You've spotted K-Pop star CL in the front row of New York fashion shows for years now, but if you've ever actually wanted to sit front row at one of her performances you'd either have to fly half a world away or be lucky enough to catch a rare special performance (like the recent WangFest) in our hemisphere. Not only has she never toured North America before, but her girl group, 2NE1, has only played a few select American dates.
Well, after years of growing hype and whispers of a Western conquest, the 25-year-old also known as Chaelin Lee is finally ready to take over America in a meaningful way. She's announced her first ever North American tour. The nine-date tour spans from New York to Los Angeles, down to Atlanta and all the way up to Toronto.
It's the culmination of CL's recent efforts to take advantage of bubbling North American notoriety. The "Hello Bi+ches Tour," as it's dubbed, comes hot on the heels of the release of CL's first English language single "Lifted" and her American TV debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden. (The concert dates and that Late Late Show performance below.)
K-Pop's has a small but devoted and growing in North America, but save for the viral phenomenon that is Psy, K-Pop stars' attempts to crossover to the American mainstream haven't been very concentrated. Girls Generation, South Korea's most popular girl group, have recorded some songs in English and appeared on American TV shows, but even they haven't undertaken a full tour of our continent yet.
CL is uniquely positioned thanks to her close ties to American fashion. She's been BFFs with designer Jeremy Scott for years (to the point that some Korean tabloids wondered if the pair were in a relationship). She's also now a regular at Alexander Wang front rows as well.
Genuine as those friendships can be, they also do pay business dividends. Scott's design have become both a favorite amongst K-Pop stylist and the South Korean general public. Now it's CL's turn to take her shot at the wider American public.
CL also has friends beyond fashion, naturally. She's previously worked with Skrillex and Diplo, and Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun is also helping to map out her American career. The tour will also help promote CL's upcoming EP Lifted, her solo debut.