Who is the K-pop CEO who outshone Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett in Venice?

South Korean Yulee Choi.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

A little known K-pop CEO stole the limelight at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on Sept 2.

South Korean Yulee Choi may not be a celebrity, but the dress she wore for her appearance at the glamorous event outshone the highly crafted looks of major stars such as festival jury president Julianne Moore and actress Cate Blanchett. They also looked stunning in Valentino and Schiaparelli, respectively.

Choi chose a gown from Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda, the haute couture arm of the Italian fashion house, to attend the premiere of Athena, a French film directed by Romain Gavras, who has previously directed music videos for musicians like Kanye West.

Made of tulle and hand embroidered with crystals, the ethereal dress debuted last year at the label’s Alta Moda catwalk show in Venice, a star-studded event attended by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Helen Mirren.

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Dolce & Gabbana famously commands some of the highest prices in the industry for its haute couture creations, which are custom made for the wearer and can take months to craft.

The process involves a series of fittings and appointments with staff of the brand’s ateliers in Milan. The price tag for an elaborate dress like Choi’s is normally more than €300,000 (S$419,000).

Little is known about Choi, who is the CEO and founder of SRP Entertainment, a K-pop record label and entertainment agency behind talents such as K-pop girl band Rocking Doll. The four members of the group were also at the festival with Choi, who last month held an event for them in London, attended by controversial influencer Oli London.

Choi is one of the few female CEOs in a male-dominated industry. While she has kept a low profile so far, her grand debut on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival is perhaps a sign of more international ambitions at SRP Entertainment and of her increasingly high-profile role on the global stage.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.