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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Netflix series ‘The Fabulous’ looks at glitz and grit of the fashion world

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Actor Chae Soo-bin [DELIGHT]
Actor Chae Soo-bin [DELIGHT]

What’s behind the glamor of the Korean fashion industry? You can find out in Netflix’s new drama series “The Fabulous,” which will begin streaming on the platform this week.

“The Fabulous” is about four friends who are trying to make it. Actor Chae Soo-bin plays Jieun, one of the four main protagonists. Chae has previously starred in “Rookie Cops,” (2022), “I’m Not a Robot” (2017-18) and “Shopaholic Louis” (2016).

The Korea JoongAng Daily sat down with Chae, along with other press, in Samcheong-dong, central Seoul, on Wednesday.

Below are edited excerpts of the interview.

Q: “The Fabulous” is about the fashion industry but is presented as a drama about office workers, similar to “Misaeng” (2014). It’s about the glitz and glamor of the fashion industry but also about the ordinary people inside the business who have daily struggles. How did it feel to live as the character Jieun, who is an office worker?


I was always in a position of showing the audience a finished product, but as I met with the authors and producers of our show and learned how passionately everyone works in the beauty and fashion industry — which is actually very cut-throat — I realized all the effort that goes into finished products and learned more humility. My character Jieun is someone who says, “It doesn’t matter what I go through or if no one recognizes it because I like what I do.” I felt that this was an attitude I should learn from.

The message of the series that the producers revealed at the press conference last week was that sometimes friends are better than romantic partners when it comes to lifting you up and supporting your career. How did you go about depicting this message?

I didn’t want to say anything along the lines that lovers and romantic relationships are useless, but rather that friends have a lot of influence on your life. And in relationships, there is friendship, too. In my own life, I had to overcome struggles just like anyone else, and my friends gave me such good energy. I hope that viewers will know how good it is to have such people in your life by watching “The Fabulous.”


Is there anything in particular that viewers overseas should look out for? 


I think foreign viewers will especially enjoy the street scenes of Cheongdam, where a lot of our show was shot. Usually, Korean dramas are filmed on location in different parts of the country, so we don’t get to show viewers a lot of the real-world fashion streets of Seoul. But “The Fabulous” does this, and it made me proud to be part of a show that captures the gorgeous and — literally — fabulous streets of Korea.

BY LIM JEONG-WON [lim.jeongwon@joongang.co.kr]

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