Cover Kai from K-pop boyband Exo is the first Korean celebrity to have his own collection with Gucci. (Photo: Gucci)

Kai from K-pop boyband Exo is the first Korean celebrity to have his own collection with Gucci

What do you get when you combine K-pop superstar Kai of Exo with… teddy bears?

A special collaboration with Gucci, it seems. Just like the rest of South Korean boyband Exo’s phenomenal fandom, Alessandro Michele saw something in the 26-year-old singer that inspired the creative director to make him the star of a special capsule collection.

Kai was previously part of the spring-summer 2020 Gucci Eyewear campaign alongside Chinese actress NiNi, the Asian ambassador for the Gucci Eyewear line. Kai has also been Gucci’s global ambassador for the past two years, but this collection is extra meaningful as it is named after him.

In a March 2021 interview with Esquire Korea, he said: “This is the first time Gucci has launched a collection with a Korean celebrity. I am incredibly grateful and just as thrilled. It’s not easy to have a collection with your name. 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.”  

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Accompanying Kai in this collection is a quintessential toy from the childhood of many: the teddy bear. It plays a significant role in the collection, appearing as a distinctive decorative motif while wearing a blue bow tie.

The Kai x Gucci capsule collection is a selection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories that includes handbags, t-shirts, hats, small leather goods, sneakers and more. The adorable teddy bear motif on every item will remind you of the good ‘ol days of your childhood and evoke nostalgia for the wearer.

Conceived by Michele, the campaign was shot by South Korean photographer Min Hyunwoo and film director Woogie Kim as it sees Kai on the streets of Seoul, celebrating the relationship between humans and their fluffy, furry friends.

The video campaign sees Kai as he is dressed in clothes and accessories from the new collection and is accompanied by a giant teddy as he enjoys a day out buying balloons, going for a drive, dancing (of course) and meeting up with friends. The day comes to an end at Kai’s place where he play games with the rest of his teddy bear squad. Watch it below:

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Gucci also partnered with Seoul-based pop artist Im Jibin, known for his huge bear-shaped artwork installation, Bear Balloon. With his art project Everywhere, Im created impromptu art spaces by placing huge Bear Balloon in incongruous settings all over the world. Now, Gucci has produced two giant Bear Balloons in different sizes in two poses with Im, in brown and white and wearing a blue bow tie to mirror the teddy that features in the Kai x Gucci patterns.

As with many of his artworks, these bears feature a word on their faces to spread a message—in this case, it’s a simple ‘Hello’.

The Gucci Bear Balloon artworks can be seen in the Cheongdam Gucci store in Seoul, in front of the Hyundai Card Music Library in Hannam and in the Cociety Gucci Pin. Discover more at gucci.com