Gucci's Global Ambassador, EXO's Kai, graces the covers of Esquire Korea February 2022 Issue.


Gucci's Global Brand Ambassador, EXO's Kai, has returned to rock the cover of Esquire Korea with the latest Gucci Tiger Collection.

In not only one but three versions of the cover, Kai can be seen donning various looks with multiple Gucci pieces inspired by the Year of the Tiger.

"The third animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac, the tiger, represents strength, courage, and the power to rid the world of evil," noted NYC-based media Gotham Magazine.

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The collection of ready-to-wear and accessories expresses the Creative Director of Gucci Alessandro Michele's "fascination with the beauty of nature." The big cat motif on dresses, sweaters, sneakers, and handbags was inspired by a lat 1960s archival design by Vittorio Accornero, the artist and illustrator of Gucci's signature floral design. 

A total of 80 pieces in the collection are implemented against a pastel-infused palette of greenery and flowers. Silk skirts, embellish wallets, baseball caps, and a variety of shoe styles are also available, with certain pieces crocheted and embroidered — which might become one-of-a-kind collector items later on.

Some of the pieces that can be seen on Kai are a bright green knit sweater, a white cardigan with green highlights, and Gucci Tiger GG medium tote bag. Meanwhile, pieces from other collections include GG leather jackets and trousers.

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A staple in the fashion industry

Kim Jong-In, who is more known by his stage name Kai, is a member of the South Korean boy group EXO and supergroup SuperM. He was chosen as Gucci's Global Ambassador back in 2019 and the only South Korean ever appointed.

The ambassadorship was first revealed on September 6, 2019, through Gucci's official Weibo account. He made his debut in a Gucci advertisement, particularly the Fall/Winter 2019 Eyewear global campaign.

Alessandro Michele spoke up on the reason why Kai was chosen, saying he is perfect in delivering the look, and his facial expression "has the fascinating power to elicit a variety of imaginary reactions, giving off the message of a belief in your individual power".

Then in 2020, Kai was again tapped by Michele to front the brand's S/S 2020 eyewear campaign in a fashion film, alongside his partner from the previous campaign, Chinese actress Ni Ni. Not long after, he also modeled for Gucci's Aria Fall/Winter 2021 collection.

Kai took the ambassador position to another level by teaming up with the brand for a limited-edition capsule collection. Only a few other Gucci ambassadors have been given the honor. The Kai x Gucci collection featured the "dancing machine" love for teddy bears, as the motifs are stamped on handbags, leather goods, sneakers, and clothing.

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That was then, and in 2022, Lyst mentioned Kai as one of the celebrities whose fashion choices made the biggest spikes in searches and sales, alongside stars such as Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and both the Biebers. He is the only Korean celebrity on the "Power Dressers" list made by the London-based fashion company.

The name "Kai" has prompted the increase in searches for Gucci by 264 percent on Lyst's website, which is no surprise as he was also chosen as the ambassador of Seoul fashion Week in September 2021, among many celebrities.

When asked about his passion for fashion, Kai explained how he used his clothes to express himself.

"I used to only think about how to sing or how to dance, but now that I've been a singer for ten years, I came to think about how to express myself as an artist," said the singer who just released his second EP in November 2021.



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