denim was Destiny’s Child, before the group hit it big they did not have access to a wide range of designer brands so they were styled by Tina Knowles, Beyoncés mother. As a Black American, much of Tina’s style for the group originated from Motown. For the girl group (which was composed of four Black women at the time),
known, that our fashion, our vibe, our style, our swag, has influenced the fashion world greatly.” She added, “I remember I used to design things and I would get criticized for it, but the next thing I know it would be on somebody’s runway.”
BLAQUE - “I Do” (2000) Screenshot courtesy of SME
style which was also referred to as a “Ghetto Fabulous”, Black Americans were able to make an urban style that forwarded the fashion trends.
patterns, frayed-hem denim skirts and low-rise jeans. For many of these pieces, they were deconstructed and bedazzled. Even before the 2000’s, artists like Aaliyah often sported low rise jeans, with cropped tops and bandanas. She especially pushed boundaries of masculinity in her clothing choices. Much of what black Americans wore at the time was DIY due to major fashion brands not catering to them, so many took fashion and style into their own hands.
Destiny’s Child - “Bug A Boo” (2000) Screenshot courtesy of SME
RESURGENCE OF Y2K Despite the popularity of Y2K fashion in 2021, the fashion movement actually began to rise again in 2017. Juicy Couture included velour tracksuits for their 2017 fall/winter collection. Slowly but surely, the aesthetics from the early 2000’s would make their way back into the mainstream. From there, brands began to release clothes and accessories reminiscent of the era. In Bluemarine’s fall/winter 2021 collection, the inspiration from the 2000’s was strong. Incorporating the strap heels of the 2000’s as well as fur on clothing, it is evident that the future is Y2K. Black owned brands like Brandon Blackwood also embody the movement with their small handbags. With the move from hypebeasts and streetwear, early 2000’s fashion was seeing a new revival. Despite it’s revival, it was instead classified as “Cyber Ghetto” by users on Tik-Tok. What was a movement started by Black American people, was now being appropriated by nonBlack folks on social media. TikTok users like @insightofleoo and @shycsmith both use their platforms to discuss the Y2K era. Providing rundowns and looks from the era, their contributions are important to the ongoing conversation around the erasure of black people’s influence in culture. A major problem in today’s society is that it will categorize the clothing and hairstyles of black people as unacceptable until it is worn by non-Black people. A great deal of the culture is started by Black people in the hoods of America. Things such as long ornate tips, hoop earrings and intricate
hairstyles were mocked when black people wore them. As we continue to move forward in fashion and culture, it is important to always remember the people who created it. Black people must no longer be erased in the conversation about Y2K fashion, especially as its creators. For many, it will take unlearning our biases that allow us to forget that Black people make pop culture what it is today.
JEWELRY TREND OF 2021 WORN BY K - POP STARS
BY DONYA @donyayaya_
Whether it be a model walking a runway or an idol performing on stage, the most popular jewelry trends of 2021 can be seen on some of our favorite fashion icons. From luxury to handmade pieces, there is something for everyone this year.
CHAIN REACTION Chunky chains are a must this year. Making a classic look a statement, designers and stylists are opting for thick chain accessories. Bronx and Banco showcased this trend as a belt and necklace for their spring-summer 2021 collection at New York Fashion Week. Following this trend, the teasers for “Butter” by BTS featured members Jimin and J-Hope in a chain necklace and bracelet respectively. As this look takes over the fashion and music world, there is sure to be a growing demand. Bauble Bar offers their Michel Necklace in different sizes for those wanting to make the style their own.
AFTER 2000 Taking the internet by storm, fashion from the early 2000s is back, and that includes jewelry. Though the butterfly hair clips and low-rise jeans are hard to miss, bright and playful rings and earrings are also popping up on the scene. Weeekly captured the essence of the time during their “After School'' promotions as the members wore pieces like heart and cherry-shaped earrings and beaded floral rings. Similar aesthetics are also found on beaded bracelets and necklaces, the staple of every 90s and 00s kid’s wardrobe. Oftentimes a symbol of friendship, Joshua of SEVENTEEN gifted several of his members with pieces he made. With a similar sentiment, Little Words Project promotes positivity by adopting this style to their bracelets with meaningful and customizable messages.
pearls, pearls, pearls Though they are already a timeless classic, pearls are a major trend this year. Designer brands like Chanel and Celine have incorporated pearls into unique pieces, making them elegant as always, but also edgy. Staying on trend, the members of WayV wore pearls for the release of “Kick Back,” creating a classy atmosphere. The same look can be achieved for less with options from Mejuri including the Organic Pearl Large Hoops and Bold Pearl Necklace.
shinin' Gemstone jewelry is capturing a favorable medium between minimalism and statement pieces this year. Often associated with the land where they are found, gemstones can be used in collections representing cultures like that of Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jean. Similarly, they are a key detail in NCT Dream’s Latin-inspired “Hot Sauce.” The promotional photos showed Jeno with a duo rhinestone ring and Mark in a turquoise necklace. For the gemstone lover, affordable options can be found at Ana Luisa including the Meesh necklace with a green aventurine pendant or the Mara Onyx ring.
drip drop Drop earrings have been a K-pop favorite for some time now, but it seems that these days stylists are opting for longer and more complex ones. These feature intricate designs and are almost long enough to reach the shoulder. A prime example is the earring worn by Yeji of ITZY in the Guess Who promotions. The look also adds extra flair with the asymmetric styling. Chanel’s Spring 2021 ready-to-wear collection also approached this trend with lengthy drop earrings reaching the shoulders. K-pop fans and fashion enthusiasts can get their hands on their own drop earrings at Lulu’s, complete with a two-toned finish.
playing with jewelry
Drawing inspiration from the fashion runways, K-pop artists and stylists have made the latest jewelry trends their own with unique styling. Just a little detail can go a long way when it has a personal touch. Jewelry can be a simple, yet fun way to experiment with individual style, and find a look that makes it shine. Scan the QR Code to read this article in Portuguese, Spanish and Hindi!
One of the most difficult questions for an NCTzen would be: “Which is your favorite look?” With 23 members, it is near impossible to have only one pick. Previously, we saw the members sporting new styles during a comeback, but now, with their personal Instagram accounts and LYSN DearU bubble, we get to see them experimenting with new styles almost daily! Here is a list of team EnVi’s favorite pieces worn by NCT. Share your favorite NCT pieces with EnVi on Twitter by tagging @ncity_mag!
@LuvJyani Name: Dean Favorite NCT item: Taeyong’s beanie!
