There’s no denying that within the yr 2023, girls rule the music business. Pop powerhouses like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are breaking touring information, whereas artists like Dua Lipa and Karol G are taking on streaming. Even inside hip-hop, forces like Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and Latto are shaping the cultural dialog and dominating the charts.
However for years now, there’s been a gaping gap inside the business in the case of the lady group—a gap that Hybe (the Okay-pop leisure powerhouse accountable for BTS, Seventeen, and different hitmakers) and Geffen Information are working to fill with their new sequence The Debut: Dream Academy. The present is about to premiere September 1 on YouTube, with new episodes airing over the next 12 weeks. The enterprise is bound to be binge-worthy, with 20 contestants (whittled down from over 120,000 submissions) from everywhere in the world competing for a ultimate spot within the yet-to-be-named supergroup. Assume Making the Band meets the viewer-voting element of American Idol. It marks the primary time a U.S. file label and a Okay-pop leisure model have teamed as much as create an act with a really world scope and attain. A documentary following the course of the competitors will even premiere on Netflix in 2024.
In fact, a dream group requires a dream crew behind it. Dream Academy has trend and movie business veterans in key roles: Humberto Leon, the co-founder of trend retailer Opening Ceremony, serves as artistic director. Shirley Kurata, who has created costumes for Billie Eilish and Selena Gomez and who was nominated for an Oscar for her work on Every little thing All over the place All at As soon as, is lead stylist. And Andrew Thomas Huang, the Grammy-nominated director of music movies for artists like FKA Twigs and Björk, is orchestrating visuals.
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“Working with the Dream Academy trainees was an absolute delight. I used to be in awe of their sheer expertise—from gymnastics to vocals to ballet to performing. Each particular person trainee I met was so inspiring and a pleasure to collaborate with,” mentioned Huang, who directed the video quick asserting the launch of the sequence this week. “I’m honored to be among the many first to seize them on digital camera, and it was such a delight to work beneath the artistic path of Humberto Leon—he’s a real visionary.”
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Kurata says Leon’s connection to the challenge is what bought her. “Something that Humberto Leon is related to, I’m at all times down for, as a result of he has such an important imaginative and prescient for all issues artistic and I do know that he’ll give it a style degree that’s elevated,” Kurata advised Harper’s Bazaar. “Okay-pop can also be so universally liked and it’s so thrilling to see, as a result of rising up, it was often such a distinct segment factor. Now, it’s common.”
When it got here right down to dressing the 20 contestants, Kurata thought of the ladies’ particular person personalities in addition to Gen Z type tendencies.
“Undoubtedly having an understanding of Gen Z and what youthful children are into [helped prepare me for this]. There’s an enormous mixture of Y2K, ’90s components, and likewise after all items of Okay-pop type. It’s all younger and enjoyable and a bit attractive at occasions. It’s empowering,” she mentioned. “We had racks and racks and racks of garments, and had been reaching out to so many designers. As a result of Humberto owned Opening Ceremony, he knew so many designers and can be like, ‘What about this model?’—extra so than any [other] artistic director I ever labored with. It was tremendous enjoyable attending to know the ladies and determining what [fashion] they’d really feel represents who they’re.”
Leon notes that incorporating classic items into the contestants’ day-to-day wardrobes was additionally an essential a part of their styling. “I’m overseeing the general aesthetic of the group, in addition to celebrating all of them as people,” he mentioned. “The candidates have expressed their love of upcycling and classic, so we’re together with plenty of that, together with younger designers I found at Opening Ceremony. I’m so excited to see trend by this new lens.”
However greater than the garments—and much more than the music—the artistic crew is worked up for the way Dream Academy will resonate with younger women throughout the globe.
“It’s thrilling to have a world group come collectively, and I feel that sense of unity and world unity is so wanted,” Kurata mentioned. “To ship that message by music and dance, and that it’s a common language, and that it’s one thing that we will all join with universally.”
Bianca Betancourt is the tradition editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com, the place she covers all issues movie, TV, music, and extra. When she’s not writing, she loves impulsively baking a batch of cookies, re-listening to the identical early-2000s pop playlist, and stalking Mariah Carey’s Twitter feed.