[Article] BTS Is Back! The K-Pop Kings Talk Their New Album and Ever-Evolving Style
Just ahead of the release, the members sat down for an exclusive interview with Vogue to break down their new look and evolving personal style. Despite a long day of filming and dance rehearsals, they were in good spirits, laughing and chattering happily. “Let’s go!” J-Hope said. Here, we do.
Q.Tell us about the new visual concept for this album. What kind of style did you pick to express it?
Suga: It’s about boys falling in love. There are four versions of love, and we shot four different photos to show them. Though each one is different, the same feeling of love comes through in every shot. There’s a sense of playfulness, of friends hanging out comfortably at home in their free time, and that kind of fluttering feeling. Visually, we cover a lot of ground.
The lyrics and the music themselves are about finding your fate. In this album, we cover a wide range of songs: There are high-energy ones, very hip-hop ones. It’s quite diverse. To match it, the style covers a range of colorful, sporty, leisure, and boyish clothes. They go well together: powerful music, colorful clothes.
J-Hope: It’s very colorful and sporty, overall. I think there’s a slightly retro feel, too. Among the seven members, I think we each kind of bring out our hidden boyishness through our clothes.
Suga: It’s totally different. When we did You Never Walk Alone, we wore a lot of casual clothes. This time, it’s a lot flashier. Super colorful, yet more high-end and comfortable at the same time. More of that comforting feeling.
J-Hope: Right, this time we wanted to show more of that boyish style.
Q. How would you describe BTS’s style in general, looking back across your work?
Rapmon: Just style.
Jimin: Truthfully, we have a very energetic style, I would say.
Q. A lot has been said about the kind of individuality you hope to express as a band. Is that something that comes into play with your style, letting each member’s own persona come through?
Jimin: Of course; it’s important. With each new album, we do a lot of fittings. And each time we do those fittings, we talk a lot and always share our thoughts as we go. We put a lot of effort into looking for clothes that express ourselves and the feelings we want to express with each album’s concept. We want to show that, [but] without losing our individuality either.
V: I don’t think we have one signature. With each concept, we change it up completely and the styles have been so diverse. For “Boy in Luv,” we wore school uniforms. For “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” it was a range of suits and white shirts. As artists, we have to change our style to match each concept. We’re always changing, ever changing.
Q. Do you have a favorite piece you wore for this comeback?
Suga: I loved all the oversize shirts.
Jungkook: Me too. There’s a loose, navy chiffon shirt I wore with slacks that was particularly light and comfortable. I liked that a lot.
J-Hope: I liked wearing those basketball jerseys, and those ultra-colorful sweaters, too.
Rapmon: There was a really big windbreaker that I liked because it was so big.
V: I liked everything, but the accessories most of all. Particularly all the rings and earrings, I liked those the most.
Jimin: For me, it was the bright red shirt from “DNA.”
Q. Who do you think has changed the most since you debuted?
Suga: V has changed a lot, and Jimin changed a lot.
Rapmon: Jungkook, too.
Q. In what way?
Jimin: We’ve all gotten old.
J-Hope: Our maknae line [the youngest members] has changed a lot. They are the youngest and looked it when we debuted, but now, they look more grown-up.
Jin: Like Jimin. Overall, his face changed from cute to sexy.
Q. What do you want most for this comeback?
Suga: To make the Billboard Hot 100 is my dream.
J-Hope: Let’s get it! Dream!
Rapmon: I would like all the members to be healthy.
Suga: It’s the most important thing, really.
Jimin: I would like to be 3 centimeters taller.
V: For real. I want to have wide shoulders like Jin.
Jimin: Me too [laughs]. For real.
Suga: If everyone could be happy, I would be happy.
Jungkook: For me, I’d like to travel a lot. Anywhere would be great. And if I could learn to speak English and Japanese well, that would be great, too.
J-Hope: I also would like the members to be healthy and happy. And everyone else, all our fans.
