K-Pop's Most Fearless Girl Group, LE SSERAFIM, Is Set for Stardom

K-Pop's Most Fearless Girl Group, LE SSERAFIM, Is Set for Stardom

(Image credit: Agata Serge)

You don’t have to be familiar with Korean pop music (or K-pop) to understand its magnitude. Groups such as BTS and BLACKPINK have dominated global charts and expanded their fervent fan bases thanks to snappy music, eye-catching aesthetics, and shockingly synchronized choreography. As with any billion-dollar industry, there’s stiff competition, but that makes success all the more extraordinary. When success snowballs into global stardom, well, that’s a far-off dream that few have reached. LE SSERAFIM will soon be among them.

LE SSERAFIM is a five-person girl group that has all the trappings of a successful K-pop act and more. I’m connecting with the members via video call, and as the black screen lights up, I’m met with five expectant faces—Kim Chaewon, Sakura, Huh Yunjin, Kazuha, and Hong Eunchae. They’re fresh off their first-ever performance at Coachella (I’m catching them between weekends one and two), and if they’re tired from a schedule chock-full of rehearsals, fittings, and radio and TV interviews, they don’t show it. In fact, they have a fresh-faced confidence about them. Although they vary in their assorted streetwear looks, each member has clear, glowing skin and minimal makeup. Chaewon has her hair cut into a trendy bob. Sakura has long, icy-blonde lengths flowing over her shoulders. Eunchae has an effortless-looking, beachy texture to her dark hair. Yunjin has vibrant red strands that stand out on the screen. Last but not least, Kazuha has opted for a simple, straightforward claw-clip style.

As they’re sitting together on a couple of couches in the studio where our cover shoot is about to take place, you’d think they were an ordinary group of friends, and in a way, they are. Seeing them interact in this way—off-stage and out of the spotlight—I’d never guess that they’ve only been a group for such a short time, having made their official debut in May 2022. “We really felt like a team from the start I think, but as time goes on, we also feel like family,” Yunjin says. “There’s so much that clicks between us that it’s kind of hard to wrap my head around the fact that we’re all together and people like [my groupmates] actually exist. It’s really special.”

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(Image credit: Agata Serge; Styling: On Kim Chaewon: No.21 top and skirt; Commando bandeau; Vanessa Schindler earrings; On Kazuha: Rick Owens dress; Vanessa Schindler earrings)

Becoming a K-pop artist—or “idol” as is the technical term in Korea—doesn’t happen overnight. Each member of the group took a separate path to the same stage. After individual training periods (yes, K-pop idols go through formal training that can involve years of rigorous singing, dancing, acting, and media training lessons), it took a little over a year for all the members to come together and officially form LE SSERAFIM.