#ELLECoverStar: K-Pop Star And Dior’s Newest Brand Ambassador, Kim Jisoo
From K-Pop trainee to global megastar, it took one young Korean woman nearly 10 years to unlock her full potential. Courtesy of Dior, ELLE speaks to JISOO about fashion, music, and life.
To general audiences, BLACKPINK is somewhat of a Hallyu, or “Korean wave,” miracle that is blasting to new heights at unprecedented speeds for the entire Korean entertainment industry. They’re the first female K-pop group to perform at Coachella, and they’ve collaborated with icons like Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, and Selena Gomez—even the hot-tempered firecracker rapper Cardi B has nothing but good things to say about the quartet.
Now at the top of their game, the world has forgotten that they’re only in their 20s and that they worked for years before the world knew their names. JISOO recalls: “After passing our auditions, the four of us trained for five years before we could officially debut as BLACKPINK.” Constantly honing her skills day in and day out, there’s a calming, precocious charm about JISOO’s so-called “4D personality,” a cheeky Korean term used to describe someone quirky. “BLACKPINK’s success is the result of our hard work as a group, of course, but also the dedication of all the support staff at our company.”
On Being Affectionate
BLACKPINK is famously known to be a tight-knit group, and JISOO speaks glowingly about her fellow members. “We’ve endured so much rigorous training together. From the moment we debuted as BLACKPINK, I knew that we would succeed as long as the four of us were together.” When JISOO is on set for a drama, the other members— JENNIE, ROSÉ, and LISA—dote on her with coffee and snack trucks, showing just how deep their bond is. In BLACKPINK, JISOO is the affectionate unnie, or “big sister” in Korean, and she takes it upon herself to care for the emotional needs of the other members. When LISA, a singer from Thailand, came to Korea as a trainee and felt isolated due to the language barrier, JISOO took her under her wing and encouraged her. Then there’s JENNIE, who’s usually painfully shy around strangers but has no problem opening up to JISOO.
JISOO also offers heartfelt advice to ROSÉ whenever she hits a wall during rehearsals or recording. In a past interview with ELLE, JISOO once admitted, “Even if the going gets tough, I’m reluctant to ask others for help myself.” As the pillar of strength for the other members, JISOO helps ease the group’s anxieties so that BLACKPINK can truly shine both on and off the stage. Outwardly, JISOO is a role model for her independence-seeking generation. She’s as tough as nails and resolute, but to her family, she’ll always be their lovely, well-mannered little girl. When asked about her biggest inspiration, she replies instantly: “My family! Perhaps more motivational than inspirational as they are my biggest source of stability. Whenever I face any difficulties, I can feel the strength they’ve given me and tackle problems head-on. Their unconditional love means a lot to me; it encourages me and helps me push through anything.” Perhaps this is why JISOO was able to persevere on her rise to meteoric stardom— and also what shaped her into the caring person she is today.
On Nurturing Self-Confidence
BLACKPINK’s first appearance on a fashion magazine cover was ELLE Korea in 2017. Fast-forwarding a few years, each member now has a distinct identity, and they’re all sought out by fashion brands. Megastar JISOO, absolutely glowing with confidence, says laughingly: “I’m always trying to live each moment with no regrets and feel happier every day.” And true to her word, JISOO tries anything and everything, and she seizes opportunities as they cross her path. While her musical achievements rival the likes of any other international diva, it remains her constant wish “to show BLINK [the BLACKPINK fanbase] something new.”
Outside of music, JISOO has worked hard to break into the fashion industry, and she was recently named the global brand ambassador for Dior, proving the singularity of her fashion sense. Already an it-girl to many young women across the globe, JISOO encourages women everywhere to cherish their individuality: “Only when you truly understand yourself can you find a style that suits you. Then add your personal touches to really own the style. To be truly unique, you have to trust in yourself and yourself alone. Like me, I feel incredibly confident and brave when I wear Dior, and I hope my sharing of these experiences will help women love themselves even more.” Taking only a glance at her photos on social media, it’s hard to miss how charming the singer’s confidence has made her. No matter the style, hairdo, or makeup, it seems like a walk in the park for JISOO to complete any look with her own individual flair.
On Charming The World With Her Beauty
Before JISOO was named global brand ambassador for Dior, she was already the local ambassador for Dior Beauty in Korea. Surrounded by “all things beautiful” at work and in her personal life, it seems only natural that JISOO has strong views about beauty standards: “I believe that true beauty is a manifestation of your ability to love and care for yourself. But it’s not limited to self-acceptance alone. You must be ready to accept and respect the things that set you apart from everyone else.”
JISOO says that she and Dior are a match made in heaven thanks to their aligned aesthetics—values that are apparent even in her makeup. When it comes to makeup and skincare, JISOO admires Korean women the most: “To me, Korea is a passionate country whose people take pride in their culture and values. They’re not afraid of facing challenges or trying new things, which why Hallyu makeup adapts so well to the ebb and flow of trends. It’s what we do best!”
These words coming from JISOO are certainly convincing. Next to other stars, her beauty dazzles like a supernova, exuding a flawless inner strength that seems almost eternal. “Like Dior—elegant on the outside, bold and courageous within—I may have a gentle image,” she says. “But as an artist, I want to show the world that anything is possible.” Without a doubt, JISOO is sure to become a global beauty icon and industry powerhouse in the years to come.
Content Director & Editor (India): Kamna Malik; Photo & Film Editor: Kim Hee June; Cinematographer: Kim Soo Jin; Celebrity Visual Director: Choi You Jin; Fashion Editor: June Chow; Stylist: Lee Yun Mi at BRAND L; Hair: Lee Hye Young; Makeup: Lee Suk Kyung; Manicure: Park Eun Kyung; Set: Choi Seo Yun at DA:RAK; Producer: Yu Li Na; Coordination & Edit: Karen Woo; All Wardrobe: Dior
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