Fans notice ILLIT and NEWJEANS hanbok shoot similarities

HYBE’s newest girl group ILLIT has found itself entangled in a controversy surrounding alleged plagiarism. Fans and netizens alike have pointed out similarities between their recent photoshoots and that of NEWJEANS, a girl group under HYBE sub-label ADOR.

The accusations stem from several visual aspects. Fans noticed parallels in the color palettes, logo designs, and even the overall “schoolgirl” aesthetic used in promotional materials for both groups.

This has sparked heated discussions online, with netizens accusing ILLIT of directly copying NEWJEANS’ concept.

ILLIT vs NEWJEANS: The Hanbok Photoshoot

The most obvious example they used was ILLIT’s recent hanbok shoot. The images, which were released in February, gave some fans a sense of deja vu due to their visual similarities with NEWJEANS’ own hanbok shoot from September 2022.

Netizens pointed out similarities between NEWJEANS’ and ILLIT’s pastel outfits and styling, as well as their poses and choice of location. They argued that the specific similarities make it difficult to believe it’s just a coincidence.

The debate has even led to comparisons with past instances of alleged plagiarism in K-Pop, further muddying the waters.

Min Hee-Jin vs HYBE

These accusations are the latest development in the ongoing conflict between ADOR CEO Min Hee-Jin and HYBE. Min had previously called out ILLIT for ‘copying NEWJEANS’ in their concepts and themes.

READ | HYBE vs ADOR’s Min Hee-Jin: What we know so far

However, Min Hee-Jin also emphasized that she does not blame ILLIT members for the situation. She instead called out the ‘team’ behind ILLIT for copying the photoshoot. ILLIT is managed by BELIFT LAB, another subsidiary of HYBE.

In a press conference yesterday, she clarified that “ILLIT isn’t the problem here. It’s the adults who made them copy.”

She explained that she was only looking to protect NEWJEANS, as well as the industry as a whole. She said: “If someone succeeds by imitating someone else, those who don’t have the same thing are let down. Then everyone becomes NEWJEANS.

“It has a negative influence on the industry. It causes damage to shareholders, so how can we ignore it?”

Only time will tell how this controversy unfolds. Whether the similarities are deemed a mere homage or a blatant rip-off, one thing is certain: the situation has sparked a conversation about originality and creative boundaries in the K-Pop industry.

READ | NEWJEANS future at stake in HYBE vs ADOR rift

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