Summer, a South Korean model, is fierce, confident, positively outspoken and always willing to work hard, whether it’s on the runway or on a photo-shoot she is consistently on top of her game. With extensive work in Korea as well as in Italy, Summer’s ambition to become a more established model is obvious as she navigates her own path without a break.

This year has been hectic for Summer; she recently returned from Italy to participate in Seoul Fashion Week S/S20 where she walked for various fashion designers, including SYZstudio, Generation Next, Seok Woon-yoon and Studio Seong. Outside of SFW, the model shot for DAZED and was a part of Calvin Klein’s worldwide campaign as well. While modelling is vital to Summer, it often comes with hardships, nevertheless, thanks to her family and friends’ support, she is able to continue with her career.

During this year’s Seoul Fashion Week, at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, we met up with Summer and discussed the modelling world and her plans for the future.

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Photo © Courtesy of the Photographer 

Was there a particular campaign or model that inspired you to become a model?

Before I changed my hair to blonde, there were no models or events that inspired me to do modelling. However, I learned and respected the shows and magazines that Park Soo-joo worked on, and I was also told that I was very similar to her. And that’s how it all started.

What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progressing in this field?

My goal is always to grow and evolve in the industry. As the modelling world gets bigger, my need to do more grows too. I’m looking forward to doing more ads or editorials in the future.

Looking at your career as a model, what do you think is your biggest accomplishment that you are proud of?

Well, first thing would be getting to shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine. It’s one of my favourite magazines of all time, and the shoot was in Milan. Besides working in Korea, I feel more accomplished that I had the chance to shoot in Milan.

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Photo © Courtesy of the Photographer 

You spend a lot of time in Milan, where you also do modelling. Looking at your Korean modelling career as well as the one in Italy, what are the differences between the two?

Well actually, I think the industries are quite different, starting off with castings. I had good opportunities from being a blonde Asian model in both Korea and Milan. I haven’t been out to other countries besides those two, but I’m looking forward to going out to Singapore too. I have come to a turning point in my career and hopefully I can prepare to do more.

You have done various campaigns already, do you ever get shy in front of the camera? How do you build a relationship with a photographer on-site during the photo-shoot?

Being shy isn’t the right thing for a model to be. Whatever task I am given, I never get shy. And when shooting, I try to repress my internal energy without interrupting communication with the photographer, and keeping sufficient eye contact.

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Photo © Courtesy of the Photographer

Do you see yourself strictly as a model or do you ever feel the pull to create fashion designs yourself? 

To be honest, I wasn’t interested in fashion before, and I didn’t know what kind of fashion I liked either. But as I got into this industry, I felt like I needed something that represents “me”. I see myself strictly as a model because I don’t feel pressured to create designs.

How do you balance your everyday life and work as a model, especially in such a demanding industry?

As a model, I think everyday life should be about being healthy at all times.  Even in the most demanding industries, keeping your mental health well-maintained makes life a lot less stressful.

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Photo © Courtesy of the Photographer 

How would you describe your own fashion style? Consider anything and everything from colour to historical eras, and more.

I’m interested in denim styles in the 70’s and 80’s.  I like it a lot because it’s my favourite style, and I know how to pull it off.

In your downtime between shows and campaigns, what helps you relax?

Relaxing music helps me a lot during shows, or when I’m shooting etc. I generally love jazz music, and some country music too. I tend to just close my eyes and concentrate on the lyrics, and just put myself into the mood.

Who would you love to model for and why?

I would love to model for Hedi Slimane, who is the designer for Celine. I recently saw Celine 20SS show, and I was completely obsessed with the it. 

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Photo © Courtesy of the Photographer 

Who encourages you? Who supports you from the sidelines on your hardest days? 

Number one would be my family. My family is the reason that keeps me alive during anything I go through.  I get a lot of strength from my friends too! We always keep in touch no matter how things go.

What do you love most about being a model?

First, I love meeting new people. Working as a model is my career, there are so many people who have led me to this point where I can work and love my job at all times. Getting to know new people is one of the biggest reasons that I stick with this job. Sharing new things and trends that everybody has in their thoughts also motivates me a lot.

What is fashion, according to you?

I think fashion is passion. When it comes to dressing, making “fashion”, with all the passion from the heart, I always think that good results will follow.

What are your goals, how do you see yourself progressing in this industry?

I don’t really have a ‘final’ goal, because my ambitions are getting stronger every day and every time I go to new places or new circumstances, it makes my heart beat faster. And looking at the fashion industry as a whole, I just need to stay strong and have confidence in myself to stay put. 

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Photo © DAZED Korea 

We’d like to thank A.Conic for their assistance in the interview and to Summer who kindly took the time to answer our questions.

Written and Interviewed by Maggie Gogler

Edited by Roxy Simons

 

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About View of the Arts

We are enthusiasts of the arts, passionate about cinema, theatre, and literature. Maggie is a freelance film producer, production manager and she also works with children. Sanja is a freelance translator, occasional writer and a perpetual dreamer. Film is her first and longest-lasting love. Roxy is an Arts Journalist, who writes for several magazines and websites.

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Fashion, General, In Conversation with

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