Major Magazine Coverage
Ever since his debut, Kang Daniel has frequently been featured on the cover of various magazines. Due to his huge popularity and impact on the public, he has been featured in fashion, lifestyle, and socioeconomic magazines alike, with one milestone being the very first male celebrity to grace the cover of InStyle Korea magazine in 14 years.[s]
Another influential fashion magazine that featured him was Elle Korea, where he graced its cover for two different issues—both in collaboration with famous French luxury brands. For the July 2018 issue, he was featured in Elle Korea x CHANEL, resulting in a tremendous positive response. On June 18, Elle Korea revealed the pre-orders for the respective issue sold out. Elle then proceeded to print additional copies, but these also sold out.[s] In addition, Elle’s Instagram followers reached over 1 million after news of Kang Daniel being on the cover broke. The Global Times China published the Elle Korea July issue sales reached a rare high of 100,000 copies sold that week, and sales numbers were expected to continue growing as fans in other countries including China continued to order the magazine.[s] According to industry sources, this was the first time that a man on the cover of a fashion magazine aimed for women had such huge sales. In September 2018, Gmarket reported its global shop sold 4,000 copies alone.[s] For his second appearance, Kang Daniel worked with Bae Doona as the co-stars of Elle Korea x Louis Vuitton for the April 2019 issue, which became the best-selling issue in 27 years.[s]
In September 2019, Kang Daniel graced the cover of Vogue Korea and Arena Homme+ Korea. The selection of Daniel to front this month’s issue also bears significance to his brand value. The September issue is known as the most important issue of the year in the fashion world. It marks the beginning of a new annual trend for fashion enthusiasts and accounts for the largest part of fashion magazines’ annual advertising revenue.[s] Therefore, becoming a cover model for the September issue is the highest recognition for a model or celebrity in terms of fashion status and commercial value, especially for those who grace the cover of Vogue, which is often revered as the most prestigious fashion magazine in the world.
Daniel was also the very first male celebrity to grace the September issue of Vogue Korea since its inception on August 1996. The honor of this sought-after position was previously exclusive to women. Furthermore, Daniel is the only male featured on the September 2019 issue cover among Vogue’s international editions across the world. This serves as an affirmation that Kang Daniel is indeed an important brand name in the fashion industry. Read more about the Vogue covers here. In addition, Arena Homme+ staff shared that most of the reservations were exhausted upon news of Daniel being on the covers.[s]
The Star‘s June 2020 issue with Daniel was the first time there was a summer special edition since The Star’s inception.[s] Cosmopolitan Korea celebrated its 20th anniversary with the September 2020 issue and remarked on its cover model history. Only a handful of men graced Cosmopolitan Korea covers as those truly loved by women in that era. Daniel graced the October 2019 and 2020 covers.[s]
Daniel became the first male K-pop artist featured on the cover of Chinese fashion magazine Rayli for its January 2021 issue, following Yoona in January 2020 and Krystal in September 2020.
In May 2021, Daniel was revealed as the cover model for the special editions of WWD Korea and Rolling Stone Korea. He is RSK’s first cover model for the special edition and WWD Korea’s first male celebritiy cover model.[s] [s]
His work with these magazines also extends to activism for important causes. For example, the profit from the Elle magazine July issue was used to purchase 500 trees to be donated for a tree planting project to make the Elle x Kang Daniel Forest. The forest was established in October 2018 and is located in Cheongna International City, Incheon.[s] Another example includes his involvement in Marie Claire and the Letters from Angels campaign led by photographer Cho Seihon, which seeks to foment domestic adoptions and support single mothers by holding a photography exhibition with several known celebrities at the end of every year since 2003 (click here for the full story). Daniel also became the first star to grace the cover of the first issue of Human Aid magazine, whose staff members are mainly developmental disabilities people (DDP). Human Aid magazine’s profits will be used for media education and job creation for DDP.[s] The cover photo was provided by fansite Peach Up, and Daniel’s lawyer participated in a small interview. Daniel’s cover resulted in a magazine production increase from 10,000 to 20,000 copies and became the bestseller on top online bookstores. This wasn’t the only time fans contributed to activism, as fan community DCgall had previously donated 100,000 copies of Kang Daniel’s Elle Korea April issue to various organizations, including colleges and vocational schools for fashion and design students.[s]
In October 2020, Daniel was invited to W Korea‘s 15th anniversary LOVE YOUR W breast cancer awareness campaign ontact event. The invited artists were featured in three December 2020 collage covers: Ahn Sohee, Han Jimin, Han Hyojoo, Jang Yoonjoo, Kim Minjoo, Jang Wonyoung, Henry, Ahn Bohyun, GRAY, Lee Jehoon, Jessica, Krystal, Somi, Seulgi, Park Shinhye, Kang Daniel, Sandara Park, Lim Soojung, Jung Haein, Young Kwangkim, Taemin, Kim Dami, Irene, Park Minyoung, and Cha Eunwoo.
Non-Entertainment Magazine Coverage
Despite his entertainment-oriented career, Kang Daniel has been featured several times in non-entertainment magazines. The most prominent one is Weekly Chosun, a current events magazine known for covering some of the most vital societal and political issues around the world. The magazine was first published on October 20, 1968 by The Chosun Ilbo group, which started its publication business in 1920. Edition #2470 of the magazine, issued for the second week of August 2017, has Kang Daniel on its cover alongside an in-depth feature analyzing his unprecedented popularity among women in their 30s and 40s. This is quite uncommon, as Weekly Chosun normally only puts important political figures, athletes, or CEOs of big enterprises on its covers. During a television interview, an editorial staff member of the magazine revealed that the respective edition is the most sold edition during the time she has worked for the magazine. Daniel was featured in the Topclass September 2021 cover story issue. This magazine is published by Chosun News for Koreans aged 20-40, showcasing monthly stories of those who achieved altruistic success. Daniel is the first solo artist to have two solo covers in this magazine.
Domination in Magazine Cover of the Year 2017
A public poll for the 2017 Magazine Cover of The Year conducted by Kyobo, the largest bookstore chain in South Korea, had 3 out of the 8 nominees featuring Kang Daniel solely as the cover. The three respective covers are Weekly Chosun edition #2470, Weekly Donga edition #1110, and InStyle October 2017 edition. In addition, two other nominees were also related to Kang Daniel, as they featured Wanna One on their covers. These two are 1st Look July 2017 edition and GQ Korea November 2017 edition. In this sense, it could be summarized that his presence in publication media is undoubtedly significant that it dominated the poll.