Celebrities convert names into value brands

October 30, 2013

By Kim Ji-soo

Actress Kim Nam-joo poses with the bag that she helped design, and which is being sold at ELBON the Style shops nationwide. The actress is known as a leading fashionista who sells out every itme or bag she holds. She has recently lent her creative design to designing the bag dubbed “Kim Nam-joo bag. / Courtesy of ELBON the Style

Actress Kim Nam-joo poses with the bag that she helped design, and which is being sold at ELBON the Style shops nationwide. The actress is known as a leading fashionista who sells out every time or bag she holds. She has recently lent her creative design to designing the bag dubbed “Kim Nam-joo bag. (Courtesy of ELBON the Style)

More celebrities in Korea are putting their names forward as brands.

The latest is actress Ko So-young, married to actor Jang Dong-gun. In September, she launched a fashion brand “KOSOYOUNG,” which is available currently at the Boontheshop at Shinsegae’s Centum City branch in Busan.

Ko joined hands with CJOShopping where she serves as a creative director, and for her brand, she participated in the design and presentation.

Other actresses are lending their design flair and fashion sense to brands. Actress Kim Nam-joo also lent her creative energy and name to a handbag design with Italian brand “Zanellato.”

She presented a bag titled “Postina by Kim Nam-joo” that sold like hotcakes.

The bag was produced in a limited number of 300 but because of big demand, the red and the black clutch is expected to be sold out. The bag is sold at ELBON the Style.

Actress Jeong Rye-won who is currently starring in “Medical Top Team,” has joined hands with the “Mag/Mag” for which she will select items over the next two years under the name, Joana Collection. Joana is the Christian name of the 32-year-old actress.

While the brisk steps to put their name forward with products is new, delving into another line of business has been a staple in the Korean industry. Because celebrities may have long breaks from work, Korean celebrities are known to open shops or restaurants.

To date, Korean stars have leaned towards the restaurant business. Bae Yong-joon or Yonsama successfully operated the restaurant Gorilla in the Kitchen in front of Dosan Park in Gangnam, southern Seoul. He is reportedly looking for another site as the lease with the current building has expired. Bae has also opened Gorilla in the Cafe which is a coffee shop in Hawaii.

Actress Park Shin-hye’s mother runs a pork intestines restaurant in Seongnae-dong, which has been frequented by fellow stars from the popular television drama “You’re Beautiful” including actor Jang Gun-seok. Park now plays the heroine opposite actor Lee Min-ho in “Inheritor.”

K-pop singers also invest in a second line of work. G-Dragon of Big Bang is reportedly building a hotel in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province while fellow member Seungri runs a dance academy in Gwangju, his hometown.

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