The Burberry runway has long served as a launchpad for new faces, but for its Fall 2016 menswear show, the brand decided to debut a bona fide superstar on the runway. In between catwalk regulars like Ysaunny Brito and Jackson Hale was none other than Kris Wu, the musician, actor, and—if you are familiar with popular Chinese or Korean culture—megastar. Though Wu is no stranger to fashion, having recently graced the cover of Chinese Vogue next to Kendall Jenner and making regular front row appearances at Givenchy, Burberry marks his first appearance on the runway for the men’s collections in London—and we’re betting it won’t be the last.
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Wu’s career began with a spot in South Korean–Chinese supergroup EXO. As the boy band to end all boy bands, EXO features 12 members performing in multiple languages for an all-singing, all-dancing pop idol juggernaut. (Imagine the teen girl spontaneous combustion that would have occurred had ’NSYNC and Backstreet Boys joined forces at the height of their popularity and you get a taste for the impact EXO has on its legions of fans.) To say that the group is “popular” is an understatement, and Wu’s position as leader of the Mandarin section (“EXO-M”) afforded him a special place in the lineup. But group stardom was not for him: It seems that the lure of making it as a solo performer eventually proved irresistible. Like Justin Timberlake and Zayn Malik, Wu parted ways with his boy band brethren and set his sights on a solo career.
A skilled frontman with a knack for reinvention, Wu has used fashion and his considerable swagger to keep his fans on the edge of their seats. Frequently changing his hair color—over the course of a year he went gold, silver, and platinum blonde—and experimenting with outlandish wares from Kenzo, Versace, and Christopher Kane, Wu is a bona fide style chameleon. Lately, his preferences have leaned strongly toward streetwear, with pieces from Pyrex, Off-White, and Yeezy making their way onto his ultra-stylish Instagram feed. After his appearance at Burberry, he’s sure to be sporting more Christopher Bailey in his closet, but it’s hard to imagine Wu sticking to any one label. With Milan menswear on the horizon and Wu certain to make the rounds, we have a feeling that his personal style will make him one to watch in the coming weeks ahead—on the runway and off.