On February 6, 2024, The Black Label (also written as “TheBlackLabel”), which is the company of Blackpink music producer Teddy, confirmed that it would debut a girl group in the first half of 2024. This confirmation was spurred by two photos (below) depicting apparent trainees at The Black Label that were uploaded anonymously to an online forum on February 5, 2024, which had been given the title “Girl Group by Teddy.” Seven girls were seen in total in the photos, and there is no confirmation that all seven of them are active trainees at The Black Label and/or are slated to debut as new girl group members under Teddy. Likewise, the actual identities of all seven girls have not yet been confirmed either. As such, K-Pop Answers will set aside rumors and focus on the facts and most reliable reporting regarding these photos, in order to create the most accurate picture of who The Black Label debut trainees may be — these prospects currently include Ella Gross, Bailey Sok, and Annie Moon (Moon Seo-yoon).
New Teddy Girl Group Members? Facts About Who The Black Label Debut Trainees May Be
Firstly, Ella Gross is an ethnically Korean and German American, born December 1, 2008 (currently age 15), who has been signed exclusively to The Black Label since July 2018. Ella is both a model and an actress who earned the nickname “Little Jennie” for her resemblance to Blackpink’s Jennie. Regarding her modeling, according to The Black Label itself, “At just 10 years young, Ella began to be the face for major global brands, FENDI, Lacoste, GAP, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, ZARA, H&M and Adidas.” She has accordingly had acting roles in Heathers (2018), Teachers (2019), Malibu Rescue (2019), and Star Trek: Picard (2020). Ella Gross has more than 4 million Instagram followers at the time of writing, so she would bring an extreme amount of built-in popularity to a new girl group at The Black Label for Teddy.
Korean news publications have confidently presented Bailey Sok as another person who seems to appear in the photos of apparent The Black Label trainees, and she too would be a compelling prospect to debut as a girl group member. Bailey Sok is a Korean American choreographer, born February 24, 2004 (currently age 19), with an incredible pedigree for her age. At age 15, Bailey participated in choreographing “Psycho” for Red Velvet. In January 2023, she confirmed that she had choreographed “VIBE,” a Taeyang song featuring Jimin of BTS. Notably, Taeyang (a BigBang member) is currently signed to The Black Label. With her outstanding dance skills, Bailey Sok would have a tremendous amount to offer Teddy in a new girl group, if she is indeed a trainee slated to debut. (She too has 1.8 million Instagram followers at the time of writing.)
Lastly, Korean news publications have also confidently presented Annie Moon as a person who seems to appear in the photos of apparent The Black Label trainees. Shinsegae Group chaebol heiress Annie Moon (Korean name Moon Seo-yoon) was born in January 2002 (currently age 22) and is the granddaughter of Shinsegae Group Chairwoman Lee Myung-hee, who is in turn the youngest daughter of deceased Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull. In other words, Annie was born into extraordinary wealth. According to her Instagram, which has more than 70,000 followers at the time of writing, she apparently attends or has attended Columbia University, but most details of her life are not a matter of public record. There are various claims about celebrities she may be friends with, some of whom are idols, but we will not be engaging in granular speculation here.
Based on the unofficial photos released of apparent The Black Label trainees, Ella Gross, Bailey Sok, and Annie Moon have been presented in Korean media with the highest degree of confidence as appearing in those photos, and they would all make for promising debut members in a new Teddy girl group. However, it bears reiterating that none of them are confirmed to be actually debuting at this time, and only Ella Gross is known to be under exclusive contract with The Black Label. As more genuinely reliable information becomes available about potential trainees, this space shall be updated accordingly. Likewise, when the new girl group is confirmed, it shall receive its own separate, in-depth articles at K-Pop Answers.
The Black Label continues to exist as a subsidiary of YG Entertainment at the moment. YG is of course where Blackpink was created, while Teddy has always been the producer for Blackpink. However, this new Teddy girl group will exist in a state of slightly unusual competition with YG’s new girl group, BabyMonster, since both groups are considered descendants of Blackpink!
For more, check out our comprehensive BabyMonster members profile, which comes packed with fact-checked trivia on what could be this new girl group’s biggest rival.