What makes it your favorite?: Beanies are one of my favorite things to wear, they can prove to be a great addition to an outfit. When paired correctly, they can make an outfit look cohesive. Taeyong loves to
By Dean Monroe | @LuvJyani and Samruddhi Harve | @nctteaparty
have his ears stick out of his beanies which gives him a cute look. Shop the beanie here: Mihara Yasuhiro Beige Knit Cap
@Noor_Haddad Name: Noor
@chilliyuta Name: Faith Favorite NCT item: Yuta’s green plaid overshirt from NCT U’s “Work It” music video
Favorite NCT item: Kun’s orange sweater What makes it your favorite?: He captioned the picture on IG: “I’m an orange,” and I have got to say that's the prettiest orange I’ve ever seen. I LOVE
@jaehyuniepot Name: Heather Favorite NCT item: Jaehyun’s black & gold suit by Kim Seoryong that he wore in the “Kick It” music video.
sweaters in all shapes and
What makes it your favorite?:
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Shop similar knitwear here:
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Check Overshirt by Zara
Jennifer Kent Cable Sweater
metallic baroque blazer
@nctteaparty Name: Samruddhi
@arushiwrites Name: Arushi Favorite NCT item: Ten’s suit from the “Work It” music video. What makes it your favorite?: I love the color pink, especially this fuschia shade, and seeing it on Ten in the “Work It” music video really added years to my lifespan. The ensemble suited him and the vibe of the MV so well + the color itself is so lovely, I kind of want this for myself now, too. Shop similar here: pop suit blazer in purple and pop slim suit pants in purple by ASOS Design
@peachy_127 Name: Maya Favorite NCT item: Winwin’s ul:kin’s LSD Collection jacket. What makes it your favorite?: I adore color block clothing, especially in denim jackets! The oversized fit and the Burberry scarf paired with a simple white t-shirt really gives him an effortlessly cool vibe. I’m sure the combination of fleece and denim kept Winwin warm this past winter. Shop the jacket here: LSD Collection Colorblocked Denim Fleece Jacket
Favorite NCT item: Jisung’s Berluti ensemble from Allure Korea’s shoot.
What makes it your favorite?: I loved this photo shoot as it captured the various charms that Jisung boasts! I especially love the teal color of the suit along with the colorful shirt. It was very gentleman-like yet fun and charming! It also aligns with my personal style of mixing formal clothing with modern and cooler pieces! Shop the look here: Double Breasted Wool Jacket, Large Jogging Trousers and Brian Rochefort Short Sleeve Printed Silk Shirt by Berluti
@lesjoursdemay Name: May Favorite NCT item: Johnny and Doyoung’s Club Pétanque t-shirt. What makes it your favorite?: Though there are definitely more stylish and swoon-worthy fashion moments from the NCT boys, my French side can’t get over the hilarity of this piece. I love how simple and versatile it is and how I can style it to fit different vibes (it might also have a lot to do with the fact I’ve been obsessed with Aya Nakamura’s song, Copines, for years). Shop their t-shirt here: Les Copines T-shirt by Club Pétanque
@_jannatara Name: Jannat Favorite NCT item: Mark Lee’s iconic green hoodie! What makes it your favorite?: This hoodie was first introduced to us in episode ten of Johnny’s Communication Center, where Johnny, Mark, and Doyoung take a trip to Target, and Mark purchased the green hoodie (using Johnny’s money, as the result of an epic rockpaper-scissors game). The color suits him so well, and the bear-paw look from the oversized sleeves is adorable! Shop the hoodie here: Hanes Men's EcoSmart Fleece Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt
@filthydinosaurs Name: Ellie Favorite NCT item: Taeyong’s Laugher Lovely Bear Pants especially speak to me. What makes it your favorite?: This is one of my favorite items from Taeyong. Not only are the teddy bears cute, but it is versatile enough to fit several different kinds of outfits. Taeyong’s pair isn't available now. Shop similar products here: Thug Bear Pants and Goblin J Pants by Laugher
& T U C N
Here NCTzens share their personal journeys with NCT and how they came to become the fans they are todaY
How long have you been listening to K-music?
When and how did you first start stanning NCT? What stood out about them from other groups to you?
June/July of 2017! I was a casual fan who only listened to the title tracks but, one night, the song angel was recommended to me on youtube, and I’ve been a NCTzen ever since. Their friendship really stood out to me! It was refreshing to see genuine friendships being shown.
What does NCT mean to you? What has changed in your life/about you since you’ve found them?
NCT is my motivational support group. They always motivate me to do my best in uni or just in life generally!
What's your favorite NCity moment?
When Jungwoo read my tweet to Haechan during the Teen Vogue interview!
What is one thing you’d want to say to NCT or want them to know? It can be about you, about their music, about the fandom, etc. We as fans are insanely proud of how far they have come since 2016.
How long have you listening to K-music?
About 4 years now!
When and how did you first start stanning NCT? What stood out about them from other groups to you?
I first started stanning them on January 17, 2017! My friend on Instagram helped me get into them by sending me pictures and info on each member (at the time there were only 15 members, but they really took their time to talk about each one to me which I’m forever grateful for) as well as song recommendations. What stood out to me the most about them was their “limitless” concept, it intrigued me because it made me think about how much content they’ll always have! It’s still something I admire about NCT, there’s never a moment where you feel like there’s nothing going on. I also liked the idea of units and how there are different languages and cultures involved!
What does NCT mean to you? What has changed in your life/about you since you’ve found them?
NCT to me is my comfort and my home. They’re my safe space, not just their music but them in general because they feel like friends I can rely on. My views on life have become a lot more positive and each member has taught me something whether they’re my biases or not. They’ve brought light and happiness into my life as well; I’ve made a lot of friends/beautiful connections thanks to them! They’ve genuinely become the loves of my life
What's your moment?
My favorite NCity moment would probably have to be the entirety of their first world tour! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to any of the shows, but I remember NCTzens being so full of joy during their tour because we constantly had new content and fan-taken videos to watch on our timelines! It’s also my favorite moment because of how genuinely happy the boys looked, I’m sure they made a gazillion memories :D
What is one thing you’d want to say to NCT or want them to know? It can be about you, about their music, about the fandom, etc.
Wow! I’d genuinely have a lot to say, but I think I’d mostly want them to know that their hard work never goes unseen. Each and every one of them has an important role in NCT as a whole, and I hope they know they’re all so special and so loved! We’ll always be here supporting them and giving them the motivation to keep going because that’s what they do for us so we promise to give love right back! I’d also want them to know that they have not only helped, but saved so many lives. Music doesn’t just bring someone joy, it also gives them comfort! I just want them to know that we’re always proud of them and that they should be proud of themselves too.
How long have you been listening to Kmusic?
