On Wednesday, Alo announced Jisoo as the spokesperson for its spring 2024 campaign.
Speculation about whether the mononymous Blackpink star was in cahoots with the L.A.-based activewear brand started months ago, when Jisoo started appearing in the brand’s apparel, sometimes from head-to-toe. Jisoo, 29, has 77 million Instagram followers and has been a member of the band, which is a global sensation, since its formation in 2016. Blackpink has around 92 million YouTube subscribers, while Taylor Swift has about 56 million.
Alo has worked with several high-profile celebrity ambassadors in the past including Kendall Jenner and — just a few weeks ago, to promote the launch of its supplements in capsule form — Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The brand looks for talent who organically “weave into its existing ecosystem,” or “Alosphere,” said Summer Nacewicz, its evp of marketing and creative. In October, the privately owned brand sought investment based on a $10 billion valuation.
Jisoo discovered Alo on her own, Nacewicz said. But when she was in Los Angeles for the last U.S. stop of Blackpink’s “Born Pink” tour in August 2023, the brand invited her to its HQ and gifted her products. Conversations between the star and the brand began about six months before that, in February 2023.
“We never jump into partnerships without mutually figuring out whether it’s going to be a good fit and not super transactional,” Nacewicz said. “We want people who are excited about the brand and want to be a part of it.”
Nacewicz said, based on Jisoo’ will’s global appeal, she’ll help expand the brand’s awareness in Asia and other parts of the world. “[Jisoo’s] got massive reach and high engagement. Her fans love her. So we’ll be reaching new eyes through her,” she said.
Alo currently has two store locations in Southeast Asia — in Thailand and Malaysia. It will open in Indonesia opening in March, followed by locations in Jakarta and Bali in the third quarter. Though Alo does not yet have stores in Korea, it is a growing market for the brand via online orders. The brand is also rapidly expanding its store presence in the U.K. — Nacewicz said Huntington-Whiteley’s appointment was connected to this expansion. “Rosie has a massive, really high affinity in the U.K.,” she said.
“Brand awareness [in Korea] has been growing fast since Jisoo [started wearing Alo], but because we don’t have local physical stores, it isn’t super high,” Nacewicz said.
When Jisoo wore all Alo for a Blackpink soundcheck, “it kicked off a lot of fan speculation [on social media] about how she and Alo would be working together,” Nacewicz said. In addition, Jisoo wore an Alo look to the airport in Korea, where “airport fashion” is a big source of inspiration. “I think the launch is going to be very well received,” Nacewicz added.
The spring campaign features Jisoo wearing “iconic, classic Alo core styles,” as described by Nacewicz. That includes leggings sets and the brand’s Accolade sweats in a pink hue dubbed Soft Mulberry, which will drop on January 29. Alo releases new colors of existing styles every two weeks. A few days prior, on January 24, Alo will release a limited-edition pink colorway of its Alo x 01 Classic sneaker, which is also featured in the campaign.
“We wanted Jisoo to drive the looks that she wanted to wear,” Nacewicz said. “[We went] back and forth with the team until we found looks that both Alo was really excited about featuring and Jisoo was excited to wear.”
Several members of Alo’s team, including Nacewicz, flew to Korea to shoot the campaign. “We wanted the focus to be on Jisoo, so we kept it clean and minimal. But we nodded to her stardom through the retro audio video props, like a VCR and camcorders,” Nacewicz said.