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Hyun bin: Our knight in shining armor during the pandemic

By MONIQUE TODA, The Philippine STAR Published Oct 11, 2020 5:00 am

Just when we were starting to miss Hyun Bin again, Bench surprises us with this delightful gift. Hyun Bin, the sought-after Korean superstar who makes many ladies’ hearts flutter (K-drama fans will understand this) is back donning the cool casual clothes of the local retail giant. Welcome, Hyun Bin, for Bench Part Two.

It was last year when the good-looking actor blew up in the country with the hit drama Crash Landing on You. Suddenly, everyone and their mother were in love with him. I have witnessed fun Hyun Bin-themed parties complete with life-size standees, like he was a special guest.

“Hyun Bin was so down-to-earth and humble. He complimented us on the Bench clothes he wore, was warm and genuinely sincere,” says Ben Chan.

Photos of his bedimpled, handsome face have also graced many publications. On social media alone, Hyun Bin adorns probably a million or more posts. On Instagram, check out the hashtags #HyunBinforBench, #GlobalBENCHsetter, #hyunbin, #hyunbinactor, #hyunbinoppa, and you will have your fill of photos, videos and information. Let’s just say that the visual side of Hyun Bin can chase our pandemic blues away.

CLASSICS FOR THE CLASSIC

One-sided love (another K-drama term) aside, Hyun Bin has been a respected and popular actor in Korea for some time. He has tackled versatile roles in dramas and movies that are so diverse that sometimes you won’t recognize him. A few of his noteworthy characters were in My Name is Kim Sam-soon, Secret Garden, The Swindlers, Late Autumn and Memories of the Alhambra. Wildly popular for his role as the stoic but ultra-lovable Captain Ri in CLOY, we now have another opportunity to get a glimpse of the man behind these different personas. Beyond being a heartthrob, Hyun Bin has classic appeal which is why he is a perfect fit for the timeless clothing of Bench. It is definitely the “classics for the classic.”

We asked Bench founder Ben Chan some questions about having Hyun Bin as the company’s latest global endorser.

PHILIPPINE STAR: Why do you think Hyun Bin is a great fit for Bench?

BEN CHAN: Hyun Bin is a great fit for Bench, both as an actor and as a person. As an actor, he was worked his way up by taking on even unpopular but challenging roles to hone his craft. He has since earned several nominations, awards, and an acting reputation that collectively proves that hard work can lead to great work.

Hyun Bin in Bench 

As a person, Hyun Bin is known to be philanthropic — someone who has been publicly and privately helping various charitable causes. Thus, on both fronts, he is an ideal role model — great at his job and good as a person.

As a fashion figure, Hyun Bin can be in nothing but a simple and essential shirt and everyday pair of jeans and still manage to look well put-together and on point. Just look at his photos for Bench: he looks equally good suited up with a jacket, with just a collared shirt, or a Captain tee.

How was it working with the Korean superstar?

It’s always a surprise to know that a celebrity as famous as him can still be down-to-earth and humble. He came in without much of a fuss, complimented us with the Bench clothes he wore, and was warm to the people around him. Most importantly, he seemed genuinely sincere.

What do you think is his appeal to the local market?

He was a knight in shining armor that many needed during the early days of the pandemic. As Captain Ri, he captured a lot of hearts with his dignified portrayal of man who will go to great lengths to accomplish his mission at work and for love.

It was a good show by itself and a romantic escape during the lockdown. Together, it was no surprise that it became the perfect storm that crash-landed the Philippines.

Bench has been a forerunner when it comes to getting the right local or international endorsers. How do you keep your pulse on who is popular at the moment?

Intuition. It’s always a risk that we gamble on. Luckily, we have picked well and ahead of most. We have been working with a steady mix of local and international celebrities since our start. In 1995, we started working with Asian endorsers starting with VJ Nonie Tao for Herbench and Jerry Yan in 2003.

For his Bench pictorial, Hyun Bin looks good suited up with a jacket, with just a collared shirt, or a Captain tee.

We’ve worked from Hollywood (Adam Levine, Bruno Mars, Nicole Scherzinger) to Hallyu (Lee Min Ho, Park Shin-hye, Park Seo Jun, Siwon and Donghae of Super Junior), among others, yet we’ve also kept and grown our roster of local talents who represent the best and the most promising personalities in their fields.

What makes Bench a trendsetter when it comes to fashion and marketing?

We don’t have a formula. And maybe that has been our formula: to think ahead and outside of the box, to choose the road less traveled, and to live life with flavor.

We have been working for over three decades. We’ve worked with many of our best creatives locally and globally. And we still enjoy it. We get excited by it. We look forward to it. It’s been an exciting journey and we know that there’s more to come tomorrow.