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Song Hye-kyo, Son Ye-jin, Park Shin-hye … which luxury fashion brands sponsor K-drama’s best-paid stars – and how much extra do they earn?

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 14/8/2020 Patti Sunio
Jun Ji-hyun, Song Hye-kyo, Son Ye-jin are posing for a picture: Korean stars (from left) Jun Ji-hyun, Song Hye-kyo and Son Ye-jin have all raked in cash from high-profile brand partnerships and endorsements. Photos: Alexander McQueen, Chaumet and Smart Korean stars (from left) Jun Ji-hyun, Song Hye-kyo and Son Ye-jin have all raked in cash from high-profile brand partnerships and endorsements. Photos: Alexander McQueen, Chaumet and Smart

One of the unwritten added bonuses of being a K-drama star? The ability to influence millions of fervent fans - and earn a pretty penny while doing so.

Following The Toplists' round up of the highest-paid actresses in 2020, STYLE looks into the luxury labels and Korean brands that pay out big bucks for star endorsements or commercial appearances - or CFs as they are called in South Korea.

Jun Ji-hyun

Sitting atop the highest-paid actresses' list is Jun, who earns an estimated US$84,000 per episode. Jun is currently Alexander McQueen's queen, according to W Korea, becoming the first Korean ambassador of the luxury label. "McQueen's woman is independent, strong, confident, and influential," goes the brand's slogan, and there was no better fit for that than the actress who put the sass into breakout hit My Sassy Girl.

Song Hye-kyo

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A post shared by Hyekyo Song (@kyo1122) on Aug 5, 2020 at 12:14am PDT

Receiving an estimated US$42,000 per episode, Song remains one of Korea's most sought-after actresses and endorsers. She is the Asia-Pacific brand ambassador of heritage jeweller Chaumet.

Song also starred in Bottega Veneta's recent spring fashion film called La Donna Che Amiamo or The Woman We Love.

Kim Tae-hee

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Kim, who recently starred in her comeback K-drama Hi Bye, Mama after a five-year break, is believed to receive around US$34,000 per episode. She is currently the face of several Korean brands, such as JM Solution's skincare, Sery Box's wellness drinks, bed and mattress manufacturer La Cloud, which she endorses with her husband Rain, and Cledor ice cream.

Gong Hyo-jin

Versatile actress Gong, who's recently appeared in When the Camellia Blooms, reportedly earns about US$33,400 per episode. She is the Asia-Pacific ambassador of Piaget, and was recently part of the brand's recent feature that included notable names from the art, music, design and entertainment industries.

Gong is also a favourite of British fashion house Burberry and has often worn and showcased its collections in her magazine and event appearances. 

Shin Min-a

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Shin, who reportedly receives US$25,000 per episode, is set to release an upcoming film called Diva, coming this September. The actress has also recently posted snippets from a Roger Vivier shoot, which she has been often seen modelling for in the past.

Other than the luxury fashion label, Shin has also been selected as ambassador of Chanel Beauty. She also endorses Ceragem Korea, Michaa clothing brand, The North Face and Cartier, among others.

Park Shin-hye

Park is said to earn up to US$17,000 per episode. She is praised for having longevity, as she has been the endorser of beauty and skincare brand Mamonde since 2014!

A post shared by 박신혜 (@ssinz7) on Mar 5, 2019 at 2:05am PST

Park is also often spotted wearing Valentino and carrying its timeless accessories.

Son Ye-jin

While The Toplists' round-up does not include Son's recent earnings, a previous Koreaboo report disclosed that the actress has earned around US$23,000 per episode for the 2006 drama Alone in Love. We can only speculate how much more she's worth after Crash Landing on You and with a Hollywood debut in the works!

Because of her ageless beauty, Son represents Korean skincare brands Neuramis, Vanav and Manyo. She has also joined Hyun Bin in endorsing Philippine telecom brand, Smart.

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (, the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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