Even from a distance, Lucas was Lucas.
He was still stubbornly wearing his crow-like outfit. If they met alone in a dark alleyway, it would have been believable if he said he had come to deliver death.
“It’s been a while, Do Wook…”
There was a pile of A4 paper on the conference room table, as if Manager Oh Baek Ho and Lucas had been in the middle of discussing something. There were also pictures of models in outfits.
“Have a seat first.”
Oh Baek Ho had Do Wook sit at the table as he exchanged greetings with Lucas.
During the KK debut activities, Lucas did truly amazing styling. They didn’t get through performances by having a sense of unity while accenting each member’s individuality. Rather, his type of styling was one that made the performance stand out.
Also, in a manner fitting for a rookie fashion designer with an eye for street fashion, he used a lot of street brands to get sponsorships from various brands.
Thanks to Lucas’s refined styling, KK was able to establish an image of being one step ahead in not only songs but also style.
Furthermore, he received a lot of advice on “normal fashion” people typically wear, so it became an opportunity for him to work on his own fashion sense. Of course Lucas, who has a particularly unique personality, was stubborn so he was still strutting around in obscure clothes without any progress.
“You should congratulate him first. Lucas is launching his brand soon.”
“It ended up working out like that…Thank you.”
Lucas replied as he rumpled his bangs that had grown past his eyebrows. His gaze, that was finally visible after the bangs were separated, was sharp.
Even while working as a KK’s stylist, Lucas did not neglect his design work. Perhaps thanks to that, he received a call from a large fashion company affiliate stating that they wanted to invest in Lucas’ brand.
It wasn’t that he didn’t have any difficulties during the process. He had to gather a lot of people and had lots of concerns over the designs. There was also friction with investors. However, after much effort, Lucas was about to have the honor of launching his very own brand.
‘Is it Kiss, Lucas…?!’
The name of the brand that Lucas would launch was ‘Kiss, Lucas’. The symbol was a diamond shape. Do Wook thought as he recalled the symbol.
Before long, even plain white shirts would be selling like hot cakes despite being expensive as long as it had even a tiny Lucas diamond symbol.
“I wanted to invite you guys…to the launch celebration. I’ve wanted to do that for a while.”
“I’m grateful! But…”
Do Wook looked at Oh Baek Ho without hiding his joy at being invited.
“I’m in the process of double checking the schedule, but I think it’ll work. He was the personal stylist for you guys, you guys shouldn’t miss it.”
Since it wasn’t the active period, there weren’t any huge problems with the schedule. It was also a good event to keep the fans happy during the break. Oh Baek Ho also said that it would be really helpful since it was their first time attending a fashion event.
“Also Do Wook…I’d like for you to be the model…”
Lucas organized the cut photos of models on the table and pushed them towards Do Wook.
His own clothes were all black, but the clothes he actually designed had such a fresh vibe to them to the point that people who personally knew him might doubt they were his. It was also very lively because of the strong primary colors mixed in here and there.
“It looks cool.”
Do Wook muttered admiringly. As expected, diamond shapes were embedded in each outfit.
Lucas pointed to one of the photos. It was one of a model wearing a vivid blue and light gray sweatshirt with dark gray pants.
“I’d like it if you’d wear this…”
“Do you mean down the runway?”
“How can I go on the runway…”
Do Wook asked, genuinely surprised.
“That’s what I’m saying. Of course it’s okay to be invited, but you might become a laughingstock if we put you on the runwy for no reason when you’re not a model.”
Oh Baek Ho was also against the idea and helped the surprised Do Wook. It was hard to tell how Lucas was feeling because he had his bangs down, but based on his expression he was determined.
The fashion company that invested in ‘Kiss, Lucas’ wanted the launch event to be the talk of the town.
Lucas was already a highly acknowledged designer in the design industry. Many graduates from the New York design school that Lucas graduated from were established in the industry, and there were many people who were fascinated by Lucas’s Northern European fashion sense that was uncommon in Korea. Because of that, many bigwigs from the industry were already expected to attend the event.
Also, if fashion companies affiliated with large businesses attended, getting celebrities to attend would be no problem.
However, the company wanted more buzz. They weren’t luxury goods, but ‘Kiss, Lucas’ sold for mid-high prices. For the sake of sales, it was important that they drew enough attention to create public awareness of the brand and be clearly recognized as a “popular brand”.
On that note, the company’s marketing team initially suggested having a top celebrity on the runway.
However, Lucas had absolutely no desire for his brand launch show to have a celebrity who didn’t fit the brand image for the sole reason that they’re famous.
As they were going back and forth, the person Lucas suggested as a model was KK member Do Wook.
Although he wasn’t a top tier celebrity like the company suggested, KK was currently the hottest celebrity group. Of course he fit the brand image as Lucas suggested, but he also had the popularity the company wanted.
“So…I’d really like you to be a part of it…Unlike typical fashion shows, the concept is ‘walking down the street’…so there’s no need to even do model walking…”
After hearing Lucas’s explanation, Do Wook could understand why Lucas had asked him to model.
‘Kiss, Lucas’ was a brand that would expand globally as they gained recognition from their launch. If he participated in the fashion show, Do Wook was also guaranteed to get noticed.
‘There’s more to it than getting people’s attention. If you don’t do a good job, it’ll only tarnish your image. Director Oh is probably worried about that too. Things I can’t foresee the outcome of are starting to appear one after another…I have to pick carefully.’
Do Wook, who was mulling it over, asked while looking through the pictures.
“Could you please explain in more detail what the ’walking down the street’ concept is like? I think I need to know before I can make a decision.”
Lucas began to explain the concept in detail starting with the overall stage composition. Do Wook and Oh Baek Ho listened to Lucas’s explanation attentively.
The day of the launch ceremony of the brand ‘Kiss, Lucas’.
The ceremony as well as the fashion show was held in a large three-story boutique in Garosugil, Shin Sa Dong.
A photo wall had been installed on the first floor, and there was time allotted for taking photos as a pre-ceremony event. The fashion show would take place on the third floor. After the fashion show would be over, they were planning to have an after-party on the second floor.
The KK members were one by one trying on the ‘Kiss, Lucas’ clothes that Lucas had sent, which were all styled differently. Lucas had sent them the items he thought were fitting with the KK members’ image in mind.
Meanwhile, Kim Won had said he would wear a bright red handkerchief, his personal item, with the white shirt Lucas had sent, so the stylists took the handkerchief and were busy hiding it.
There were pairs of Converse shoes with the logo embedded on them as a group item, so everyone was wearing them.
Ahn Hyung Seo’s jaw dropped as he watched actresses waving their hands and taking pictures in front of the photo wall. The KK members were in the back awaiting their turn.
“So dope, man.”
He tried to play it cool, but Jung Yoon Ki muttered without realizing it. He had met a lot of outstanding singers backstage. However, it was his first time meeting actors and celebrities from other fields in person.
The Life Song MC Sul Lae Im was the only famous actress they had seen until now..
“That, that person…”
Suk Ji Hoon stuttered in surprise, pointing at a middle-aged man standing in front of the elevator to go up to the third floor. Ahn Hyung Seo wondered as he looked at the good-natured looking man.
“Who is he that you’re freaking out like that?! He seems like a regular old man?!”
“It’s not just some old man! He was the head designer of Louis Vene. I’ve seen him on tv because he’s been on Korean broadcasts often these days.”
Suk Ji Hoon often watched fashion-related broadcasts. Louis Vene looked ordinary, but they were all designer. Louis Vene was a designer brand that cost several million won, up to 10 million won in severe cases, per bag.
“Wow…Lucas is on his way up.”
Ahn Hyung Seo looked at Do Wook as he muttered. Do Wook was more reserved than usual.
“Even Do Wook gets nervous sometimes? Do Wook, don’t be so nervous! You’ll do great.”
At Ahn Hyung Seo and Suk Ji Hoon’s encouragement, Do Wook looked up.
After Lucas’s persuasion, Do Wook and HIT Entertainment accepted the offer to model. As Lucas said, it wasn’t as if they were doing professional model walking so it was possible to do the runway with a reasonable amount of practice. When it came to putting in effort, he was confident.
