5 Brands The “Irene Effect” Made Korea (and the World) Obsessed With

People can’t get enough of Irene or the products she endorses!

Without a doubt, Red Velvet’s Irene is one of the most prolific brand endorsers on today’s K-Pop scene. She’s modelled for companies across almost every industry, from Colombiana coffee to luxury Italian jewelry brand Damiani.

Irene’s popularity as an endorser is so big that the media even coined the term “Irene Effect” to describe how she never fails to make a product successful. Here are 5 times she’s skyrocketed sales and taken customers by storm!


1. Nuovo Out-Trended Yeezys

When Irene started endorsing women’s shoe brand Nuovo in 2017, few Red Velvet fans had heard of the line. But in just one month, Irene had already taken the brand to new heights.

Shortly after signing Irene, Nuovo released their new Bubbly shoes, which quickly became known as the “Irene sneakers”.

Just over a month later, the shoes had already sold out in two colors. The brand was so impressed, they credited all their success to the “Irene Effect”.

The Irene Effect is creating synergy and increasing Nuovo’s popularity in the ladies shoe market.

– a Nuovo representative

But the waves she made with her next shoe release were even bigger. In 2018, Nuovo released the Lettera shoes with Irene as their model. The shoes broke the company’s sales record, selling a whopping 14,000 units in just one month.

Plus, at the end of the year, ABC Mart (the head of Nuovo) revealed that the Lettera shoes scored the #3 spot on their “Top 5 Best Shoes of 2018 – Trend” list—even higher than the world-famous Adidas Yeezy sneakers!

2. A Feminist Book Became A Bestseller

At a fansign in March 2018, Irene made a seemingly harmless comment to a fan—she revealed that she’d recently finished reading a novel called Kim Ji-Young, Born 1982. That comment quickly spiraled into a major controversy.

Some anti-feminist Red Velvet fans were so angry with Irene that they burned her photocards in protest.

But despite all the fury, Irene’s comment ended up becoming one of most successful book recommendations of the year. Just one month after Irene mentioned the book, Seoul Economy reported that it had seen a sales increase of over 450%!


3. Lemona Had Pharmacists Thanking Irene

Irene isn’t just loved by fans. She’s also loved by businesses—specifically pharmacies across Korea.

Not long after joining Lemona, a yummy vitamin powder brand, Irene’s face was printed onto Lemona packaging shipped out across the country.

These limited-edition Irene boxes were so popular, they sold out in just 10 days! Alongside boosting Lemona’s sales, the Irene Effect also helped pharmacies bring in new customers to buy their health products.

It’s interesting to see how limited-edition products like these can be so effective in marketing at pharmacies.

– a Seoul pharmacist

4. Chamisul Reached The Whole World

Given the world popularity of Red Velvet’s smooth R&B releases like “Bad Boy” and “Psycho”, it should come as no surprise that they’re gaining fame on every side of the globe.

Maybe that’s part of why Chamisul, Korea’s biggest soju brand, chose her as their endorser in 2019.

These days, Irene’s beautiful Chamisul standees can be found on street corners all around Korea.

But that’s not the only place fans have spotted them—Irene standees have been seen everywhere from the USA to Indonesia!


5. Miu Miu Went Viral

After Irene was spotted wearing clothes from luxury fashion brand Miu Miu throughout 2018, fans speculated that she might have a deal coming up with this Italian company.

And they got their wish in March 2019 when Irene was invited to Paris Fashion Week to attend a Miu Miu runway show!

Not long after, Irene starred in her own “#GirlinMiuMiu” campaign on Twitter.

Fans loved Irene’s luxurious vibe so much that they got the tweets viral in no time. Numerous posts racked up thousands of retweets and likes in a matter of hours.

This famed photo of Irene in an open-backed Miu Miu dress is still the brand’s most liked tweet to date with over 13K hearts.

Red Velvet