Fancy beauty products by Jewel In The Palace star?
SOUTH Korean celebrities are starting their own cosmetics businesses to cash in on the popularity of K-pop and Korean TV dramas in Asia.
Queen Seondeok actress Go Hyun Jung, who apart from her acting ability is best known for her radiant skin, launched the cosmetics brand Koy through her agency IOK Company in September. The brand launched in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay in November.
Lee Young Ae, who has long endorsed cosmetics brands including Amore Pacific's Mamonde and LG Household & Health Care's The History of Whoo, also recently set up her own cosmetics brand, Lyanature. The brand is reportedly enjoying explosive popularity in China, where Lee's soap Jewel In The Palace was a megahit.
Secret Garden actress Ha Ji Won, who modelled for several cosmetics brands including VOV and Olay, recently debuted her own brand, J.ONE, to be launched in China.
Other celebrities - including Lee Mi Yeon, who was a long-time muse for Amore Pacific's Hanyul, and former Girls' Generation member Jessica - are reportedly preparing to launch their cosmetic brands.
Entertainment agencies are also rushing into the beauty market, starring their top musicians and actors.
One of South Korea's largest music labels, YG Entertainment, launched its own brand Moonshot in 2014, which made its way to Singapore and Malaysia last year. Keyeast, run by Bae Yong Joon, set up The Oozoo in October, featuring hotshot actor Park Seo Joon, to target the Chinese market.
Industry watchers said the celebrities and entertainment firms were jumping into the cosmetics business with the aim of targeting Asian consumers, especially China, Asia's biggest beauty market, where K-pop singers and dramas are gaining traction.
Kim Chang Kwon, a researcher from KDB Daewoo Securities, said: "The companies can gain an upper hand in the Asian market by saving on marketing costs with their stars. Still, it remains to be seen whether the business will see strong sales in the market, which is already rapidly becoming saturated, especially in China, which has high barriers to entry."
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK