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Essᴇ Qᴜᴀᴍ Vɪᴅᴇʀɪ

About the agency


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   Esse Quam Videri                      

Type — Public
Traded as — EQV
Industry — Entertainment
FoundedSeptember 3, 2013
Founder(s)Woo Jiho, Goo Hara
HeadquartersGangnam, Seoul, South Korea
Address — 343, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 
Phone Number — +82-2-3449-4114
Area served
South Korea
ServicesPublic relations, Entertainment agency
Employees50 (2013)

Esse Quam Videri is an entertainment agency based in South Korea. It acts in part as a public relations agency for its exclusive members. It is best known for its bi-monthly magazine, EQUIVALENT, which is free to the public.


Agency Formation and Growth

Esse Quam Videri was officially founded by Woo Jiho, better known as ZICO of Block B, and Goo Hara, of KARA, in 2013. Prior to the creation of the agency, CEO ZICO and CEO Hara worked together in numerous projects—sometimes alongside other CEOs. Among previous projects, a notable one was affiliated with the American luxury brand Chrome Hearts, which yielded unsuccessful in their field.

Carrying over the exclusive membership that they held to such high standards, the public was finally invited to apply for one-time membership in the newly begun and refreshing Esse Quam Videri. Taking inspiration from the Latin phrase meaning “to be, rather than to seem (to be),” the agency was founded on the premise of authenticity.

Taking on a minimalist approach, Esse Quam Videri prides itself on the classic appeal of simplicity. With the usage of flat volumes, clean and san-serif typography, and innovative branding, the agency kept away from the lure of the flash and glitzy glamour. With its main dedication being dealing with famous persons, Esse Quam Videri strove to keep their outlook and inner-workings as simple as possible. 

In the March of 2014, Esse Quam Videri revamped their administrative staff by allowing two current members to become gold cardholders. Lee Chaerin, better known as CL of 2NE1, and Wu Yifan, better known as Kris of EXO, joined the ranks by taking part in the publishing of EQUIVALENT. Most notably, the duo works with the advertising firm for the agency.

On June 17th, 2014, the agency closed down to any further membership. Although talk of merges were present, no official statement has been given. Both founders, Woo Jiho (ZICO) and Goo Hara, commented their departure was due to their pursual of individual activities.



Membership in Esse Quam Videri is highly selective in the sense that although many apply each month, only a few are admitted into the agency. Based in South Korea, the main requirement for membership is Korean citizenship. Aside from that, all those who support the country are welcomed to apply for membership. The agency’s clientele ranges from soloists to entire idol groups to models and actors to artists and popular faces.

Anyone in need of the services offered at Esse Quam Videri can be granted membership if s/he meets the criteria the agency holds.

Termination of membership is often the case with those who fail to follow suit with the terms and regulations outlined in the private contract.



Esse Quam Videri headquarters are in the heart of the Gangnam district in the lively city of Seoul. Standing tall at five stories, the building was once the studio of a well-known local artist. Revamped into a chic and upscale office building, the agency holds all official businesses in the premises.

Greeted up front by the doorman, one comes to find how exclusive Esse Quam Videri is. The lobby floor is decorated much like the rest of the building; white cube-like walls center the space while Minimalist and Neo-Minimalist works from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s up until now adorn (for lack of a better word) the corridors.

The first two floors of the agency are somewhat of a secret since only business regarding the editing, printing, and publishing of the magazine, EQUIVALENT, occurs there. Other work such as dealing with the membership of the Esse Quam Videri clientele may happen in that floor.

The third floor holds a private cafe and restaurant only accessible to the employees with a “goldcard.” Only when invited can a non-goldcard member or employee dine inside. No one knows what the “fourth floor” holds.

And finally, the fifth floor is where the founders of the agency reside from time to time during operation hours. Interviews are more often than not held inside the fifth floor as well as the appointment of new leaders into the board and conferences regarding the business.



EQUIVALENT was first released to the public in October 1st of 2013. Since then, it has been released in a bi-monthly schedule. The content of the magazine varies throughout the months, but it often holds an running theme within each publication.

Each issue is free to the public, and anyone outside Esse Quam Videri is welcomed to pick up a copy for themselves.