Q. Any last words for your American fans?
J-Hope: Of course, American Army.
Suga: No matter what, our American Army is so big, and we are so very thankful to them. From now on, we want to put on even cooler performances, be cooler, be better, so look forward to it. Please, always look forward to it.
V: Thank you! We love American Army so much!
Q. Tell us about your personal style. What are you into lately?
V: In my case, I like to pick one piece that pops against everything else. I like flashy shirts, or I’ll wear a simple shirt with a fancy necktie. I also like vintage pieces, more standout ones. I’ll go to certain boutiques and look for clothes without labels. You can find a lot of nice unbranded shirts, and I wear those a lot.
Jimin: To be honest, I don’t think much about style, or “oh, this is my style,” that sort of thing. I follow my mood, which is so different day to day. Generally, I like a wide range of styles, but lately, I’ve been reaching for comfortable, simple things. Simple slacks and shirts.
Jungkook: Are you familiar with the term paealmot [fashion-know-nothing]? I don’t know anything about fashion. So for me, I reach for anything comfortable. I wear a lot of athleisure and workout clothes—sweatpants and sweatshirts—as I like to stay active.
Jin: I like to dress warmly, comfortably as I go around. Naturally I like easy fashion. My style is clean, polished, and gentle looking. Or you could say I prefer to wear big sweatshirts and hoodies.
J-Hope: I’m into streetwear, and more colorful looks. These days, bags have become more of a thing for me—these mini cross bags are so great.
Suga: These days I’m wearing a lot of Jordans, those sneakers. I’ve been wearing a lot of slippers, too, and comfortable clothes in general. I really like that kind of oversize fit.
Rap Monster: These days, I’m most into staying comfortable. I do have a lot of interest in Japanese brands, so I’ve been looking at cool Japanese hyungs [older brothers] and carefully studying their style. Brands like WTAPS, Visvim, I like a lot.
What is one item you can’t live without?
V: I like old-school, vintage-style glasses a lot. As for accessories, I really like them all.
Jimin: I like accessories a lot. Hats, caps, beanies, I like all of them. I also look for special standout earrings, rings, necklaces … I like to layer them on heavily.
Jungkook: I don’t like accessories all that much, except for hats. I like bucket hats and beanies a lot, and I sometimes wear rings or bracelets. I’m the kind of person that if I put it on once, I’ll leave it on forever.
Jin: I like silver accessories. I think they suit me well.
J-Hope: I like hats a lot—bucket hats, sun caps, beanies, and fitted caps. And like I said before, I like bags a lot. I like shoes that stand out, too. Lately, I’ve been wearing a lot of running shoes, the kind that look good with very wide pants.
Suga: I also love accessories, especially bracelets and rings. King rings, the really big ones. I’ll wear a lot of them at once.
Rap Monster: I like hats. As for a favorite … I like all of them, though? Really. I wear hats all the time.
How much interest do you have in fashion?
Jin: “How do I mix and match these things together … ” I tend to stand in front of the closet worrying like that.
Who is your style icon right now?
V: I don’t have a big role model at the moment, but later on, I would like to channel [actor] Ryoo Seung-bum [who is known for his unique style].
Jimin: I don’t have one exactly, but I like to look on the Internet for cool, well-dressed people and get inspired that way.
Jungkook: I am my own role model. I want to follow myself.
Jin: [Actor] Kang Dong Won. The clothes he wears, it’s the fit and style I like.
J-Hope: I like A$AP Rocky. How to put it … he dresses on-trend, but he also dresses for himself. He’s made his own style. It’s hip, but has a clean, polished kind of feel. That whole A$AP Mob style, I like.
Suga: Like Jungkook, I don’t really have one. I just look for what I like and what I feel comfortable wearing.
Rap Monster: Cool hyungs I look up to, even people I pass on the street in Seoul. People dress so well here, it’s easy to get inspired.