A New Shoppable Style Site for Fans Who Want to Dress Like Their K-Pop Idols
Rakuten Viki is hoping to harness the power of Asian entertainment fandom.
It's about to get a little easier for fans of K-Pop and Asian television to get glammed up like their favorite stars.
Style by Soompi will feature videos and stories focused on fashion and beauty, showcasing brands and products that Korean actors and influencers are using, plus how to get the look of fan-favorite K-pop idols (members of popular K-pop bands like Black Pink and Red Velvet, for example).
“It all goes back to how both Viki and the news website and fan community Soompi have always been so lean-forward,” says Mark Jocson, senior vp strategic initiatives and business development at Viki, Inc. about the impetus to start Style by Soompi. “Rakuten Viki noticed that the fans were commenting in the real-time comments of the TV shows streaming on Viki about the makeup and fashion they were seeing onscreen. The fans were giving each other tips on where to purchase the items and how to re-create the looks. In order to better serve our fans, they knew that this needed to be taken out of the comment section and given an official home — which is Style by Soompi.”
Harnessing the immense fan desire for fashion and beauty content, Rakuten Viki has a new creator studio where it will be recording regular style features, including “Regular People Try,” “Instagram Decides My Look" and "Day to Night." Popular influencers Hyulari (@hyulari) and Hana Lee (@hanaylee) are signed on to be regular contributors.
“Because we have this direct connection with consumers, we’re able to look through reviews and comments to show that our users really want to understand where idols shop, get their makeup or how their eyeshadow or lipstick is done,” says Jocson. “We have been conversing with our fans for over 20 years and we realized through fan engagement that there was a hole in the market.”
Soompi was launched in 1998 by Korean-American developer Susan Kang and has become the go-to site for Korean pop culture and breaking K-pop news. A relaunch of the site, including the new Style by Soompi vertical, is slated to coincide with this year’s KCON event, the world’s largest Korean pop culture fan convention and music festival, happening Aug. 10-12 in Los Angeles.