The Thai Celebrities Who Have Conquered Italian Fashion

The rise of Thai pop culture is a reality to watch closely.
Published: March 24, 2024
The Thai Celebrities Who Have Conquered Italian Fashion

After the Hallyu era, Thai pop culture is gradually making its way into Italian high fashion circles, thanks to figures such as Lisa from Blackpink and the boys' love {BL) drama genre. Singers and actors from the country are making their way into the ranks of the front row and more. According to Brand Finance's Global Soft Power Index 2023, Thailand ranks 41 out of 121 nations, highlighting both its current appeal and growth potential. For over a decade, luxury brands have collaborated with major Chinese and South Korean celebrities, but today with the fashion landscape growing uncertain and the North American market stagnating, Southeast Asia has found the space to emerge as an ever-growing player.

Related article: Mile Phakphum Romsaithong Makes History as Bulgari Thailand’s First Male Friend of the Brand

Prominent artists such as Win Metawin, Davika Hoorne and Dew Jirawat have been appointed ambassadors for luxury brands such as Prada, Gucci and Bottega Veneta. Valentino also collaborated with Warner Music Thailand for Jeff Satur's first original English song, “Black Tie”, inspired by the brand's collection of the same name. Not only that, Ferrari chose Thai actor Apo Nattawin as its first and only Asian representative invited to participate in the presentation of its new apparel collection. During recent fashion shows in Milan, for both men's and women's fashion, the presence of Thai artists sparked some of the most frenetic scenes among the audience. But what do they, the protagonists of this success, think?

Memorable moments at Milan Fashion Week?

The Thai Celebrities Who Have Conquered Italian Fashion
Dew Jirawat at the Bottega Veneta Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show, February 2024.

"Living this experience in the hometown of some of the most important fashion brands in the world and participating in this fashion week was the most amazing thing,” said actor Dew Jirawat, known for his role in the Thai remake of the famous manga Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) and being at the Bottega Veneta fashion show. “Besides enjoying this moment and discovering new trends, I had the opportunity to understand the dynamics of international operations, preparations and the meticulous creation process behind each single piece. Furthermore, it was a unique opportunity to meet fans from all over Europe who came to support me."

"After the show, I was asked to go down to a reserved area. When I arrived I discovered that it was an exclusive space, accessible only to the staff,” said actor Book Kasidet, who was in Italy for the second time in a few months together with his colleague Force Jiratchapong. “There I had the opportunity to meet several celebrities who had participated in the event. What surprised me the most was meeting [Domenico] Dolce. It was a really meaningful moment for me, and I even had the chance to take a photo with him."

Related article: LOEWE Taps Baifern Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul as Its Newest Brand Ambassador

How do you think participating in Milan Fashion Week reflects the growing influence of Thai celebrities in the fashion world?

"I think it's a fantastic starting point that significantly increases the global recognition of Thai artists," said actor and singer Win Metawin at the end of the Prada show in Milan. “In the past, I thought that being part of a world-famous brand was just a dream. However, today Thai artists are gaining more and more acclaim and it fills me with immense pride to represent Thailand in this sector."

Related article: Tod’s Global Brand Ambassador Xiao Zhan Fronts Latest Spring/Summer 2024 Campaign

The Thai Celebrities Who Have Conquered Italian Fashion
Jiratchapong Srisang and Book Kasidet at the Dolce&Gabbana Party, January 2024.

What do you think is the public's reaction to the presence of Thai celebrities in the world of Italian fashion?

"Fashion represents diversity, it is art that overcomes borders,” declared actor Tay Tawan, fresh from the success of the BL drama Cherry Magic who was at the last Zegna fashion show. “Seeing individuals from every corner of the world express the beauty of this art form is engaging and makes the fashion industry even more intriguing. Although it is my first time at fashion week, Milan is a city that I have already had the pleasure of visiting and can't wait to explore further. Wandering the streets, admiring the art and architecture, and interacting with people inspires me deeply."

Men's Fashion Week featured some of Asia's most influential figures in entertainment and fashion, with the top 10 generating media value in excess of €55 million (approx. S$80 million) on Instagram alone. Among these, four were Thai stars: Fourth Nattawat, Gemini Norawit, Win Metawin and Gulf Kanawut.

How important is it for you to represent Thailand on the international fashion scene?

"Being recognised is a privilege that underlines the talent of Thai artists. I am convinced of our great potential and I hope that this is recognised on a global level,” said actor Gemini Norawit, who was among the invited guests at the Zegna fashion show together with his colleague Fourth Nattawat. “Contributing to the promotion of Italian fashion fills me with joy and pride. Personally, I hope that more and more compatriots emerge on the world fashion scene, thus allowing people from other nations to fully discover our creativity."

“Being Thai and participating in such an internationally prestigious fashion event is of great value to me,” said Fourth Nattawat, who made his screen debut just over two years ago as a guest star in the global phenomenon Bad Buddy, a drama starring Nanon Korapat and Ohm Pawat. As soon as I arrived on site, it was exciting to discover that I also have fans in Italy. This was my first experience in Europe and at fashion week, and I am deeply honoured to have been invited by such a prestigious brand."

The Thai Celebrities Who Have Conquered Italian Fashion
Blackpink's Lisa.

What role does social media play in promoting Thai talent in the Italian fashion scene?

"I think they have a significant impact on promoting the image of celebrities,” said Force at the Dolce and Gabbana men's fashion show. “The more numerous our followers, the greater our influence becomes and the value of our presence. Take Blackpink’s Lisa for example; anything she wears instantly becomes a trend and sells out instantly."

Thailand still has a long way to go to compete with Korea's success in pop culture exports. But as the Thai wave grows, more and more luxury brands are expected to rely on local talent to win new fans and expand into the Thai market.

This article was first seen on ELLE IT.

Stay ahead of the latest news, hottest trends, and dopest drops.
Subscription Form