Wednesday, June 3, 2009
wonder girls in forever 21
So last weekend my friend went shopping, without me, and she sent me this picture. Both me and her are really into korean music and so when she saw this shirt she just had to send it to me. When I saw it, I was just shocked. When I got back home (we live together) we talked about it. Being Korean owned, it was no wonder that Forever would support their own artists. For thosewho do not know, the Wondergirls are a recently popular girl group in korea and they have a strong fan base around the world. I think they are coming out with an english album soon, but Im not to sure about it. But anyways, after our talk I got on my computer and I found an article that was talking about the shirt.
In this article it talked about how the shirt was not catergorized as a Wondergirls shirt, as matter of fact Forever does not mention them at all. Instead it labels the shirt as a "window shopping tank," but anyone who knows of hte Wondergirls can tell that is them. One of the girls on the shirt is wearing their signature outfit from their recent hit "Nobody." Although Forever did not label it as a Wondergirls shirt they are slowly introducing their culture to Americans. Forever is probably trying to encourage their cultural pride to their community (Parminder Bhachu). Forever is one of the most popular youth fashion stores, and its the best way to promote their culture. I would have thought they would label the shirt or atleast name the Wondergirls somewhere, but since they did not the shirt is like a knockoff. Actually on the website that I was reading, members of the site found the exact pictures that where copied. Since Forever couldnt get a real shirt, they had to make their own. Some people who commented on the site, stated that Forever was known for making Knockoffs. As a consumer of F21, I never knew this side. Maybe that is why F21 is so popular. I guess Wondergirls should feel flattered that a Korean-American wants to promote them in his store. It is a gret way to get publicity.
Another article that it reminded of was the "Tracing Transnationalities" article. It reminded me of it, because the owner of F21 was a Korean that immigrated to US. He is a transnational in the sense that he is a diaspora looking for a way to connect to the home country. Although he is in a new land or space, he still tries to connect back to his homeland. Not only is trying to connect back, but he is also sharing his culture to his new home. It's like he is trying to make a hybrid culture that suits him, and anyone else who is like him. He does this by commodifying the Wondergirls into a shirt, but not labeling it as a Wondergirls shirt. By doing so he is subtly inching in his native culture with his new culture. By labeling the shirt by an unknown artists, many Americans will be disdained from buying the shirt. People who buy that shirt, are usuallu people who already know who are on the shirt. However since it isn't labled as anything related to Korea, the shirt is just a regular "window shopping tank" anyone can buy it and enjoy it.
Claire Dwyer "Tracing transnationalities through commondity culture"
Parminder Bhachu "Designing Diasporic Markets: Asian Fashion Entrepreneurs in London"
Melissa A. Decker "Knockouts of Knockoffs: The Global Implication of Fashion Policy"