Since March 2019.
When and how did you first start stanning NCT? What stood out about them from other groups to you?
I started stanning last year because I kept seeing so many funny clips of them on my timeline and I thought they looked like such genuine and happy people, their happiness felt contagious and I felt compelled to know more. One of the first things I do before stanning a group is listen to their whole discography. When I listened to NCT's I saw such a diverse mix of music and it felt so new, refreshing, and even comforting and I think that really caught my attention. What really compelled me to become a fan was the friendship dynamics within the group because I could see they were all so comfortable with each other. They really made me feel part of it and it was something I hadn't felt with any other group before.
What does NCT mean to you? What has changed in your life/about you since you’ve found them?
I think I have learned a lot from them and one of the things that stick out to me the most is how it's okay to admit that relationships aren't perfect. Relationships are something you constantly work on and improve, there is no shame in admitting you're not perfect and that's okay because you're human. I think I've also grown more comfortable with myself and working at my own pace in my own way.
What's your favorite NCity moment?
The day they announced Jungwoo was coming back and a few days later Neozone was announced. I don't think I've ever seen everyone so excited, united, and hopeful at that time. It was so funny and it brought out the best in everyone, I really enjoyed it.
What is one thing you’d want to say to NCT or want them to know? It can be about you, about their music, about the fandom, etc.
I just want to thank them for always inspiring me and touching my heart in their own unique way. For always giving me something to look forward to, something to be excited about, and having people to share that with. These past few months have been so challenging and without them, I would have felt completely lost but they have given me a sense that even if the whole world is going wrong, there's still someone out there reassuring me that problems won't last forever and that we are not alone. Thank you for being you and for sharing that with us, for letting us be part of your journey, and for being on our own. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
How long have you been listening to K-music?
Almost 4 years or so.
When and how did you first start stanning NCT? What stood out about them from other groups to you?
When I first listened to the 7th sense I fell completely in love with the amazing dance piece they created for the song, I had been listening casually to Kpop and never considered myself a “stan” but they got me deep into it and I decided to call myself a Stan around 2 years ago or so. Truly as a dance geek, they got me hooked by their dance skills, the 7th sense is thus the perfect example of the NCT print, versatile and unique!
What does NCT mean to you? What has changed in your life/about you since you’ve found them?
Honestly, they mean a lot to me in terms of music and the arts. I get inspired by how they treat their art and what they do to the max. Art is for the enjoyment of everyone and they make it so fun and entertaining!
What's your favorite NCity moment?
Probably when Jaehyun got caught not fulfilling the social distancing rules😭😭 I also loved the JCC when Mark, Doyoung and Johnny had a sleepover :(
What is one thing you’d want to say to NCT or want them to know? It can be about you, about their music, about the fandom, etc.
I would thank them for allowing us to see them perform, sing, rap, and dance. Art is about vulnerability and sincerity and their love for what they do is always so mesmerizing to be. What’s more beautiful than someone who loves what they do and it shows? Thank you for letting me get inspired by your dancing, I’m going to do my best to go back to my dancing classes �
How long have you been a fan? I’ve been a fan since the Empathy era, so since 2018. What made you join the fandom? I watched the “Boss” music video and I just knew I had to learn more about them. First, I was on Instagram and I made some friends. Then, I migrated to Twitter where I was able to meet lots of cool people and join the fandom. Who’s your bias? Jungwoo and Johnny!
Any bias wreckers? The rest of the members, LMAO.
What are some of your favorite songs? “Misfit,” “Lightbulb,” “Boss,” “Yestoday,” “Moonwalk,” “Turn Back Time,” “Limitless,” “Superhuman,” “Jetlag,” “FOOL,” “Quiet Down,” “7 Days,” “Love Again,” and “My First And Last.” How has NCT/WayV inspired you? They made me feel more confident in myself and my abilities. Seeing their positivity and how hard they work has motivated me to become a better person and to work hard to achieve my goals. They bring me so much happiness that it always inspires me to become that source of happiness for others. What’s the most exciting experience you’ve had as a fan account so far? Having mutuals to talk to about the crazy stuff that occurs in Ncity. I’m a NSFW account so sometimes when I ramble it’s nice to have people who ramble along with me. Having hit tweets is kind of wild too because you just have a random thought but suddenly it comes across people’s timelines and they interact because they either agree with you or find what you said funny. Are there any hardships you face as a fan account? How would you wish to address the problem(s)? One of the hardships I face personally is the anxiety that comes with having a following. Even though I don’t have a huge platform, my voice is still out there so there are times where I want to say something but rethink it because I’m afraid of being misinterpreted. I also find that I have to use my account often to try and combat the hate that comes with being in these fandoms, so I often just try my best to remain a positive space for people to enjoy themselves since platforms like Twitter can get toxic. If you could say a few words to your bias, what would they be? Thank you for everything. The world is a better place because of you.
How long have you been a fan? Since SMrookies!
Who’s your bias? Jeno, Johnny, & Taeil.
What made you join the fandom? Mark and Jeno initially.
Any bias wreckers? The whole lot.
What are some of your favorite songs? “119,” “Love Song,” “We go nanana,” and “Lightbulb.” How has NCT/WayV inspired you? I’m a closeted artist. I draw occasionally but I have very little self-esteem and I don’t really like showing people what I draw. Seeing and hearing from NCT about how they overcome their insecurities, helped put mine in perspective. Ten, especially, has helped me a lot. I actually have an art Instagram which I started as an #artwithten account (RIP). Ten’s art is similar to the traditional art I do, it’s mostly ink and doodles. I make zines and draw them in ink straight on paper to be reproduced, and put together things that don’t typically make sense and give them a new meaning. Also, include a lot of symbolism. I don’t have much confidence in the things I draw, especially because of how I’ve been affected by internet validation. Ink isn’t what people like, they like fancy colors they. And I don’t color. I just learned last year how to color digitally. But anyway, it’s a lot of artistic inspiration and attitude that I pick up from them. What’s the most exciting experience you’ve had as a fan account so far? Seeing NCT Dream! Are there any hardships you face as a fan account? How would you wish to address the problem(s)? Not just as a fan account, but as a fan generally, being a K-pop fan and an ally to conservation and environmental aid (I’m with Greenpeace), is conflicting. I’m guilty of not buying physical albums, and any other paper merch, because of how wasteful it is. There isn’t any upcycling that is visible in the album production aspect of the K-pop industry and so I’m always left with conflict. Although I have been able to stand my ground, I just really feel hypocritical most times. I’m cutting down waste on a personal level, yet I’m supporting such a wasteful industry. At the end of the day though, it’s leisure and I support them to my heart’s content and don’t let my leisurely interests clash with my ideologies. If you could say a few words to your bias, what would they be? Just a big fat thank you, honestly! Your work matters and you make other people matter! Any additional remarks? Thank you EnVi for existing!!!
