Wonder Girls’ agency JYP Entertainment have found an interesting way to build an early buzz for the girl group’s upcoming American assault — the fashion industry. Although their US album still hasn’t been completed, Wonder Girls have become an increasingly frequent presence on the fashion scene, which seems to be a calculated promotional strategy to increase their awareness before the real album promo begins.
Recently, Wonder Girls landed a placement and feature article in Paper magazine’s ‘Beautiful People 2011′ issue (see above), a stylish feature in the artsy Interview magazine, and a spot in Teen Vogue’s ‘Six Up-&-Coming Music Acts to Watch’ feature alongside Adele, Lupe Fiasco, and Christina Perri.
They’ve also been all over the fashion show circuit, spotted sitting front row with Vanessa Hudgens and other US celebrities at shows for Anna Sui, Jeremy Scott, and Vivienne Tam. Not to mention international shows, too, being snapped sitting front row at Chloé’s Anniversary show in Shanghai, China.
While Wonder Girls play the role of budding fashionistas, their fans have been growing impatient for some actual music from the fivesome, which has now been delayed more times than I can count. JYP recently addressed the situation on Twitter, stating that the delay is due to the schedules of the top US producers he’s roped in to work on the girls’ album, as well as the top secret US record deal that he’s been keeping hush hush.
“I’m sorry about the Wonder Girls album being so late. You’ll be able to understand and forgive me once you see that the world’s best composers, singers, and companies are involved. Because they’re the busiest people in the world, I can’t have everything my way, but everything’s slowly coming to a finish. If you see who they are, you’ll forgive me!”
Wonder Girl Yenny also spoke out about their new album, but remained tight-lipped on the producers they’ve been in with: “There are a lot of other producers that we’re meeting with now, but we can’t tell you the details yet. But you’ll be amazed. We were very grateful for working with them.”
She also elaborated on the group’s goal to further crack the American market:
“There were no other Asian artists who had really broken into the U.S. market. We thought maybe we could be the ones.”
“When we first came to America, people said, ‘They won’t make it — they’re dreaming too big’ “, Yenny says. “Even though we’re not on top yet, we’re getting there, step-by-step.”
While they wait to finalize things with their US album, the girls have been continually working hard on improving their English skills, as well as rehearsing choreography and undergoing more vocal training in the studios of JYP’s New York HQ.
In addition to everything mentioned, there also seems to be an effort to assert Yenny as the unofficial new leader of Wonder Girls. Her English skills are some of the best in the group, as are her vocals, and her sudden switch to blonde hair appears to be a way to make her stand out within the Wonder Girls. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a calculated move on the part of the group’s US management Jonas Group (who managed Jonas Brothers) to give American audiences something more familiar to identify with, as they’re used to most girl groups having a Beyonce or a Nicole Scherzinger in front.
The future of the Wonder Girls still seems uncertain, but at least we know JYP is taking their second US launch seriously — unlike SM Entertainment with BoA and YG Ent with Se7en. It feels like a real old fashioned grassroots effort, building them organically. The first time around, JYP got Wonder Girls on the Hot 100, a tour with the Jonas Brothers, a solo tour, and two high-profile TV appearances on The Wendy Williams Show and So You Think You Can Dance. I can’t wait to see what he brings this time around.
Check out photos from Wonder Girls’ recent magazine spreads, as well as a fashion show shot below.