Min Hee-jin Accuses ILLIT Of Copying Despite Borrowing Y2K To Create NewJeans, “Is Everything NewJeans’s?”

K-pop fans are puzzled over ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin’s statement accusing other HYBE group ILLIT of copying NewJeans

Amid the conflict between HYBE and its label ADOR over management rights, ADOR’s CEO Min Hee-jin released her stance on April 22nd, claiming that ILLIT, HYBE’s new girl group under another label Belift Lab, copied NewJeans. She said, “To protect our artist NewJeans and the development of Korea’s music industry and culture, I’m raising my opinion over ‘ILLIT copying NewJeans issue’”.

Min Hee-jin insisted, “The cultural achievements of NewJeans have been violated the most by HYBE”, claiming that ILLIT is copying NewJeans from all aspects, from hairstyles to makeup, costumes, choreographies, photos, videos, and event their appearance at events. She continued, “As imitation occurred, the image of NewJeans has been damaged and the group was dragged into unnecessary controversies, causing worries and frustration among fans and the public”.

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In response to Min Hee-jin’s rude remarks branding a new girl group as “copy”, netizens expressed frustration and pointed out that it was also unreasonable to call NewJeans’s culture the “origin” with various evidence.

The origin of NewJeans’s concept is not something created by Min Hee-jin herself. Rather, Min Hee-jin only took inspiration from the Y2K sensibility, which was a trend in the early 2000s. The key to the success of NewJeans is that they combined Y2K with NewJeans’s style in a sophisticated way. Min Hee-jin’s talent was the way she refined existing elements to make them look fresh, rather than creating something entirely new.


The so-called “NewJeans’s style” described by Min Hee-jin, which includes refreshing and retro vibes, long hair, easy-listening songs, and participation in luxury events, does not differ significantly from existing concepts and activities of other groups in the K-pop industry. Therefore, Min Hee-jin’s argument makes K-pop fans feel dumbfounded.

In the case of ILLIT, it is true that some people said they looked similar to NewJeans in the pre-debut concept photos, however, after the group debuted, the majority discovered that ILLIT is completely different from NewJeans in terms of songs, performances, and costumes. 

Some media outlets reported that Min Hee-jin was very angry when HYBE’s rookie boy group was labeled “male version of NewJeans”. This caused K-pop fans to wonder, “Is everything NewJeans’s?”. In addition, Min Hee-jin’s arguments have nothing to do with the ongoing dispute over management rights. As HYBE already secured internal documents through their audit, Min Hee-jin should clarify her position on the management issues rather than targeting ILLIT.

Source: nate

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