Iz*One (/ˈaɪz wʌn/ EYEZ-wun; Korean: 아이즈원, translit. Aijeuwon; Japanese: アイズワン, translit. Aizuwan; stylized as IZ*ONE) is a South Korean-Japanese girl group formed through the Mnet reality competition show Produce 48. The group is composed of twelve members: Kwon Eun-bi, Sakura Miyawaki, Kang Hye-won, Choi Ye-na, Lee Chae-yeon, Kim Chae-won, Kim Min-joo, Nako Yabuki, Hitomi Honda, Jo Yu-ri, Ahn Yu-jin and Jang Won-young.
Iz One made their debut on October 29, 2018, with their first extended play Color*Iz. The group is currently managed by Off the Record Entertainment in South Korea and AKS in Japan.
The group’s name, Iz One (stylized as IZ*ONE), was suggested by netizens through the official Produce 48 website and chosen by CJ E&M. “IZ” is a numeronym for the number 12, a homage to their twelve members, while “ONE” indicates that they are one as a group. The asterisk (*) between “IZ” and “ONE” symbolizes the astrological signs of the zodiac.
Iz One was formed through the reality competition show Produce 48, which aired on Mnet from June 15 to August 31, 2018. The show was billed as a collaboration between the Korean Produce 101 franchise and the Japanese idol AKB48 Group. Out of an initial ninety-six contestants, the final twelve were chosen by audience votes and announced via live television broadcast.
Prior to appearing on the show, several members had already been active in the entertainment industry. Hitomi Honda previously made her debut as a member of AKB48. Prior to joining HKT48, member Sakura Miyawaki had appeared in a Shiki Theatre Company musical production of The Lion King (2008–2009), and member Nako Yabuki was in the 2005 film Touch, followed by roles in various Japanese television dramas and commercials. Kwon Eun-bi previously debuted with Ye-A in 2014 under the stage name Ka-zoo but left the group later. Kang Hye-won was a potential member for the groups DayDay and The Ark. Lee Chae-yeon previously competed in SBS’ K-pop Star 3, and JYP Entertainment’s own reality competition show Sixteen. Jo Yu-ri was a contestant in the past 2017 Mnet competition show Idol School, where she came in fifteenth place. Kim Min-ju had appeared as an actress in music videos and Korean dramas, notably the 2018 MBC television series Tempted, wherein she portrayed the role of the young Choi Soo-ji (Moon Ga-young). Ahn Yu-jin had appeared as an actress in commercials and music videos, notably in an Acuvue Vita commercial.
In September 2018, Off the Record announced that they would take over the management of Iz One from Stone Music and Pledis. All three Japanese members will halt activities with their respective 48 groups to focus on Iz One.
The group’s debut extended play (EP) Color*Iz was released on October 29, 2018, with “La Vie en Rose” serving as its lead single. A debut showcase concert, entitled “Color*Iz Show-Con’, was held in conjunction with the album’s release at the Olympic Hall in Seoul, South Korea, in which the tickets to the showcase were sold-out within a minute of being on sale. In its first day of release, the EP sold over 34,000 units reported by Hanteo Chart, setting a new record for the highest number of albums sold on the first day of a Korean girl group’s debut release. The music video for the lead single “La Vie en Rose” achieved more than 4.5 million views within 24 hours of its release on YouTube, making it the most-watched debut music video by a Korean act in 24 hours. On November 8, Iz One garnered their first music program win for “La Vie en Rose” on M Countdown, becoming the fastest girl group to receive a music program win, just 10 days after their official debut.
On December 6, Off the Record announced that Iz One had signed a recording contract with Universal Music Japan’s EMI Records label. It was also revealed that the group will make their Japanese debut on February 6, 2019. On December 15, Sakura Miyawaki and Nako Yabuki returned to Japan for HKT48’s 8th anniversary concert. Although the news received criticism initially, Off the Record responded that Sakura Miyawaki and Nako Yabuki would participate in the concert as Iz One members.
Iz One won the Mnet Asian Music Awards 2018 as the best rookie group of the year.
On January 20, 2019 IZ*One held their debut show-con in Tokyo Dome City Hall to promote their first japanese single “Suki To Iwasetai”. Five days after the event, the group released the music video for the same song and views on YouTube surpassed 5 million within a week.
Prior to debut, Iz One had endorsed and collaborated with multiple brands including Overhit, Salewa, and Skoolooks. The group had also featured in magazines such as Non-no.