K-Pop group Stray Kids meet their fans

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STRAY KIDS members (L-R) Lee Know, Felix, Seungmin, Han, Hyunjin, I.N., Changbin and Bang Chan. — PHOTO BY MICHELLE ANNE P. SOLIMAN

THE EIGHT-piece Korean pop group Stray Kids arrived in blue, denim, and white Bench outfits for their first engagement just a few hours upon arriving in Manila on Jan. 20.

It was the group’s second visit to Manila — they first came in 2019 for their Unveil Tour. This time it was for a fan meet, Stay with Bench: The Stray Kids Fan Meet, held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The fan meet was organized by Filipino fashion brand Bench.

Stray Kids was formed by JYP Entertainment through a competition reality show of the same name in 2017. They are known for tracks such as “MIROH,” “God’s Menu,” and “Back Door.”

In August 2021, Stray Kids released a comeback album, NOEASY, followed by a Christmas album, Christmas EveL. Their latest album, Maxident, was released last year.

Stray Kids — composed of Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin, and I.N. — was named Bench brand ambassador in April 2022, joining the company’s roster of Korean brand ambassadors including Hyun Bin, Kim Soo Hyun, Park Seo Jun, Lee Min Ho, and the girl group TWICE.

“I notice that the Bench clothing is very beautiful which I can wear day to day. Being a model for Bench is a very big honor for us,” rapper Hyunjin said during a press conference at the Sofitel in Pasay City.

As endorsers, Stray Kids have modeled and done a campaign for Bench’s Better Made and Everyday collection.

During the event, the group entertained their fans (who are called “Stays”) with performances and games.

“Being able to receive love from all our fans allows us to live our lives very happily. And to think that so much people are giving us so much interest, it also allows us to realize our responsibility as artists where we are able to reach the expectations of our fans as well,” rapper Changbin said.

“Up to this day, it is really unbelievable that we reached such accomplishments… Our eagerness that we poured in the album was delivered to our Stays as well… We’ll make sure that time and time again we’ll do our best more and more,” Seungmin said.

Stray Kids will return to Manila to perform on March 11 and 12 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena as part of the group’s second world tour, Maniac.

“[The Stays] really help remind us of who we are and what we are capable of. Through our fans and through the people who deeply care for us, it is because of them that we gain our confidence, motivation, and push through our limits,” Felix said. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman