South Korea’s dystopian drama Squid Game has sparked a dessert frenzy, sparked interest in Korean education, crowned Netflix’s oldest extension yet. And Squid Game now gets craze for Halloween costumes. But the show’s dominance doesn’t end there; it is entering our collective cultural consciousness from multiple angles. The latest acquisition? Fashion.
The popularity of Calamares has led to a surge in interest in everything to do with the minimalist retro fashions shown in the series: white tracksuits, jumpsuits, and slip-ons. Add to this an influx of merchandise and significant interest from top lavish brands in the stars of the show, and the influence is undeniable.
Chae Kyung-sung, The show’s art director, spoke about the intentional nostalgia for the 1970s chimpanzee aesthetic cultivated by mentioning old children’s books and old publications. In an interview, he revealed that the two primary colors used, green and pink, were among the first artistic decisions to be made in the software to amplify the difference between the contestants and the guards. So we wanted to use pink to imply doing a little unusual. In that way, we could symbolize pink as a double-sided environment that could give a construction to represent Squid Game’s cruel world.
You’d think this would mean many costume ideas, considering the show was timely to be a Halloween hit. It is certainly the case: a news magazine reported that a cascade of costumed Squid has descended onto Amazon. Think of exact replicas of the software’s boiler suits, complete with the spooky black masks of the soldiers. Like the ones players wear in the software, a green tracksuit is currently the best-selling men’s suit on Amazon. It is not from exile.
But the aesthetic influence of the software is not limited only to a holiday known for pretentiousness. The costume options for the show go further, and not necessarily just as costumes. Take Vans’ white slip-on sneakers, worn by the 456 contestants who participated in the games. According to British retailer Sole Supplier, searches for that exact pair have increased by a whopping 7,800 percent since the extension of the software. Separately from Vans, searches for white slip-on across universal have skyrocketed 97 percent globally. Sure, providing versatile shoes, but it’s hard to believe. That surge in interest could be due to anything other than the success of Netflix.
The same goes for tracksuits. According to the universal fashion search platform Lyst, searches for retro-inspired tracksuits increased by 97 percent, while searches for red bathing suits increased by 62 percent.
There is no particularly novel or trendy minimum in these cozy outfits. Still, little about they work outside of the software. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it all.
Logically, a lot of merchandise has appeared. Netflix created a chain of t-shirts and sweatshirts inspired by the software, including important references (participant 456!) And symbols that are easily recognizable by anyone who has seen it. Squids. You can even design your t-shirt, choosing graphics and words (in English or Korean) that sound the most familiar to you.
Walmart has also jumped on the merchandising bandwagon. It is working with Netflix to betray exclusive pieces inspired by its most popular originals: the Calamari collection will soon hit US stores. These trade associations indicate the echelon of interest that is given not only to Calamares. It is a distinctive aesthetic, but there is a fortune to beat software as a cultural entity.
On a similar but more luxurious note, Louis Vuitton secured one of Calamares’ stars, Jung Ho-Yeon, as its new universal ambassador for the house. Now Jung is the most followed South Korean actress on Instagram, catapulted by the success of the software and gaining millions of fans almost from shadow to morning. Suppose the collection is not Calamari-themed rightly. In that case, the influence of the series here is little that the retailers are grasping.
Whether it’s merchandise, costumes, or significant retailers coming out to party, the Squid Target is slowly solidifying dominance over both our streaming devices and our closets. Also, these retro fashioned costumes of Squid Game can use to get craze for Halloween parties.