Monsta X’s Shownu on His New York Fashion Week Runway Debut, Practicing, and More

Shownu, the leader of Monsta X, has made his New York Fashion Week debut with a bang.

On January 25, it was announced that Shownu would not only front the Concept Korea show as an ambassador for the fall/winter 2024 season, but also as a model at the NYFW February 13 show. To promote Concept Korea, Shownu fronted several campaigns, also appearing across social media platforms and on billboards in Times Square.

Concept Korea, established in 2010, is a runway show that brings a glimpse of Seoul’s flourishing fashion scene to NYFW. The event spotlights up-and-coming designers from South Korea, giving them a chance to show their designs to a global audience in one of the world’s major fashion capitals. This year, Concept Korea also featured the brands MMAM, CHARM’S, and KIMMY.J, which showed last season as well.

MMAM is helmed by founder and designer Hyun Park, who uses a balance of minimalist silhouettes and maximalist textures and patterns to create contemporary clothing. This season, Park channeled the joy and creativity of youth into designs. “When I was building this collection, I was thinking about my childhood, just playing around with my parents’ clothing,” Park tells Teen Vogue. “So I want the audience to take away the dream that they used to have, and the playfulness they used to have with their parents’ clothes, but most importantly, the woman they have become.”

Inspired by attraction, CHARM’S is led by designer Yohan Kang, who specializes in post-contemporary clothing. Kang tells Teen Vogue further, “The inspiration comes from all the stars in a very, very dark day, but because of the star you’re gazing upon, you’re not afraid of the dark. So focused on the bright side… I want the audience to also get the same energy that I condensed in the collection.”

KIMMY.J, founded by Heejin Kim and Haeun Lee, takes an innovative approach to fashion that is informed by space and the spiritual world, including things such as tarot cards. In conversation with Teen Vogue, the founders cite Shownu as a muse for the brand, expressing their gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate and show the world the creative passion coming out of Seoul. During preparation for the collection, they wondered what trends were popular in New York, finding many were similar to South Korea’s and proving we are all interconnected.

As the ambassador for this season’s Concept Korea runway, Shownu has modeled for all three of the featured brands. He opened the show wearing a deconstructed cropped blazer by MMAM. For CHARM’s, he modeled a sweeper and fur-trimmed leather jacket. He closed the show with KIMMY.J designs, in a fur-trimmed hood and puffer jacket.

Shownu walks the runway wearing MMAM at the Concept Korea fashion show during New York Fashion Week The Shows at...

Monsta X has developed a characteristic sense of style and fronted a fair share of fashion campaigns over the years, but this marks the leader’s New York Fashion Week runway debut. To honor the occasion, we catch up with Shownu before the show and chat about all things fashion and more.

Teen Vogue: Can you tell us a little about how this partnership with Concept Korea came to be?

Shownu: I got the offer from Concept Korea, and I joined the team to support Korean designers. I’m honored to be here.

Shownu walks the runway wearing CHARMS at the Concept Korea fashion show during New York Fashion Week The Shows at...

Shownu: At first I didn’t know that I would be doing the runway, but since I joined the team, I decided to do the runway. It was a little bit of pressure and stress, but I’m enjoying the stress now — and I’m enjoying the moment.

TV: What did you do to prepare for your runway walk?

Shownu: I got lessons from top global models in Korea, and I practiced and rehearsed while I had free time, [along] with CRAVITY’s Minhee.

Shownu walks the runway wearing KIMMY J at the Concept Korea fashion show during New York Fashion Week The Shows at...

TV: How has getting your hair and makeup done for the runway been different from the process for music videos and concerts?

Shownu: To be honest, I’m not used to the style of runway makeup and hair, and I always have this one artist who I work with for music videos and then performances. But this time I had to work with a fashion freelancer. I’m not that sensitive about these kinds of things, but I still feel the difference in makeup and hair.

TV: How are you feeling now, just a few moments from performing and walking the runway?

Shownu: I usually take the rehearsal seriously, and I do things the same way that I did in the rehearsal. So I’m not nervous.

Shownu walk the runway wearing KIMMY J at the Concept Korea fashion show during New York Fashion Week The Shows at...

TV: How are you going to celebrate when this is over?

Shownu: It’s nothing to celebrate about myself, but I want to honor the designers. I want to take part in supporting the designers in PR and marketing with my image.

TV: Anything else you’d like to add?

Shownu: Thanks for having interest in me and for fans. I’m happy to show my new side doing runway, so I want to do it well, and then go back home safely.

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