When aespa‘s debut was first announced in October 2020, there was considerable hype about their debut concept, which was soon revealed to be an AI-centered one!

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| SM Entertainment

With their unique, fururistic concept, it’s only fitting that they would have the best kind of styling to create their ideal image, and famous designer Kay Kim was enlisted to help create aespa’s gorgoeus debut outfits!

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Kay Kim (left) and model Honey Lee (right)

In an interview, Kay Kim revealed that Lee Soo Man himself reached out to her to come up with designs befitting SM Entertainment‘s newest girl group, and she further revealed why she took up the challenge, albeit with a bit of hesitation.

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| SM Entertainment

I was asked to come up with artistic and haute couture-like costumes so that it could create the image of Aespa who is new, artistic and unique. I accepted the offer as I found the concept of the girl group interesting, especially the avatar thing, as it reflects the current era where people in the real world interact with a virtual world.

I was intrigued by the fact that it was a project about the future of people.

—Kay Kim

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| The Korea Times

Kay Kim then opened up about how the process of creating outfits for aespa’s digital, AI-centric concept was much more difficult than anticipated, for the group had a brand-new concept not seen in K-Pop before.

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| SM Entertainment

She revealed that to help her ideate, she met all 4 members of aespa multiple times, having one-on-one discussions with Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning to get an idea of how best to create outfits that fit each member’s uniqueness and individuality. Along with these meetings, she also listened to the gorup’s debut song, “Black Mamba” tons of times to get the vibe and feel of what a group with avatars would look like performing the song onstage!

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And her hard work and dedication paid off, because aespa debuted with some iconic outfits that helped them cement themselves as one of 2020’s top rookies!

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| SM Entertainment

Kay Kim not only designed their debut outfits, she also designed a few of their stage outfits as well! Upon aespa’s debut, the group revealed that as a congratulatory present for debuting, Lee Soo Man gifted the girls trendy jackets designed by none other than Kay Kim!

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| aespa/V Live

aespa debuted in November 2020, with the digital single “Black Mamba”.

Watch it here!