How long have you been a fan? 3 years What made you join the fandom? NCT 2018 promotions. I liked the songs on the album. The V LIVEs and other promos were really fun to watch.
Who’s your bias? Jaemin, Lucas, Ten, and Shotaro. Any bias wreckers? Johnny, Taeyong, Jungwoo, Sungchan, Taeil, Yuta, Doyoung, Xiaojun, Kun and Jaehyun
What are some of your favorite songs? “No Longer,” “Face To Face,” “We Go Up,” “Don’t Need Your Love,” “White Night,” “Firetruck,” “Take Off, King of Hearts,” “119,” “Stronger,” “Boss,” “Timeless,” “Volcano,” “My Everything,” “Misfit,”and “Baby Don’t Stop.” How has NCT/WayV inspired you? They have inspired me to be more confident in myself, to be more compassionate and sympathetic and to talk less and listen more. In short, I have learned to become a better version of myself.. What’s the most exciting experience you’ve had as a fan account so far? Rather than one most exciting experience, it is more a collection of little joys. Every time there is an update or a mention party or new photos, it makes me happy and I get excited. Are there any hardships you face as a fan account? How would you wish to address the problem(s)? Most probably the fan wars. Even though I never engage in them, they still drain me. Since it is harder to change others, my solution was to focus more on myself. When I get stressed being on social media, I take a break. If I want updates, I only check my notifications or I google NCT. If you could say a few words to your bias, what would they be? Allow me to put my pitiful Korean to practice. 오늘도 수고했어요. 예전에도 지금도 앞으로도 잘해서고 너무너무 사랑스럽. 당신은 실력의 사람이에요. 행복하세요, 건강하고 아프지마 그리고 많이많이 사랑해요. Any additional remarks? I love the idea of this magazine. Keep up the good work.
How long have you been a fan? I’ve been a fan of our boys since their debut with the 7th sense but knew of them since SM rookies.
What are some of your favorite songs? “Try Again,” “7 days,” “Jetlag,” “Simon Says,” “Bad Alive,” “Up From Here,” “From Home,” and “90’s Love.”
What made you join the fandom? The boys’ personality made me join the fandom. At first I was curious about them, only knowing them as rookies. Then they debuted and started doing not only variety shows, but shows like NCT Life. NCT Life was a big reason why I joined the fandom because I got to see many sides of the members that made me want to genuinely know more about them but also support them.
Who’s your bias? Jaehyun Any bias wreckers? Jeno, Taeyong and Xiaojun
How has NCT/WayV inspired you? A great way they inspired me is their work ethic. They all sacrificed so much to be where they are today, as individuals, and as the artist we know and love. They are the kindest and genuine individuals to not only their fellow members, but also to their fans. They make me want to work harder and enjoy every moment in whatever I do in life, even if it is something simple like hanging out with my friends. To simply put it into words, they make you want to cherish moments you have with the people you value and care about. What’s the most exciting experience you’ve had as a fan account so far? The most exciting experience for me was seeing NCT 127 in concert. At the time I also had a small support project for them. It consisted of a two-sided banner, one side being for Jaehyun and the other for NCT 127. I and my best friend (and fellow pic account) passed out banners to other NCTzens. They were all so kind and very funny. You could feel all the excitement and energy everyone had that day.! Are there any hardships you face as a fan account? How would you wish to address the problem(s)? I would like to put as a disclaimer that these answers are not aimed at anyone, it is just something I have noticed as a fan, that I wish others would take into consideration. As a fan account, specifically on both a pic account and on my main account, I feel like you get to see two sides of a spectrum. Now that does not always mean it’s a bad thing. Personally, I feel there is a lot of pressure as a pic account/archive account to update in a timely manner or at least in the quickest way possible whenever there
is any new content released. With that being said, I think that as one of the major fanbase accounts, others may view us as never making mistakes or unable to make them (that does not go for everyone), but that isn’t true. We all make mistakes, we post and say things that either may be worded wrong and taken the wrong way, which is never our intent. We just want to do the best that we can. I only speak for myself when I say this but sometimes, the pic accounts are run by no more than one or two people, it is hard at times to keep up with the boys’ schedules (as a group or individually) and deal with our personal lives at the same time (whether that’s work, school or any other thing else) but that does not mean that we don’t love what we do. Another thing I think is important is the way people make jokes about one of the members. Sometimes they belittle them, downplay their talent, or make jokes when the boys share something with us. I wish we wouldn’t do that, as we don’t know if the boys ever read any of our comments. We don’t know how they might react or feel towards them. The boys are just being open and sharing the things they are passionate about with us, and as their fans, I feel like we should encourage and support the boys instead of always making jokes. They undeniably work so hard every single day, they should be praised and appreciated for all their hard work. If you could say a few words to your bias, what would they be? Thank you. Thank you for debuting, for all of your hard work between being an MC for Inkigayo, filming for your drama, and prepping for every comeback. It must not be easy but Valentines are always rooting and cheering for you. No matter what you choose to do, we are proud of you and will always support you, whether that is as NCT Jaehyun or Jeong Yuno.
Introducing the adorable and charming pets of NCity! By: the EnVi Lifestyle Team
Who is their bias? Taeyong! What’s their fave NCT album/song? Replay (PM 01:27)! Since it’s soft and soothing :) Tell us a little about your pet?
Bruce is fearless and will cuddle with everyone, even strangers and big dogs. Bruce likes to join
in on dance breaks in the living room when music is played loudly. Bruce loves snacks, road trips, napping, long hikes, and bike rides.
Who is their bias? Jungwoo! What’s their fave NCT album/song? Whiplash by 127! Tell us a little about your pet? Gargie loves neck scratches and is a little grumpy old lady. She only likes NCT
IEse G R A me
G male Sia Fe
because I put it in front of her, but she
a @chill iyut
doesn’t mind it. She is a very open -minded cat and is super cute!
Who is their bias? Taeyong! What’s their fave NCT album/song? Black on Black Tell us a little about your pet? Nothing special! They just eat and sleep all day, sometimes they play with the other cat.
ENVI DICTIONARY By Anabel | @venividijoppi Words. Where would we be without them? Words help us communicate our wants and needs, and allow us to share our stories and experiences with others. What brings us together is our love for similar interests, even when we don’t speak the same language. At En EnVi we know our audience goes beyond English speakers, so we’d like to help bridge that language gap between fans from different parts of the world so we can understand each other a little better. To help you start this language bridging journey, we’ve compiled a few summer related words to help you get through this hot season, no matter where you are.
