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Ex-H.O.T. Member Turns CEO

2007/04/10 Source

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Staff Reporter

Tony An, a former member of the popular boy band H.O.T., will launch his underwear brand "Shinenihs" on Saturday.

An will officially unveil the new underwear brand with a fashion show on April 14 at the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in southern Seoul. This is not the first time An has been involved in the clothing industry _ he already started a school uniform company, "Skoolooks".

An gained popularity in the late 1990s as a member of H.O.T., a boy band composed of Kangta, Moon Hee-jun, Jang Woo-hyuk and Lee Jae-won. H.O.T. disbanded in 2001, but An, Jang and Lee formed another group called J.T.L. In 2004, he released a solo album and formed his own music entertainment company called TN Entertainment.

An is one of the many celebrities who have launched their own businesses and even fashion brands.

Recently, Lee Min-woo and Andy Lee (Andy), members of the boy band Shinhwa, announced they are forming their own entertainment companies. Lee Min-woo has formed M Rising Entertainment as a management company and record label, while Andy Lee (Andy) has formed ND Entertainment as an entertainment firm.

While fashion companies still rely on celebrity star power to help boost their brands, celebrities are now launching their own fashion businesses and clothing lines. Celebrity clothing lines are hoping the public's obsession with their style will translate into profits.

Actors Lee Jung-jae and Jung Woo-sung, who are both known for their stylish looks, have established the clothing company FAB Inc. The two actors own 40 percent of the company, which is also affiliated with Korean clothing brand Basic House. The company is re-launching a Japanese men's wear brand called "D'urban" and will focus on men's suits.

Several celebrities are also seen selling their own clothing labels on home shopping channels. Thanks to the star power of celebrities, clothes sold on home shopping channels are overcoming the image of being cheap and unfashionable.

Actress Lee Seung-yeon is promoting her own clothing brand "About el" on CJ Home Shopping, while veteran actress Hwang Shin-hye started selling her underwear brand "Elypry" on Hyundai Home Shopping last year.

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