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Why 'America's Next Top Model' Shot In Korea: Fashion

BY Julie Jones | Nov 17, 2014 09:33 AM EST

America's Next Top Model
Ben Baller and Jay Park

The currently running season of "America's Next Top Model" was shot in Korea this spring. As a result, the show's American audience is being introduced to some k-pop idols, some k-drama stars and some world-famous Korean designers.

Five episodes of the show's 21st season were shot in Korea between March 21 and April 4 at such locations as Shin Chung Sa, Eul Ji Ro and Myungdong. And while some of the shots used historic palaces and other ancient attractions as background, the focus was on Korea's cutting-edge fashion industry.

On their arrival in Korea, the top six contestants had go-sees with top designers at Resurrection, Jinny Kim, D. Gnak, Studio K, and Mag and Logan. K-pop idol and MCM brand representative Jay Park and jewelry designer Ben Baller sent the models on their go-sees. Ben Baller helped point out how fashionable k-pop idols are and how much attention they pay to the latest couture. The models attended their go-sees and then shot an ad for Jinny Kim shoes. For their Jinny Kim shoe ad, they posed at a palace with model Jenny Lee and model/singer James of the group Royal Pirates. The contestants' performance was judged at the offices of Nylon Korea.

Models who booked the most designers on their go-sees will walk the runway in the Seoul Korea fashion show.

One of the reasons that the show's host and producer Tyra Banks chose to travel to Korea was the country's blooming fashion industry.

Kim Woo Kyung was the show's production manager in Korea. When the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) recently interviewed Kim, he said that k-pop is not the only Korean industry the world is paying attention to. According to Kim, the producers were very interested in both the edgy Korean fashion industry and Korea's cutting-edge technology. And it did not hurt that KOFIC's Location Incentive Program covers up to 30 percent of foreign shooting expenses through a cash rebate program. That rebate helped pay for the cast and crew of "America's Next Top Model" to travel to Korea. The American film crew included 12 producers, three directors and at least 90 additional American crewmembers. The 70-member Korean production crew also provided location scouting help, lighting and other local production needs.

Next week, the modeling reality show will focus on the allure of k-dramas. Future k-celebs with a guest spot on the show include model/actor Lee Soo Hyuk and popular girl band 2NE1.

But you can also expect every shot to focus on Korean design.

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