If you haven’t noticed, we love K-pop girl groups. They’re perfectly groomed by their labels’ respective training regimen, and know exactly how to tingle our hearts with sugary croons. Their cutesy antics and dazzling appearances also help a great deal. But often times, their actual talents as singers and performers come into question. High heels and coordinated mini skirts can dazzle a fan base only so far.
YG Entertainment’s girl quartet 2NE1 (a play on “to anyone”) breaks that mold. First appearing on the scene in 2009 with the label’s male counterpart Big Bang on a skull-drilling song “Lollipop,” the girls quickly rebounded on the disputed hype with a thumping club single “Fire.” Equipped with air horns, loud streetwear aesthetics, flamboyant rapping, and free-for-all choreography, the group stood out immediately in a market clustered with fembots. Thanks to the self-titled EP’s release, 2NE1 instantly became a hot commodity in the emerging K-pop market. With a successful follow-up, the official debut LP To Anyone, raking in 120,000 copies in sales, and each of the five singles selling an average of two million downloads, the clique of CL, Minzy, Dara, and Bom became international superstars. Psy who?
Aside from their great range of musical outputs, the group’s known for its excellent styling. While a typical K-pop girl group settles for schoolgirl uniforms or scantily clad dresses, 2NE1’s stylists deck out the members in a wide range of clothing from Brooklyn streetwear brand Mishka to French design house Balmain. This soon caught the attention of designer extraordinaire Jeremy Scott, as he personally set off to provide collaborative adidas Originals gear for the group, propelling 2NE1 as K-pop’s most recognized style icons.
Back in August, during their New Evolution U.S. tour, Complex captured 2NE1 in their finest wardrobes. Jeremy Scott sent us his Fall 2012 collection, and the girls brought in their own Givenchy and Balmain fashions.
Check our fashion photoshoot out in the thumbnails above, and read the next page for our in-depth interview where the girls talk about their upcoming ventures into the U.S. market, solo career ambitions, and how they stand different compared to other K-pop acts.