English / Spanish / Korean 1. Summer / Verano / 여름 (yeol-rum) That time of the year where everything is extremely hot, and all you want to do is lay by the pool and blast “Red Flavor” by Red Velvet. 2. Swimming Pool / Alberca / 수영장 S (su-yeong-jang) The heavenly feeling of diving straight into this small body of water on a hot day out; it’s almost unbeatable. 3. Beach / Playa / 해변 (hae-byeon) / 바다 (ba-da = sea) Sandy shore by the ocean, where the waves and the breeze hit just right and make the summer heat a little more bearable. 4. Hot / Calor / 더워요 (deo-wo-yo) This might mig be the most popular word during this time of the year, where temperatures are high and everyone just wants to let people know that “It’s hot.” Or “Hace calor” in Spanish and “더워요” in Korean. 5. Sun / Sol / 해 (hae)/ 태양 (tae-yang) A short and simple word that defines the enormous body of heat that’s 109 times larger than the earth and about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 Celsius, for the rest of the world). Also, Haechan from NCT. 6. Vacation / Vacación / 방학 (bang-hag) / 휴가 (hyu-ga) / 여행 (yeo-haeng = travel) This (sometimes way too short) period of (som time spent away from home and responsibilities, often travelling to another place. Basically what everyone needs right now.
7. Fan/ Ventilador / 선풍기 (seon-pung-gi) Essential device during the summer days, especially if you have no access to an AC. 8. Ice cream / Helado / 아이스크림 (a-i-seu-keu-rim) Is it really real summer if you don’t have this frozen, refreshing snack at least once to relieve some of that extra warmth during these hot months? 9. Cocktail / Cóctel / 칵테일 (kag-teil) You won't have a problem ordering one of these (non-alcoholic, for our underage friends) refreshments anywhere, thanks to the almost identical pronunciation in most languages. 10. Watermelon / Sandía / 수박 (su-bag) If there were a fruit that embodied what summer is, it would be this. Refreshing, sweet, fun and delicious. Top-tier summer snack. Mark Lee would agree. 11. Sunglasses/ Lentes de Sol / 선글라스 (sun-geol-la-se) Basic accessory to look cool on the hot h summer days. Also, very helpful to see out under the bright sunlight. 12. Suntan / bronceado / 선탠 (seon-taen) Sun-kissed skin is a sign that th you had a good time outdoors. Just don’t overdo it, and remember to wear sunblock, especially during these months.
Taeyong, Mark, Jaehyun, and Kun
I started getting into them during the start of the pandemic. I casually listened to SuperM and decided to look into them more; I ended up watching the Boss dance practice video and immediately fell in love with Taeyong and Mark.
I usually focus more on digital art and photo manipulation!
NCT/WayV Inspiration in Art:
I started creating NCT fanart because I fell in love with how visually pleasing and creative their concepts are; there's a lot of room for fan artists to explore and expand their creativity based on them. Taeyong opening his SoundCloud account and releasing his solo music has also been a driving point in my motivation to create art. His music is so versatile, and he isn't afraid to take risks and try out new ideas.
Reaction when asked to draw the cover:
I was really shocked! This is such an amazing opportunity, and I'm grateful to team EnVi for trusting me with something as important as this.
Inspiration behind the cover:
Once the teasers for Hot Sauce dropped, I was immediately reminded of Cherry Bomb. It's really exciting to see SM bring back the insanely good illustrations and graphics for an NCT comeback, and I just had to combine them. I also find looking at lenticular cards fascinating and thought it would be cool to create a dynamic cover like that. I wanted to do something with vibrant colors to honor the fact that it's a summer issue!
Main goal behind the cover art:
To be able to do Jaemin's beauty justice and bring the art to life. I hope that the audience gets summer-ish vibes from it!
Rewarding part about creating the cover:
The most rewarding part was getting the opportunity to showcase my art to a different audience and contributing my art to an incredible fan project. It also helps that I finally get to draw Jaemin!
Advice for up and coming artists:
Don't feel defeated by art block or not being able to create what you want. Draw whatever makes you feel the happiest and what inspires you instead of what you think is wanted from you. Take your time and trust the process! Please be sure to check out our talented Summer 2020 cover artist here
Meet Our Summer 2021 Featured Artist @SIMINAISV Location:
Jaehyun, Ten, Haechan
I’ve been into NCT since their debut with “The 7th Sense”, but I think I started calling myself an NCTzen when they became my ult group during the Empathy era. I really got invested since I felt a connection with their concept, storyline, and the members.
First NCT/WayV music video: “The 7th Sense”
I can say that my art is pretty diverse. I’m doing a little bit of everything: digital art, traditional art, mostly with watercolors but I use many techniques for my personal art like oil painting and
Inspiration behind art: I take a lot of inspiration from K-pop and everything from nature, feelings, people around me, music, books, other artists, and different experiences. I think the industry has the best concepts and cinematography. K-pop can be a gold mine for artists that are looking for references and inspiration!
Reason for art submission: I’m always really happy hearing from the EnVi team. I admire the work and effort you guys put into this project so much. I’m glad and honored to take part in it as much as I can! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my work with other NCTzens!
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IG IG: @LEO.WI
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YGOLONHCET ERUTLUC OEN
YGOLONHCET ERUTLUC OEN
Creative Spotlight: Susan Kelly BY MARBELLA RAMIREZ | @JAEHVUNITY
The year is 2017, EXO is active after a successful year with the album EX’ACT and its repackaged counterpart, LOTTO; this was when she first emerged in the spotlight. She was different from the rest — unique, but it wasn’t unwanted. On the contrary, everyone wanted more from her, and she had no reason to deny their requests.
With a personality as colorful as the glass in her paintings, Susan Kelly is the mind behind the infamous EXO glass stained glass pieces. She is a full-time artist, based in Long Island, New York, but her art has traveled as far as Korea, where it is now in the hands of Park Chanyeol’s mother.
