Since former Blady member Tina (now known as Christine Park or Soobin) began posting her IDOL INSIDER series on her YouTube channel, soobeanie_, one of the most frequent questions she’s been asked if whether idols get to keep the clothes they wear on music shows. According to the former star, it all depends on how they get them. Here are three ways stylists procure stage outfits and whether they get to take them home.
1. Company budget
One of the most obvious ways stylists procure stage outfits for idols is by using the company’s budget. According to Christine Park, K-Pop agencies will often give their stylists a set amount of money to buy clothes with. The stylist will then use those funds to find the best looks they can to match the concepts without going over budget.
Naturally, smaller companies have smaller budgets. As such, when stylists use this method, groups from smaller companies are usually seen wearing relatively low-end brands.
Christine says that when stylists buy clothes directly, idols don’t usually get to keep the clothes. Instead, they’re usually recycled for future events or even cycled between other idols.
2. Making customs
Christine Park says the next method for getting idols outfits is for stylists to make them themselves—or have them made by a tailor. When matching outfits were all the rage in K-Pop styling, making different custom outfits from the same fabric was a very common decision for stylists.
Bespoke stage looks are becoming less common as luxury fashion wins out, but there are many groups who still wear custom-made outfits all the time. Stylists often also customize purchased outfits to make them more unique.
Christine Park explained that custom outfits are often used for multiple events, so idols don’t get to take them home.
3. Brand sponsorships
Ever wondered how many agencies can afford so many luxury stage outfits for their idols? Brand sponsorships are the key. When groups are sponsored by a brand, that brand gives the members free clothes in exchange for promotion.
According to Christine Park, this promotion usually comes in the form of photos uploaded to social media. At first, she didn’t understand why her stylist would sometimes force the group to takes photos in certain outfits, but then she learned about the sponsorship deals.
Luckily for idols, Christine says that stars usually get to keep any clothes for themselves if they come from brand sponsorships—a real win when the brand is high-end or expensive.
Unfortunately for some idols, there is a fourth way to get clothes… and it’s not pleasant! Christine Park revealed all here.