With Rapunzel-like hair and chameleon skills, Yoon Da Ro is surely a desirable model. Charming, intelligent, ambitious and often engaged in a conversation with others, Da Ro comes across as a person that one simply wants to be around. Starting his career as a fashion designer, he quickly developed a passion for modelling. Although he started his work as a model a couple of years ago – he debuted at the 2018 Seoul Fashion Week – he quickly impressed the domestic fashion market with his appearance and attitude. Da Ro’s work includes ads for GUESS and Calvin Klein (Global Campaign). In addition to that, he also did an editorial for Vogue Korea, GQ, Dazed and Bling. His past fashion week shows comprise of runways for D-Antidote, Caruso, Vibrate, Sling Stone and Maxxi J, just to name a few; Da Ro has also appeared in Tae-yeon and MeloMance’s music video Page 0.
Photo © Roe Poet
Da Ro often describes himself as an androgynous person, and he does not put aside the fact that he looks good in both male and female clothes. He openly shows interest in women’s fashion and does not hesitate to wear stylish heels or cowboy boots. Outside of modelling, Da Ro finds pleasure in DJing – and he is pretty good at it – as well as drumming; he is clearly a man of many talents.
Even though Da Ro is in between various projects and preparing for the upcoming Seoul Fashion Week, he still kindly found time to have a chat with View of the Arts about his journey of becoming a model, his drumming and his fashion style.
Photo © Songzio
Looking at your flourishing career as a model, do you remember the first moment when you felt that your future should lie in the fashion business?
I used to work as a fashion designer. At that time, something came to my mind that I wanted to be a fashion model as [during that time] I met a lot of people from that field. However, I was concerned that I was too short to be a model. When I was a tailor at a wedding shop, I had some modelling work as a second job. I decided to change my job because I didn’t want to lose this opportunity.
After looking at your work, including the editorials, it is easy to see that you are a true chameleon. You fit absolutely into every fashion theme that is thrown at you. How do you achieve such great results; do you have your own special way to convey fashion themes?
When I was working for one of the design houses [I saw many different clothes and themes], my knowledge helped me to convey it into my modelling work. [When it comes to themes] I often think of a mood and what’s the strongest point of a particular theme, and I take [that] into account while modelling.
I also think about things such as how the clothes are made, the creative process behind it and what the designers thought while making the clothes. I give priority to these thoughts when shooting various [fashion themes]. I also keep monitoring everything while doing a photoshoot, therefore, I bring the best results [I possibly can].
Photo © Kim So-yeon
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?
In general, I don’t get shy, and when I am shooting, I ask the photographer if [he or she] wants to point out something to me, I [want them] to talk to me. I also ask the photographer what they want to focus on.
And I [also] believe that I normally do a better job when I’m encouraged. When shooting, I try to suggest various poses and constantly give my [constructive] opinion on things. I think this is the way to have a good relationship with photographers.
As you have been modelling for the past couple of years, has modelling changed other aspects of your life?
Yes, for example, my working days are flexible. Sometimes, I am worried about my irregular income, but, on the other hand, I am paid the same wages in less time than others. It’s always fun to work on different things every day (not the same routine work) and I enjoy my life developing.
I’m learning DJing and drums at the moment, and I would also love to experience other things such as dancing if I have more time [to do so].
Photo © D-Antidote
How do you balance your everyday life and work as a model, especially in such a demanding industry?
Every day, I think about working and performing as a model. I always think that if you don’t make a move [work hard], there is no development, but just a waste of time. I believe that the most important thing is to ‘just do it’ [work].
Fashion trends change very fast, no matter the country or style. What are the fashion trends you love the most and how would you describe your own fashion style?
I’m sort of an androgynous person, I think female fashion is more versatile and beautiful than men’s fashion. As a result, I put on some fashionable female clothes whenever it suits me and whenever I feel like it.
I think Koreans are trend-sensitive, but they are not over-enthusiastic when it comes to fashion. It would be more amazing if people not only followed the trends, but also kept their style/taste even though the trends change quickly.
Modelling requires you to be in top form, how do you stay in shape and what’s your hair secret? We are truly amazed at how beautiful your hair is!
I have only one meal a day and work out (do exercise). Well, my hair secret? I have no secret, actually [laughs]. As I change my hairstyle quite often, my hair condition is really bad even though I do care for it a lot.
Photo © Park Byung-hyun
The modelling industry is known to be harsh; how do you view the South Korean modelling industry and who encourages you when you go through difficult days while modelling?
I think so too, the modelling industry is harsh. You do need luck, the right timing when it comes to modelling and obviously the ability to be a good model. Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of talented models who haven’t gotten any opportunities. That being said, it is vital to keep evolving [as a model], working hard and being patient.
When I have difficult days while modelling, I usually meet my family and friends or release my stress by enjoying my hobbies.
You have recently started to practise drumming, how is that going for you, and do you see yourself as a drummer in the future or just a model who can play the drums?
I practice every day. If I keep practising hard, I may become a professional drummer one day, you never know! I would also love to try other instruments when I get a chance.
Photo © Marcin Józefiak
As you have a passion for music, who is your favourite musician/band nowadays?
I like Sullivan King. I’ve been listening to a lot of Radiohead songs. I also like Motley Crue – even though their lifestyle used to be filled with a toxic mixture of drugs, alcohol, fast cars and women, I am glad that I could see how their lives and careers have changed.
Sullivan King is one of my favourite DJs. I like everything about him, even his looks, music taste and his guitar performance.
In your downtime between shows and campaigns, what helps you relax?
I keep looking for other things to do. As I mentioned above, I always try to be on the move. If you only think without doing things, time would just fly by without any purpose.
What are your goals, how do you see yourself progressing in the fashion industry?
My final goal would be to become a famous model, so I could attend luxury fashion brand events and show up as a celebrity [laughs]. I would like to make a lot of money by collaborating with other brands, and if I am lucky, I would like to become an icon.
We’d like to thank A.Conic for their assistance with the interview and Yoon Da Ro who kindly took the time to answer our questions.
Written and interviewed by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Julia Litwinowicz
Translated by Jinny Park
Featured photo © Marcin Józefiak
All other photos © Courtesy of the photographers