FALLING INTO THE RABBIT HOLE Kelly was long into the K-pop genre by the time EXO debuted. Her journey is similar to many, an accidental domino effect that changed her life for the better. It happened through YouTube, Kelly recalls the event saying, “everything happens through the magic of Youtube.” What happened to then middle-schooler Kelly, on what seemed like a regular day of watching random videos, was only prompted by a tiny thumbnail on the screen. That was her Alice in Wonderland moment, all due to Jaejoong flashing his chest for the Japanese version of “MIROTIC” by TVXQ. The ride down the rabbit hole
was never-ending but exciting for Kelly, who automatically thought to herself after being indulged by K-pop for the first time, “This is the best thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life, now I need to know — who are these guys? Where were they born? Who they mama? I gotta figure this out.” To put it in perspective, it has been 12 years since Kelly first watched the video. That was just the beginning. Kelly’s artistic turning point came after a concert, EXO PLANET #2 - The EXO’luXion to be specific. This was the first time EXO came to the United States, and it was the first time Kelly would experience them live. The concert wasn’t in Kelly’s plans; it happened due to pressure from her
friend who wanted to go. Kelly remembers only going because “[they] were the only two K-pop friends I had.” She knew the moment she walked into the venue that it was bound to be a crucial moment. “This is it, this is happening again.” At this point, seven years had passed since Kelly first fell down the rabbit hole, but on that fateful night, she relived her first encounter with K-pop. Kelly revealed the flame of passion fueled by that single night by explaining what happened after the concert, “I was like, ‘I only want EXO stuff,’” she said. “I took everything I made, and I just threw it in the garbage. I thought, ‘this is not EXO stuff, I don’t want it. I’m going to make EXO stuff from now on.’”
When asked about why she was mesmerized by EXO, Kelly responded, “How clean their dance moves are, and their vocals are the best. I can’t even say anything about Baekhyun’s vocals ever, he can just outsing anyone. All of it put together, makes them into a cool, strong, put-together group.”
not a widely practiced fan art technique. “I felt like I had won something,” is what Kelly said about seeing how she was one and alone. The beautiful mosaics that Kelly has gifted the community are all
The older women in the shop eventually taught her how to cut and use the specialized equipment. After she figured out the basics, Kelly thought it was best to get out of their hair, so she took her equipment home to start her glass art era.
thanks to a small glass art workshop near her house. “When I see other stained glass artists, they tend to be older, and they want to make suncatchers or maybe some church pieces. I came in with a picture of Zico of Block B and told them to teach me how to make this man. They wondered why I couldn’t just make a butterfly.”
The process is long and tedious, and that was why Kelly fell in love with it. Before her venture into glass art, she was working with spray paint which took much less time. For her, the hardest part was the physical toll that her newfound canvas took. Another aspect that was different from her previous work was the difficulty in creating effects such as
Even now, another six years after the start of her EXO-L life, Kelly remains vocal about her love. Sporting a black EXO Planet T-shirt with matching heart EXO earrings she made herself, her love is felt. Furthermore, she smiled as she recalled her memories, the ones where professors would criticize her newfound muses and would ask her to paint something else. “What am I going to paint, a landscape? No. I’m going to paint Chanyeol, obviously. Give me a bad grade, I don’t care.”
DON’T MESS UP HER TEMPO Passion for K-pop and dedication mix for the majority of Kelly’s artwork. What seemed like a strange combination for the school’s faculty and Kelly’s peers, seamlessly came together in her workshop. “In the end, I think I was too persistent about it,” she said. “I’m an artist, I’m going to be an artist. If I have to open up my own gallery to showcase my EXO stuff I don’t even care. Eventually [faculty] were okay with it.” Kelly’s emergence on Twitter with her glass art was unique. Fan art has been popular for ages, however, no one was using glass as their canvas. To this day, it is
bruises from EXO’s “Monster” era. “It’s just a lot of practice and studying,” Kelly said. She practiced and studied, and eventually, learned to incorporate tones into her difficult task. Her longest piece took two months, mostly due to her schedule. Her shortest piece was the 10x10 piece she gifted to Park Chanyeol’s mother. “It was weird; it was weirdly surreal, to have the idol you like, you follow around and probably know too much about their life, the mother receives your art is wow.” Kelly earned the opportunity to gift her art due to her participation in a Korean cultural exchange program. She didn’t expect his mother to be there. Instead, she planned on leaving her gift with the manager. Luck was on her side as she popped out from the kitchen, and in a heartbeat, Kelly knew she was the one and only. “She was surprised — I don’t think she would have ever imagined that I would pull out a glass portrait of her baby,” Kelly said. “It was nice since I watched as she stared at it for a long time, I really felt the appreciation.” After Mama Park studied the art, she called over the manager and motioned to a spot on the window. Right before her eyes, Kelly’s art was put up in “the holy land of Park Chanyeol.” This is, in her opinion, her peak, although she may disagree as she has
a long way to go before she retires. After her trip, ironically, her professor bragged about her encounter with Mama Park, “Yeah, yeah, okay,” Kelly said. “Now you’re going to use me in your story.”
SHE’S DREAMING OF MORE For now, Kelly is in a transitional space. Sadly, she has no access to her materials, although she wishes to get back to work on her stained glass art as soon as possible. She doesn’t promise anything but hopes to put out something new in the summer. Something that can be anticipated, however, is her Etsy shop, EXOLANSIS, where she has tried to create and fill up with K-pop merch such as custom earrings. She’s dreaming a dream that seems far-fetched, but never impossible. While artists usually rent a gallery for their work to be displayed, Kelly opts for an abandoned church. Kelly continues breaking boundaries, but her muses won’t change. Instead of saints gracing the windows, Kelly imagines the light shining through her EXO glass art along with the art inspired by other idols. It may be a while before that dream is turned into reality, but make sure to support Kelly’s Etsy and visit her website artistsusankelly.com to contribute to what will become the holy grail of K-pop glass art.
ALTERNAT COVERS EnVi’s photographers showcase their talent by reimagining NCT tracks in fresh new covers.
‘Love Me Now’ is a fun, light song that is super upbeat and sweet at the same time. It reminds me of summer, and one of my favorite summers was NCT 127’s 2019 tour in North America. I felt really connected to them and their music. Also, the atmosphere being around other NCTzens as a new fan made me really happy. I think about that summer every time NCT 127 send text messages to check in with us, so that’s the vibe I wanted to go for with this album cover. The song is all about giving and receiving love and NCT 127 are always giving us so much love, probably much more than they know.
‘All For Love’ is a song about sacrifice and depending on someone’s affection to feel whole, and the heartache that comes with that. So the first thing that came to mind when I thought about love was definitely a rose. Specifically a red rose, because I think pain and love are both assimilated with the color red. It’s an interesting juxtaposition of feelings, like a sort of tug-of-war. To portray this, I decided to layer and intertwine two types of font on the album cover—one is more serious and bold like pain, and the other is soft and elegant like love. Then there are red roses at the center to bring them both together.
Not only does this song have nostalgic 90s boy band vibes that drew me to this song at first listen, but it also has a simple yet extremely relatable storyline. For the cover, I chose to create the text of a digital clock at 01:27 AM. The orange glow of the time, along with the light of the early night sky through the closed blinds, is all that is illuminating the empty bedroom in the background: a familiar and fitting setting for someone as they struggle through their post-breakup internal monologue. Late nights, early mornings, 1:27am.
