If you watched the “Now Arriving” video (above) accompanying Kim Kee-Hee’s signing with the Seattle Sounders, you probably noticed the sweatshirt he was wearing. If you’re like me, it’s the one element of the video you just can’t stop thinking about.
Given that, I needed to find out what it was. Did it have a story? Who is that kid? Is this some sort of South Korean meme? Well, we dug in and this is what we found.
The sweatshirt is available on this South Korean website for $95. That same site has A LOT of clothing with images of kids doing weird things. A sampling:
Based on the crack Sounder at Heart research team, the source for most if not all of these images appears to be a French marketing campaign. Why are they popular? I have no clue. I had hoped to ask Kim if there was any special significance, but that may have to wait as a big media scrum with a translator hardly seemed the right place.
The name of the site is a French phrase that translates to “the peak of life.” I’m planning to ask Kim about the shirt, but my strong suspicion is that it’s simply some sort of cultural meme that hasn’t yet really reached the United States. Who knows, though — maybe that changes?
UPDATE: Our very own Keith Salas has been doing A LOT of research into this and thinks these shirts were popularized by Korean pop band Seventeen.