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Louis Vuitton Signs ‘Squid Game’ Breakout Star as Global Ambassador

“Squid Game” breakout star HoYeon Jung is taking on a new role—Louis Vuitton global house ambassador for fashion, watches and jewelry.

The luxury fashion company announced its new partnership with the model-turned-actress on Instagram Wednesday morning. Jung, a runway regular who received her start on Korea’s Next Top Model in 2013 and has walked for Chanel, Zuhair Murad, Missoni and Prabal Gurung, modeled for Louis Vuitton before, including for a ready-to-wear campaign back in 2017.

“I immediately fell in love with HoYeon’s great talent and fantastic personality, and I am looking forward to starting this new chapter of the journey we started at Louis Vuitton a few years ago,” Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s creative director since 2013, said in a statement.

Louis Vuitton’s alliance with Jung speaks to the stunning cultural power of Netflix’s latest hit show. Released Sept. 17, “Squid Game” remains the streaming service’s top program in the U.S. weeks later. On TikTok, the #squidgame has accumulated 28.3 billion views. Shein, by comparison, ranks as the site’s most-mentioned brand, but its hashtag has garnered roughly half as many views.

Like “Bridgerton” before it—Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said last week the survival series had “a very good chance” of dethroning the period drama as its most popular show to-date—“Squid Game” is producing a measurable impact on the styles consumers are seeking out.

According to the global fashion shopping platform Lyst, demand for the color teal, as seen on the show’s “players,” was up 130 percent week-on-week. Searches for white slip-on sneakers soared 145 percent within days of the show’s release and Vans, it said Wednesday, ranked as the most viewed slip-on sneakers over the past week. Google Trends data pulled on Sept. 17 when “Squid Game” debuted showed a 7,800 percent surge in searches for “white Vans,” while searches for “squid game shoes” jumped 6,700 percent, according to The Sole Supplier, a British sneaker site. A day after the show’s premiere, consumers sent searches for “white shoes” up 9,900 percent, it added. The uptick in interest could be a win for Vans, which seems to be fading in popularity among teens.

Lyst also highlighted a 97 percent increase in searches for retro-inspired tracksuits—the ubiquitous uniform of the show’s 456 fictional contestants. According to the retail intelligence company Edited, tracksuits were already seeing success prior to the series’ premiere due to the item’s “nostalgic roots.” Over the past three months, it said majority sell outs were up 27 percent year-over-year. With Halloween approaching, Edited expects interest will increase.

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HoYeon Jung modeled a Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear collection in October 2017, years before "Squid Game" shot her to worldwide fame
HoYeon Jung modeled a Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear collection in October 2017, years before “Squid Game” shot her to worldwide fame. Jonas Gustavsson/Sipa USA/AP Images

 

Other “Squid Game” winners include red boiler suits and white numbered tees. Search interest in the two items climbed 62 percent and 35 percent, respectively, in the days after the show’s release, Lyst said.

Fans can also buy “Squid Game” apparel directly from Netflix. The collection includes nine different basic T-shirts and a hoodie. Thanks to a partnership with gfxt3ch, each item can be moderately customized. The show’s logo, for example, can be printed in Korean or English.

What’s more, Squid Game costumes are cropping up online as Halloween quickly approaches. Amazon, Etsy and eBay offer numerous options for both the green tracksuits and guard uniforms, as do smaller sites likes Inswear, Holymoly, Younghoodie and uHoodie. The speed at which these shopping options have appeared, however, calls into question how responsibly, or not, they were produced.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.