It was a good opportunity. Do Wook had no intention of missing out on a good opportunity. He became full of confidence.
‘Yes, I just have to do well.’
The runway started about an hour later.
It was the first time that clothes from ‘Kiss, Lucas’ would be seen in public. Lucas was backstage, touching up the models’ clothes. He was on edge before the show.
Al together, there were 35 outfits in total and Do Wook was number 34, just before the ending. Compared to other models who would be on stage two or three times, Do Wook only had to go on stage once.
Of course, there were some models who looked at Do Wook with disapproving gazes for going on the runway when he wasn’t a model. It was expected since he stole their spot. Do Wook endured the stinging gazes like they were nothing. It wasn’t his fault, and it was just gazes.
On the other hand, there were many models who didn’t give it much thought because they thought it was a special model concept. Rather, some people found the appearance of an idol member interesting and wanted to be on good terms with hi.
Lucas’ touch as he and the helpers put the clothes together was delicate. You could tell how much effort Lucas had put into the clothes if you looked at the details in the clothes.
‘For the sake of the models on the runway with me… and, above all, at least for the sake of the designer, I can’t become a bother on the runway.’
As he braced himself, Lucas cleared his throat and shouted.
“I look forward to working with you!!”
Along with applause from models and helpers, the show began. In front of the stage, music played from the runway side.
The frantic atmosphere backstage was similar to a swan on the lake*. With the models and staff changing clothes and preparing props within a short time, it was practically chaos.
(TL note: It’s probably referring to how on the outside the swan looks calm and elegant but underneath, they’re legs are frantically paddling under the water. Thank you White Rabbit for the explanation.)
Do Wook, who only had to go on stage once, waited for his turn in the middle of the chaos.
Various leaves were strewn across the stage. The previous model walked down pushing a bicycle. Before that, there was even a model who went on stage riding a skateboard.
The prop Do Wook was given was a watch. Do Wook had to walk out casually, check his watch as if he were waiting for an appointment, and return backstage.
It was Do Wook’s turn.
Do Wook had practiced walking a few thousands times over a span of a few days with the help of Lucas and Suk Ji Hoon, who had acting experience as well as watched many fashion shows.
Suk Ji Hoon had said that walking naturally and standing still were honestly one of the hardest things to act out. It was because it was easy to look awkward. Because of that, there were some actors who couldn’t act out just standing around and had to act while standing against a wall.
Keeping that in mind, Do Wook looked into using his body naturally.
‘Naturally. This is the street, and I’m just walking.’
The eyes of celebrities from each field, including the KK members sitting in the audience, were focused on Do Wook.
Do Wook, who had grown, was 184 cm tall.
Although he was much shorter than the models, Do Wook flaunted his unique proportions as he flipped his hair and finished his performance flawlessly. People couldn’t help but admire his appearance. Every time Do Wook took a step, people’s gazes were drawn to Do Wook’s next step.
The last model went on the runway and the show wrapped up. When Lucas came out to give a bow, applause poured out endlessly. Everyone praised the ‘Kiss, Lucas’ outfits. It was an expected success.
After exchanging greetings with the models backstage and changing out of his outfit, Do Wook belatedly attended the after party.
Desserts on display were decorated beautifully to the point it’d be a shame to eat them.
It was hard to find the KK members at a glance among the sea of people. It happened when Do Wook took out his cell phone to ask which side they were at. A woman standing behind Do Wook passed by in a rush and pushed him without realizing it.
It caused his hand to slip and his cell phone fell to the floor. The woman had no idea that she pushed Do Wook and hurriedly went on her way.
Shocked, Do Wook watched in panic as the woman walked away. He was about to pick up his cell phone that fell on the floor.
“Here. How can you abuse the phone you received as a gift like this?”
There was a tiny crack in the cell phone screen. The person holding out the phone to Do Wook was a middle-aged man who exuded an air of importance.
Do Wook, who was about to express his gratitude, stopped in his tracks. The man was the president of ‘Yoo Sung Electronics’ that made cell phones.