This song is strong and a little aggressive; Yangyang presented himself with savage lyrics and made a statement of how he saw himself. It's his own world and he is the main character. I wanted to show that as well as mixing a little of the Neo concept: a glitch here and there and a city built like in ‘Inception’.
This is one of my favorite tracks off of NCT 127’s RegularIrregular album. For this cover, I wanted to emulate the warm, belonging feeling of taking flight with someone you hold dear. Though their paths start at separate ends, they eventually intertwine until they end up together in the end. The song itself is extremely welcoming, featuring 127’s soft vocals against a steady, slow beat. I can’t help but look at the sky hopefully whenever I listen to this song.
BLUE has to be one of my favorite songs. The lyrics themselves are something I relate to; when I first read them it hit a place close to home and I found myself moved by them. I interpret Taeyong’s lyrics as someone whose mind tries to keep them in the dark but they are trying to find some light. Whales are something that I associate with him and they are something that he somehow associates with something good. For this cover I was hoping to show the hope of someone that was finding light in a dark time.
THE EVOLUTION OF ERAS: A LOOK INTO SM ARTIST LOGOS By Maddie | @honeyzens
Welcome to the SM idol time machine where you can look back to any era! Each page is a window that takes you back in time, remembering the various eras through the graphics and logos that represent them.
EXO EXO gives consistency a new meaning with their logos. For the first few albums, the ‘E-X-O’ is easily readable within each logo. In later years, as the albums were given more unique and interesting looks, the logos as a result had more creative ways of hiding the letters within their shape. For example, Tempo and Love Shot at first seemingly don’t have anything hidden within them until you look closely. This creative decision has been praised by fans over the years.
NCT ‘Neo City’ has evolved and grown over the years. Whether you want to resonate or see the vision, this neo technology has got you covered. From their debut in 2016, NCT as an experimental group brought something new to the game. This showed even in the unique lettering of the original NCT logo. NCT 127 was the first subunit to get a fresh new look, accompanying the ‘Regular-Irregular’ album. In their ‘Neo Zone’ era, NCT 127 dived into the 90s with their aesthetic, showing multiple logos across different content. In 2021, NCT DREAM brought out the hot sauce in their long-awaited album, featuring a burst of vibrant colours on the logo and cover that boasts the fun of the era.
GIRLS GENERATION Girl’s Generation’s music ranges from fast-paced bubblegum pop like in ‘Gee’, to softer ballads like ‘Forever’. Known as the ‘Nation’s Girl Group’, they revolutionised the K-Pop genre, always switching up concepts and bringing something new to the game every time. The crown in their logo is well-fitting for these queens of K-Pop.
SHINEE The boy group that brought hits like Replay and Ring Ding Dong to the genre that are impossible for any K-Pop fan to not know, SHINee is the band that has been going strong for over a decade now. Their main genre is R&B, but across each beloved era SHINee has dipped into other genres as well, including the addictive electro-house in ‘View’.
RED VELVET Red Velvet’s visual branding has always been in line with their sound. Their music has always been consistent with their R&B/pop dual genre concept, and this shows in each era. Red Velvet’s target audience broke the norm from the beginning; they weren’t your typical girl group at the time of their debut. Their music up to now has consisted of bright pop found in ‘Dumb Dumb’ and ‘Red Flavor’, contrasting with their R&B side found in ‘Bad Boy’.
NCI TY SMALL BUSINESS Looking for the coolest K-pop items this summer? Check out these amazing online K-pop shops and get to know these fansturned-business owners!
Smile Palette Co. Country: Philippines
Describe your business: We mostly do K-pop fan-made merch. We all came up with our own designs based on the group’s feel, but nowadays, we mostly base it on the group’s comeback song, looking at their teasers, albums and music videos. We then come up with a design that we feel our customers will like. So far, we have made keyrings, mini calendars, tote bags and t-shirts, and are planning to broaden our merchandise in the future. For the suppliers, we outsource them - our main role is to design the product, packaging and also the social media posts.
Inspiration and Background Story of the Shop: Our inspiration is, well, from K-pop. Ever since we were young, we were listening to K-pop, and got inspired by their unique concepts. And now, the three of us have Bachelor Degrees in Graphic Design, so we incorporate the skills we learned, and come up with designs that we enjoy making. We mainly did this business because we were burned out from our fulltime jobs and thought that we needed a gateway where we could refresh our mind from all the corporate work we’ve been doing.
U sa ge of Adver t i s e m e nt : We advertise first on Twitter since we know the majority of K-pop stans are there, and also tweets are easy to spread by just by liking and retweeting. Some of our techniques are to host a giveaway of our products, especially if it’s a new drop - we think that is the best way to gain more followers, because who doesn’t like free stuff, right? And recently, we started to grow our Instagram account. A tip for Instagram is to use the platform’s ads feature, because it’s the best, hassle-free method, and you actually get to reach specific people of your target market.
I ssu es w h i le ha ndl i n g yo u r s m a ll bu si nes s : Usually, our main problems are with the suppliers - especially when we don’t personally know them. There are times that we have misunderstandings with them, but those kinds of problems are normal. The way we overcome this is to be really 100% sure that they understand the outcome we want for our product, and to be organized and prepared for the materials they might need. Our tip: always ask for pictures during every production and quality check.
Le sso n s an d b e n ef i t s gai n e d wh i l e b e i n g a sh o p own e r: Patience and time management is the key to this kind business or any kind actually. You should always have enough patience in dealing with suppliers and customers as you always will have to answer the questions. And managing time is very important so you won’t get pressed for time for your deadlines and disappoint your customers but also remember to take a break if you need too.
G o - to ad v iso rs: We usually seek advice from other shop accounts on Twitter. Since we are still fairly new in the business, we appreciate the advice we get from other shops. We have experience in selling merchandise, back in college, so we kinda get the flow of it, too.
Tip s a nd enc o u ra geme nt fo r a spi r i ng se lle rs : Our advice is that if you think that you will enjoy what you’re doing in the long run, then go for it! Be strategic and do not be afraid to seek advice from others, work hard and believe in yourself. Remember that a business will never be smooth sailing, so
C ou ntr y: Philippines
Desc r i be yo u r busi ness : Through our business, we sell our own-made customized K-pop merch for all K-pop groups and fanbases. From tote bags, mouse pads, and canvas wallets to pop sockets, sticker sets, pillows and pillowcases, we create products that can create a K-pop fan fashion statement. Before making a design for each K-pop group, we research them. This includes their fandom color and name, recent comeback concept, personalities, iconic lines, and more to make it really personalized and close to the hearts of fans. We also make sure to upgrade our products by exploring other fandom merchandise that fits our designs and branding as well.
expect some ups and downs. Learn from mistakes, and don’t be discouraged by them, because this will just prepare you in the future. Also - do not forget to have fun in the process of being a shop owner! To you reading this, if ever you actually open a shop, message us, and we will try our best to help you.
