Byeon Jun-seo is an eager young South Korean fashion model; with his energetic personality and with him always on the move, his career was probably meant to be. Whenever Jun-seo walks a runway, the level of excitement at the fashion show electrifies the air. Clothes-conscious and comfortable with whatever style the next season could bring, Byeon Jun-seo is always a la mode.
Byeon Jun-seo shot for various prestigious magazines including GQ Korea, Men’s Magazine and Arena Homme. In addition to the printed press, he also shot for BNT International and Quicksilver Korea. He is often seen at Seoul Fashion Week where he ‘glides’ among other fellow models. Outside of fashion, Jun-seo occupies himself with other work, including working as a health/sports trainer, which he personally appreciates a lot – healthy body, healthy mind. After his busy Seoul Fashion Week schedule, we spoke to Byeon Jun-seo about modelling and the difficult and rewarding sides of being a model, as well as his plans for the future.
Do you remember the first moment when you felt that your future should lie in the fashion business?
I think that this job is kind of a present from God. I am always creative and super energetic while doing a photo shoot or walking the runway. Whenever good work comes my way, my heart is beating. I have never thought of quitting modelling, no matter how hard it is or it might become.
How do you balance your everyday life and working as a model, especially in such a demanding industry?
It was hard when I concentrated on a single modeling job. Freelancing is always tough; with an unstable income, you feel tortured by an uncertain future. I continually thought about what else could be linked to my existing jobs; I luckily have a few new jobs/projects. Now I feel happiness through modelling work and I think this gave me an opportunity to relieve the stress. So this work revitalizes my daily life. As a result, to me, there is no need to balance.
Modelling requires to be in a top form; what do you do to stay in shape?
I’m trying to keep my weight to be around 72kg. If I have an important shoot or a runway project, I start to exercise hard for about a week before the show. I always eat well, sleep tight and workout hard.
Fashion trends change rapidly, no matter the country and style. What are the fashion trends you love the most this year?
The return of the scarf. It is a fashion trend rather than an accessory.
Do you feel that you are open to all styles, or is there a concept that you feel fits who you are?
I think I’m mostly suitable for most of the styles. Or if not, I try to fit in!
What’s your perception of the modelling industry in South Korea?
I think that the interest from the public and from overseas has decreased a lot compared to the past.
Is there something you feel needs to be changed in the fashion industry in South Korea?
I think that the Korean fashion industry should concentrate on fashion as much as they concentrate on the market itself.
Once you said, “Inner beauty is important.” In the modelling world, let’s be honest, it’s the outside beauty that matters. What does the term ‘inner beauty’ mean to you personally?
No matter how handsome and beautiful someone is, if the inside of the person is not beautiful, he/she will not look lovable. You can figure out right away through her or his face, attitude etc. The person who has inner beauty, regardless of their appearance, they look attractive. ‘Attractiveness’ is the most important element to have if you are a fashion model.
Apart from being a model, you are also a health trainer, could you tell us more about it?
Sports trainers can help you know more about your body. You have to know which part of your body is your strength and which one is your weakness. As a trainer or by studying training, you can go one step further and improve yourself. I enjoy teaching it.
Modelling industry has a bad rep when it comes to jealousy and egos that sometimes clash, may it be between models themselves or their agencies. Are you worried you might experience it somewhere along your modelling career?
When you become famous in the fashion world, it always brings a lot of jealousy. I do not care about that as I look only in the direction I’m going.
Do you ever get shy in front of the camera?
It is strange… I still feel shy when a friend or my parents take a photo of me. However, I never feel shy when I’m at the photo studio or when I work; I always feel very excited.
Which part of your job as a model do you find the most difficult? And which is the most rewarding?
When you start modelling for the first time, the financial part is the hardest, but when you do runway or an artwork which you’re a part of and everything comes out great, the hardship is all worth it. Sometimes, some of those moments are truly unforgettable.
Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” What, in your opinion, makes you different from the other models around you?
I totally agree with her. My normal model friends act like they are baby birds, waiting for their mother bird. They wait for food without doing anything, but they dream high. Unlike them, I act. I only think about what I can do at this moment and try to weave a modelling career. I believe that the value a model has will make things happen for the said model in a very short amount of time. My strength is bringing out Asian sex-appeal and masculine features. This is my weapon and sadly something not many Oriental models have.
Within a short period of time, you have already accomplished a lot as a model. What’s next for you?
I want to be seen in front of the public as an actor, rather than someone who specializes as a sports trainer. Having said that, I plan to do everything I can do. I will never waste my passion.
We’d like to thank A.Conic for their assistance in the interview and to Byeon Jun-seo who kindly took the time to answer our questions.
Written and interviewed by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Sanja Struna
Featured photo © bnt International and its photographer
Byeon Jun-seo for bnt International © bnt International and its photographer
Byeon Jun-seo for Arena Homme © Arena Homme and its photographer
Black and White photo © Courtesy of the photographer and A.Conic
All other photos © A.Conic and its photographers