Turning IVE into ‘Jang Wonyoung and friends’, Starship stylist makes netizens think of BLACKPINK and Jennie

IVE is labeled 'Jang Wonyoung and friends' due to their outfits at two year-end events. 

IVE – Starship Entertainment’s rookie girl group – officially made their debut on December 1 with the single ‘ELEVEN‘. The group has six members including Wonyoung, Yujin, Liz, Rei, Gaeul, and Leeseo. IVE’s debut received much attention from Korean netizens, not only because Jang Wonyoung and Ahn Yujin are former IZ*ONE members, but also because they got off to a great start: making it to the top of domestic digital music charts, getting their 1st win on weekly music shows, getting good physical sales. 


However, popularity often comes with controversy. IVE can’t avoid getting scrutinized by netizens. But it seems that the controversy over IVE’s outfit discrimination actually starts from Starship’s attempt to promote the group. Accordingly, although many fans have voiced their dissatisfaction with Starship’s biased treatment towards Jang Wonyoung, the company doesn’t seem to care and even let the styling team be more obvious with it. 

jang wonyoung

Specifically, despite being a rookie that debuted less than a month ago, with their charm, IVE has constantly been invited to attend major year-end music festivals, typically KBS Gayo Daechukje 2021 and SBS Gayo Daejun 2021. However, at both these events, the stylist and Starship came under fierce controversy for deliberately making Jang Wonyoung stand out too much and turning the other members into backup dancers.

Outfits at the 2021 KBS Gayo Daechukje 

On December 17th, IVE attended the 2021 KBS Gayo Daechukje and immediately drew attention when showing up on the red carpet. While 5 members wore white outfits and boots, Jang Won-young stood out in her black dress.


After the red carpet event ended, audiences guessed that Jang Won-young wore a different outfit because she was the MC for Gayo Daechukje that day. However, it turned out that other MCs (Enhypen Sunghoon, TXT Soobin, Oh My Girl Arin) also wore white costumes. It seems like KBS already set the concept for the whole event with the white color as the main theme.

jang wonyoung

Netizens got frustrated and disappointed at IVE’s stylists for intentionally dressing Jang Won Young in an outfit with a different color that neither matched the concept of her group nor the whole event. However, the controversy cooled down because Jang Won Young changed to another white outfit to perform ‘Eleven’ with IVE. However, her dress was still pointed out to not look in sync with the other 5 members, who wore shorts. 

IVE performed ‘ELEVEN’ at the 2021 KBS Gayo Daechukje

Outfits at the 2021 SBS Gayo Daejun

Despite getting criticized for making only Jang Won-young stand out at KBS Gayo Daechukje, IVE’s stylists didn’t seem to learn any lesson. On December 25th, IVE continued to perform at the 2021 SBS Gayo Daejun. The moment 6 members of IVE appeared on the red carpet, netizens once again raged at the outfit issue. All IVE members were dressed up in black clothes this time, but Jang Won-young showed up in a set of white top and skirt.


Jang Wonyoung also wore this outfit when IVE performed ‘ELEVEN‘ at SBS Gayo Daejun 2021. The difference between Jang Wonyoung and the 5 members was even more obvious when the group’s backup dancers also wore black outfits.  As a result, the rest of the IVE members look like backup dancers, and Jang Wonyoung looks like a solo singer in her performance.


Many people believe that Starship Entertainment both intentionally pushed Wonyoung and deliberately caused controversy to help IVE get more attention.  And even so, Jang Wonyoung is also the member most criticized for being accused of causing injustice in IVE’s lineup.  Remember when IVE first debuted and promoted ‘ELEVEN‘, she also wore an eye-catching pink dress that took the spotlight. 


Meanwhile, many netizens believe that the female idol is not at fault and blame Starship.  This situation makes many fans recall the case of BLACKPINK. The YG girl group was also once called ‘Jennie and friends’ because Jennie was also enthusiastically pushed by YG and wore outfits that stood out from the group’s lineup.


Some comments of Knet:

  • Except for Jang Wonyoung, the backup dancers and the rest of the members all have similar outfits?!
  • Well, it’s like Jang Wonyoung’s solo stage.
  • IVE = Jang Wonyoung and friends.
  • The other members must be really upset right?
  • This makes Wonyoung get hate for no reason ㅠㅠㅠ Fighting, IVE!!!
  • Reminds me of how YG pushed Jennie when BLACKPINK first debuted.
  • Looks like their stylist hasn’t watched Produce 101 yet?  Wonyoung still shines without having to dress differently.  
  • I can’t tell the dancers apart from the members, it’s a serious problem
  • Their stylist is so bad, it’s like Jang Wonyoung is a solo singer and the other members are backup dancers.
  • Not surprised.  The reason why Starship hastily debuted IVE even though their skills aren’t enough is to take advantage of Jang Wonyoung’s fame.
  • This reminds me of Jennie in her early debut days ㅋㅋㅋ It was really controversial!
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