Auction of BTS Jimin’s hanbok suit worn on ‘Jimmy Fallon’ show canceled

BTS member Jimin (left) wearing the hanbok that was originally set for auction (Big Hit Music, Myart Auction) 

The scheduled online auction of K-pop superstars BTS member Jimin’s hanbok suit he wore during a performance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” was canceled.

According to a notice by Seoul-based Myart Auction, the cancellation was requested by Korean designer Kim Rieul. Hanbok is a Korean traditional clothing.

Kim Rieul made the hanbok suits of Jimin, Suga and J-Hope that they used when BTS performed their hit song “Idol” during the BTS Week on Fallon’s show in September last year. BTS filmed the “Idol” performance at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul.

Myart Auction said this was Kim Rieul’s first attempt to sell a hanbok through the auction and he felt a great burden that this was seen as a commercial activity.

“Designer Kim Rieul, the consignee, has been sponsoring the hanbok suit for five years, and this is the first attempt to sell it through this auction. He felt burdened by being reflected only in a commercial way,” the auction house said in a statement.

It added, “In addition, he was concerned that these commercial activities would cause even a little damage on world's famous artist who wore this work. For this reason, he reconsidered the auction entries with MYART Auction Co., Ltd., and after much consideration, our company decided not to submit the entries.”

“Through this special exhibition, our efforts to promote the artistic value of traditional culture to the domestic and foreign public will not be in vain, and we hope that these efforts will lead to good results in the near future. In addition, please give great support and encouragement to designer Kim Rieul, who struggled to promote the beauty of our hanbok and made a difficult decision,” it said.

On Instagram, Kim Rieul posted, “First of all, I sincerely apologize for canceling the auction. It has been really hard for two weeks.”

Jimin’s hanbok suit, tagged as Lot 53 in the auction, was priced starting at 5 million won ($4,468). Its auction was supposed to start on April 22.

Recently, it was revealed that Jimin’s outfit would be sold unwashed and some fans expressed concern about it.

According to Myart Auction, they mentioned this in an interview in relation to the preservation of the original work. It said for an artwork, its beauty, history and preserving its form highlight its value.

It added that Jimin’s hanbok suit has been preserved in its original form. There is a trace of cosmetics on the left shoulder part of the hanbok suit.

The company cited the 2019 auction of the late American singer Kurt Cobain’s cardigan, which was sold unwashed for $334,000 by Julien’s Auctions.

“We will always do our best to increase the value of the work and not damage the original form,” Myart Auction posted online.

In an article in Weverse magazine, Kim Rieul said he paid special attention to showcase the “beauty of the fabric” when he made the hanbok suits of Jimin, Suga and J-Hope.

“100 percent silk is challenging to work with and wrinkles easily, but it looks much more stylish under lights. That’s why the fabric really pops when you see it under the stage lights,” he said.