Jang Wonyoung’s Blooming Fashion Empire

By: Valentina Reni
Image courtesy of @for_everyoung10

IVE’s Jang Wonyoung is undeniably one of K-pop’s most influential figures. After rising to fame on Mnet’s Produce 48 (2018), she continued to gain attention with IZ*ONE. More recently, Wonyoung has been active as a member of IVE. Throughout her half-decade career, she has established herself as one of K-pop’s fourth-generation it girls through her numerous endorsements, captivating stage presence, and bubbly personality. To celebrate her blooming career, EnVi explores how Wonyoung is building her fashion empire.

Nation’s Pick: IZ*ONE

Produce 48 was the third installment of Mnet’s Produce 101 survival show series. The show centered on South Korean and Japanese trainees competing for a chance to debut in a group based on audience votes. IZ*ONE, the twelve-member group formed on the show, debuted in October 2018 with the Korean single “La Vie En Rose,” off their COLOR*IZ mini album. Wonyoung, at only 14 years old, gained great popularity because of the contrast between her youthful appearance and her impressive height, as well as her facial expressions on stage. 

IZ*ONE promoted in both South Korea and Japan, and in just two years, experienced incredible commercial success. During her time with IZ*ONE, Wonyoung explored the world of big-name endorsements and high fashion. In 2019, she walked the runway at the Tokyo Girls Collection Fall Winter show. She also participated in a solo shoot with Dior Beauty, showcasing items from their Dior Addict Lip Glow collection. It wasn’t until after IZ*ONE’s disbandment, however, that Wonyoung started receiving major attention from brands.

The Miu Miu Moment

In 2021, Wonyoung modeled for a Vogue Korea shoot promoting Miu Miu’s sailor-inspired Maritime collection. Though Wonyoung was a trainee under Starship Entertainment at the time, the collaboration was well-received and amassed over 500,000 likes on Instagram. Wonyoung’s playful relationship with the Italian brand continued throughout the year, with the singer frequently sporting Miu Miu items both in public appearances and on her personal Instagram posts.

At the end of the year, Wonyoung was finally appointed as one of Miu Miu’s brand ambassadors. The official announcement was revealed in the December issue of Harper’s Bazaar Korea, where Wonyoung also made history as the youngest model to grace the front cover. The official magazine shoot was preceded by a promotional video released in October, in which Wonyoung revealed the date and time (in KST) for the Miu Miu Spring Summer 2022 Show.

At 17 years old, Wonyoung joined the likes of Squid Game’s Lee Yoo Mi and Girls’ Generation’s YoonA as one of the brand’s Korean ambassadors. With a Miu Miu collaboration under her belt, Wonyoung began her ongoing domination of the fashion and beauty industries. In the role, the K-pop star has graced several local and international brand events, including Paris Fashion Week shows.

An Impressive Portfolio

Wonyoung’s work as part of IVE matches the group’s chaebol crush concept. The outfits tend to be classy, trendy, and heavily accessorized. Through her solo activities with brands, Wonyoung boasts an impressive range of concepts. From jewelry to activewear, Wonyoung is constantly expanding her portfolio. 

In 2021 Wonyoung became the global ambassador for both innisfree and KIRSH, two popular South Korean brands. KIRSH is a casual streetwear brand with a dandy and preppy image whose style caters to a younger demographic, making Wonyoung the perfect partner. Her campaigns with KIRSH showcase her youthful, colorful side. Meanwhile, innisfree is one of South Korea’s biggest skincare brands. K-pop idols are known for their enviable “glass skin,” and Wonyoung is no exception. It’s no surprise, then, that innisfree turned to Wonyoung as their global muse.

The year 2022 was no less fruitful for the “After LIKE” singer. Just eight months into the year, she landed double the number of endorsements than she did the year prior, with an even more impressive and varied range. Wonyoung has teased a budding relationship with Italian jeweler BVLGARI after modeling their pieces for Y Magazine

Even more impressive are the five permanent positions Wonyoung has claimed as part of both South Korean and international brands. She is the official model for SK Telecom, the global model for HapaKristin, and model and ambassador for EIDER. On top of all that, she is also an ambassador for GOSPHERES, a golf clothing brand, and the first-ever Korean ambassador for French jewelry house FRED.

More recently, Wonyoung has joined shoewear brand Suecomma Bonnie and fashion brand SJSJ as an ambassador, modeling for and promoting the South Korean labels on various occasions. As of August 2023, she is also the newest ambassador for the makeup label Amuse, collaborating with the brand for a special limited drop.

As a member of IVE, Wonyoung has also participated in campaigns for globally renowned names. This year alone, the group made an appearance at luggage company RIMOWA’s event at its flagship store in Seoul and was appointed as Asia Pacific Ambassadors for PUMA. Additionally, in July 2023, the sextet became partners with the international soft drink brand Pepsi. As part of this partnership, IVE released “I WANT,” a promotional track. 

Wonyoung’s diverse collaborations prove that her charm is limitless. And so is her star power, the it girl’s collaborations with brands tend to sell out quite quickly. Wonyoung’s collaboration with the lenses brand HapaKristin sold out during a three-day presale, faster than the brand expected, on its Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian websites. In another example, a KIRSH pajama set worn by Wonyoung proceeded to sell out online on the same day she wore it.

What’s After Like?

From her athletic demeanor in her shoots for GOSPHERES to her clean, natural look for innisfree, Wonyoung is able to embody any concept. Winning first place in Produce 48, temporarily promoting as IZ*ONE’s center, and debuting in IVE has made Wonyoung one of South Korea’s most watched celebrities. One of the most awe-inspiring parts of the phenomenon that is Jang Wonyoung’s rise to fashion fame is her young age — at only 19 years old, she has shown that she shares both the work ethic and popularity of her senior idols. With a charisma that can adapt to any given setting, Wonyoung’s potential is limitless, and we are excitedly waiting for her next fashion ventures.

Liked reading about Wonyoung’s blooming fashion empire? Check out our piece about fellow Miu Miu ambassasdor YoonA’s road to fashion fame here.