Moon Daein has always found modelling exciting. With his flamboyant looks, Daein has not only impressed the fashion world in his native country of South Korea but also in Italy and the UK. He has been recently in demand in Milan as well as in London, where he participated in the two cities’ fashion weeks modelling for Christopher Raeburn (LFW 19 A/W), ST-Henry (LFW 20 S/S), Münn (LFW 20 S/S), Philip Plein (MFW 19 A/W), Neil Barrett 20th (MFW 19 A/W) and Edith Marcel (MFW 20 S/S), to name just a few.
Daein enjoys travelling and cycling, and he promised himself that when he is less busy, he will have an adventure going around Europe. Now that London Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week are just around the corner, Daein has been engaged with various projects, including runways. Currently in Milan, Daein kindly found the time to have a quick chat with View of the Arts about his work, what he thinks of the industry, and his favourite fashion styles.
Photo © Prospecs
You have been working as a model in South Korea, Italy and London. Do you remember the first moment you felt that your future would lie in the fashion business?
Since I was a young boy, I have always been taller than my friends. I remember, when I was a freshman in high school, I watched a YouTube video introducing Seoul Fashion Week and, somehow, after watching the videos, the dream of becoming a model was in my mind… and here I am working as one.
Fashion trends change very fast, no matter the country or style. What are the fashion trends that you like the most and how would you describe your own style?
My favourite fashion trend is a colourful and casual style. However, when it comes to my own style, I would say that mine is more classical.
Photo © Dazed Korea
You are signed with the international modelling agency Tigers by Matt, and A.Conic in South Korea. Apart from working in South Korea, you have also modelled in Italy and London. How different is modelling in Europe to South Korea?
It’s very different. For instance, in Korea, the casting period starts one month before a fashion week, however, in Europe, it starts three days before the shows take place. Also, as you know, the majority of the models in Korea are Koreans, but Europe has a huge variety of people from all over the world, so that feels nice.
What do you think are your strengths as a model, what sets you apart?
My strength as a model might be my attractive eyes and bright complexion. I think these two set me apart from other models.
In an industry that requires you to work long hours and attend many castings, how do you motivate yourself?
My motivation? I always try to have positive thoughts and I also believe in myself more than anything else.
Photo © Liam Payne Jin
Which part of your job as a model do you find the most difficult? And which is the most rewarding?
As a model, I feel that dieting is the most difficult part. Having said that, when I start dieting and then work on a photo shoot or runway, and I see the results, I feel great.
What designers do you feel are moving fashion forward, testing boundaries and bringing a fresh vibe to the industry?
What else do you love doing? Do you have hobbies or ambitions outside of your modelling career?
I like listening to music; R&B, Hip-Hop, and Electronic in particular. My hobby is riding a bicycle; I would love to take a ride in France, Italy and around the UK. There are many cycling competitions taking place in those countries, that also go through the amazing countryside – I would like to see all that. At some point, I would like to go on a trip around Europe; Europe has a different atmosphere to Asia, I feel more comfortable and relaxed in Europe. If I have more time to spare, I would like to go to Germany too. I have already been to Paris, London, and Milan, but I like England in particular.
How do you feel about the rising popularity of Korean models overseas? What does this mean for you?
It sounds really good if you asked me. I am glad that the popularity of Korean models abroad is steadily growing; diversity is important. It is true that white models still dominate the industry, but diversity exists if you really look at the industry. Casting directors make sure that they seek different looks and look for newcomers with a unique charm for different countries. These days, there are many models from Asia that add to the diversity and I do hope I can add to it as well.
What are your goals, how do you see yourself progressing in this industry? And what’s next for you, any plans?
My goal is to retire when the best moment comes. But as for now, my goal is to have positive and happy days. I do want to do a shoot for a fashion lookbook and campaign. Also, when it comes to modelling, I would like to develop myself into a person that has a unique charm without overlapping images. In addition, I’ve got to work on my abs!
We’d like to thank A.Conic for their assistance with the interview and Moon Daein who kindly took the time to answer our questions.
Written and interviewed by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Roxy Simons
All other photos © Courtesy of the photographers