Some people were always meant to be celebrities!
Aespa‘s Karina may now be one of the most recognized rising stars in the K-Pop world who is loved by millions of people, but she was once a nano influencer with a much smaller following.
She used to be a well known ulzzang, a term referring to a group of “face geniuses” who gathered their own fans online thanks to their extraordinary visuals. Karina had roughly 5,000 followers before quitting social media to become a dedicated K-Pop trainee.
Like other modern day influencers, she had partnerships with brands, modelling fashion products for her followers to see. One such Instagram post has resurfaced and it showcases her growth as a celebrity!
Local accessories brand Toatres reposted her review in 2016, four years before she debuted in aespa. Karina still publicly went by her real name, Jimin, when she was active as an ulzzang.
In the resurfaced post, the brand commented their gratitude at having her showcase their product. Karina paired her casual pink sweater and white tennis skirt with their tote bag featuring a fashionable lady wearing a headscarf and sunglasses. She gushed over the artwork, saying, “The design is also pretty. It’s so pretty. I really like it.”
Toatres reshared the shoutout with their own caption, “Sponsorship review from Instagram star Jimin [Karina] who looks more like a celebrity than a celebrity.”
The irony of this statement was that she did, in fact, become a huge star only a few short years later. The post went live in March 2016 and Karina debuted as a member of aespa in November 2020.
She now models bags and other clothing items for luxury fashion brand Givenchy as a prominent brand ambassador of theirs, even heading to France for Paris Fashion Week alongside fellow members Ningning, Giselle, and Winter.
From casual poses at home to magazine shoots, music shows, airport appearances, and more, Karina is now the “it girl” who can make any item she holds the talk of the town.
And from endorsing simpler products to five thousand or so followers to being the face of numerous household names and a luxury brand with a century-long history, she’s certainly come a long way!