I nspi ra t i on a n d Ba c kgro u n d S to r y of the S ho p : Our small business really started as a hobby, and an outlet as well. Both of us are working individuals and are part of a very demanding industry, marketing & advertising. K-pop has been our source of comfort and happiness amidst our busy schedules. From there, we decided to merge our skills and our love of K-pop to create something that could creatively express our K-pop fandom and other fandoms as well. And seeing how happy and excited our customers are whenever we receive a message from them that they have already gotten the item really pushed us to continue with our business, despite all the hurdles and challenges.
Usage of Ad ve rt i se me nt : We advertise our business through our social media channels. We regularly post content and our products to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account. We also use social media marketing tools such as Facebook Boosting, Instagram Boosting, Facebook Ads, Geotargeting, and many more. We use hashtags on all of our posts to garner a larger reach and engagement. Wordof-mouth is also one of our marketing tools - especially with those who post good reviews to our social media accounts and ecommerce sites. We are also currently developing our website so our clients can easily access and see all of our K-pop designs.
I ssue s wh i l e h an d l in g t h is smal l b usi n e ss: One of the main issues that we are currently facing by owning a small business is the tight competition among online sellers nowadays. We have to be updated with K-pop fashion, K-pop group comebacks, and K-pop fandom culture to really make sure that our designs are aesthetically pleasing and intimate to the fandom as well. We have to juggle our time and skills in a lot of aspects just to make sure that our business and items are really visible to our target market. From
social media management to selling to design creation and researching, we need to do this to deliver quality items and designs to different K-pop fandoms. We try to overcome these struggles by believing in our capabilities and items, and by moving forward. It is our motto that you won’t be able to overcome such hurdles and problems if you dwell too much in it. You must think of a solution and move forward in order to achieve your dream and goal.
Go- to ad v iso rs: For our business, we do seek advice from our family members to be able to see through another persons’ lens or point-of-view. It is very important for us to hear their opinions to know if our designs or marketing strategies are effective or aesthetically pleasing.
Le sso ns a nd be nef i ts ga i n w h i le be in g a sho p ow n e r : One of the greatest things that we have learned by starting our business is to celebrate and recognize your own small successes. Whether it is a bulk order or a one-item order per day, what matters is that you are achieving success, whether in small or big quantities. Great things come to those who are hard working, but at the same time, patiently waiting. Some of the unexpected benefits that we have gained from owning a small business is friendship and self-love. We gained clients that became our friends within different K-pop fandoms. We learned how to love and appreciate our abilities and small successes, both in the aspects of business and life.
T i p s an d En co urage me nt s fo r a s p i ri n g se l l e rs: To those people who would want to start a small business of their own, always trust the process. No matter how hard it might get, no matter how many obstacles and hurdles you might face, always move forward and do your best. Don’t stop achieving your dream and goal for your business and learn from all the mistakes and problems you would face. Trust in yourself, in your business partner/s, and in God. And really trust the process and step-bystep small or big successes towards your dream.
Co unt ry: Philippines
De scrib e yo ur b usi n e ss: Primarily, we create subtle merchandise specifically for pop-culture favorites such as anime and K-pop groups we love. The goods we offer include glass mugs, phone cases, loungewear, pillow cases, notebooks, and other useful items. In general, we like to challenge ourselves by introducing lots of functional goods.
I n sp i rat io n and B ackgro un d Stor y of t h e Sh o p : The main inspiration is really the groups and shows we love. A lot of us show our love for the things we care about through making things, whether it be fanfiction or covers. Starting Print Tales is just another way of expressing and sharing that love.
Usage of Ad ve rt i se me nt: The platforms we primarily use are Twitter, Instagram, and Shopee. We use all our platforms to promote the goods we offer, but in general, it is through Twitter that we promote our major pre-order collections. To advertise, we utilize hashtags to help with discoverability and sponsor giveaways with relevant fan accounts.
Issu es w hi l e ha ndl i ng th i s s m a ll busi ness: A lot of the challenges come from finding and nurturing our relationships with reliable and quality production partners. Especially for our glass mugs, we worked with several printing partners around the Philippines before we found our current partners. Persistence and communication with partners is key to overcoming issues.
Le sso ns a nd be nefi ts gai n w h i le be in g a shop ow n e r :
Organizational skills, such as preparing order summaries and tallying of orders require this and trains you to pay attention to every detail and make it a habit to double check if you got everything correct. Another is creativity, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, by trying new art styles and designs. And lastly, practicing discipline by setting daily goals, priorities, and balancing your tasks.
Go- to ad v iso rs : We do not have any mentors, but we learn along the way and from our accumulated experiences in handling our business.
T i p s an d En co urage me nt s fo r a s p i ri n g se l l e rs: Take a leap of faith, have confidence in your skills and ideas, and don’t settle for less. It may be tough at first, but you will eventually discover what you would want to do in your business and what path you want to take, and keep in mind that hard work always bears fruit. You should also be open for feedback from customers and fellow artists and/ or businesses because this is what would help build your business in being able to provide better quality of goods and services that are also unique to you!
Don’t forget to follow these small businesses on their social media pages and support the small businesses of your fellow fans!
NCI TY gro u p or ders Have you always wanted to buy official K-pop merch, but don’t know where to shop? Don’t worry, EnVi has your back! Check out these group order accounts that will help you meet all your album and merch needs this summer!
@365GOs My friend and I, who used to be an admin with me, loved doing group orders on our private accounts, and decided to come together to make one big account. Sorting through albums and packing were something that was so fun for both of us. Also, just being able to help people in countries where some companies don’t do ship to, or where shipping fees are really expensive, is so exciting. In addition to that, making little freebies for fans who join our group order is also fun!
@neocitygot7 My first group order was for GOT7’s Breath of Love and NCT’s Resonance Pt.2. When I got my first order, I cried, because it’s so scary! There were a lot of “what ifs,” like what if people don’t trust me, what if I got scammed, and a lot of other what ifs. However, I lo powered through with the help of my dearest friend who kept hyping me up and asking me a lot about my progress as a group order manager. She has been helping me to stay strong and keep doing this. I can’t thank her enough for staying with me.
The Cherry Sauce Issue!