updated 4 Feb 2012, 03:37
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Sun, Sep 04, 2011
The Korea Herald/ANN
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Men, Too, Can Model Women's Lingerie
by Kang Yoon-seung, Simran Panaech

Ladies, would you buy lingerie if the model in the campaign advertisement is a man?

And not just any man-South Korean actor, So Ji-sub, to be precise.

So is to become the first male model for Vivien, a South Korean domestic women's underwear company.

So has built his reputation through numerous TV dramas and movies on an image of masculinity and sincere care for his beloved.

"The advertisement barely includes information about the product, and we believed that the male model was enough to deliver the image of a woman's lingerie brand," said Kim Sun from Vivien's advertisement department.

"It will express the message that Vivien will make women's gloriousness into perfection, just as So Ji-sub protects his own lover, leading them into the spotlight."

Vivien has previously featured Korean female stars Shin Se Kyung and Yoon Eun Hye in their campaign advertisements.

Unlike other lingerie labels that favour showcasing their garments on famous models, Vivien tends to take the approach of showcasing how their fully-clothed model feels when wearing their lingerie.

So will, of course, not be wearing any of the lingerie but this concept of emotion is possibly what Vivien is after by picking him in their new ads.

Female customers will probably want to wear Vivien's lingerie just to be "close" to him, so to speak.

But who is this heartthrob?

So has dabbled in modelling, rapping and acting.

He caught Korean fans' attention when he started modelling for jeans brand Storm in 1997.

Since then, he has moved into dramas, movies and commercials.

His break-out role that garnened positive feedback from critics and fans was in 2004's KBS drama Sorry I Love You.

However, he did have to take a hiatus till 2007 to complete his mandatory military service in Korea.

His comeback was in Jang Hoon's directorial debut Rough Cut, a low-budget film that was a critical and surprise box office success.

To break into the Chinese market, So acted alongside Zhang Ziyi in 2009 in Sophie's Revenge.

At the Korean press conference for Sophie's Revenge, So stated:

"After getting out of the military I wanted to challenge myself as an actor with new projects, and China is a new start."

He then went on to star in a drama called Cain and Abel where he also rapped "Foolish Love" for the soundtrack.

So loves hip-hop music and sometimes performs under the name "G-Sonic".

Among his many talents, photography is another pursuit of So's.

He published a photo-essay collection called "So Ji-Sub's Road" in 2010 that hit the best-sellers' list within 10 days of its release, having sold 50,000 copies by pre-order and then entered into its third printing.

The book covers stories and photos over the past 13 years since So's debut into the Korean entertainment scene and features trips to Gangwon province.

As a result, he was named the goodwill ambassador of Gangwon-do in an effort to boost tourism there.

Plans are underway for a 51km trail in the province to be named "So Ji-Sub Road" set to be completed in the summer of 2012. He will be the first Korean celebrity to have an entire road named after him.

Now that is what we call a celebrity.

It is no wonder Vivien picked him to create more buzz for their brand.


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