BTS Looks to Sustainable Fashion for Appearance at U.N. Headquarters

·3 min read

BTS is back at the United Nations.

Three years since the most popular K-pop boy band in the world made a splash at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City, BTS returned to accompany President Moon Jae-in of South Korea on Monday ahead of the opening of the 76th annual General Assembly.

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The president tapped the seven-member group, which consists of RM, Jungkook, Jimin, Jin, Suga, J-Hope and V, to be the U.N.’s Special Presidential Envoys for Future Generations and Culture for the Republic of Korea and help encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Each member of BTS wore custom suits made by RE;CODE, a sustainable label based in Korea.

“This suit design aims to support sustainable fashion and it is particularly designed for BTS’ speech at [the] United Nations,” the brand said on its official Instagram account.

Additionally, they all wore rainbow crystal Swarovski pins representing the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.

In their seven-minute speech, the group, who stated they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, highlighted the importance of getting the vaccine and praised young people all over the world for their resiliency during the pandemic, stating that they are not a “lost generation” because of this.

Members of South Korean K-pop band BTS, from left, V, Suga, Jin, RM, Jung Kook, Jimin and J-Hope appear at the United Nations meeting. - Credit: AP
Members of South Korean K-pop band BTS, from left, V, Suga, Jin, RM, Jung Kook, Jimin and J-Hope appear at the United Nations meeting. - Credit: AP


“I’ve heard that people in their teens and 20s today are being referred to as COVID’s lost generation,” said RM, born Kim Nam-joon, the group’s leader. “But I think it’s a stretch to say they’re lost just because the path they tread can’t be seen by grown-up eyes.”

“Instead of the ‘lost generation,’ a more appropriate name would be the ‘welcome generation’ because instead of fearing change, this generation says ‘welcome’ and keeps forging ahead,” said Jin, born Kim Seok-jin.

Over the weekend, the group made a video where they danced and sang their way through the U.N. Headquarters, performing their latest hit single “Permission to Dance,” which is the band’s third English-language single. Their first two, “Dynamite” and “Butter,” became worldwide sensations, breaking the record for most views for a music video within 24 hours on YouTube.

BTS then made stops around New York City, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where RM made another speech at an event celebrating artisans of Korea.

They also met up with Megan Thee Stallion, who recently collaborated with them to create a remixed version of “Butter,” which was released a few weeks ago. The rapper uploaded selfies of herself and the band on her Instagram account. “It’s Thee HotGirl Coach and BTS 😛,” she captioned it.

During their appearance, which was broadcast on the U.N.’s official YouTube channel, BTS raked in over one million views as they took the podium. Their large legions of fans, known as Army, flooded the comments immediately.

In the last few years, members of BTS have become heavily involved in the fashion world, wearing brands like Gucci, Chanel, Prada and Balenciaga. In April, Louis Vuitton tapped the boy band to be its latest brand ambassadors.

“I am delighted BTS are joining Louis Vuitton,” Virgil Abloh, men’s artistic director at Vuitton, said in a statement. “I am looking forward to this wonderful partnership, which adds a modern chapter to the house, merging luxury and contemporary culture. I can’t wait to share all the very exciting projects we are working on.”

In a statement, BTS returned the sentiment: “Becoming global brand ambassadors for Louis Vuitton is a truly exciting moment for us. We are excited for our upcoming projects with Virgil Abloh.”

In July, the French fashion house released a short film promoting Abloh’s fall 2021 collection, featuring all seven BTS members.


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