“Korean Fashion Models Have a lot of Personality and Talent. I Hope to See More Media Outlets That Can Give Them Exposure.” – In Conversation with Model Joo Ye Ri
What defines Joo Ye Ri is an elusiveness, changing from an innocent mademoiselle to a coquettish sporty girl in an instance; her versatility is surely what makes her unique. At just 22, Ye Ri’s images are not only full of natural femininity, but there is also a lot of character to them; her editorial work looks and feels special each time one looks at it. With her sunny disposition, delicate features, piercing eyes and a perfectly proportioned body, she undoubtedly is desirable by many in the fashion industry.
Photo © Park Jieun
Ye Ri has been working in fashion for the past two years, and has modelled for fashion lines such as D-ANTIDOTE, Graphiste Mang, Ike, Vibrate and Uxion, just to name a few. Her editorial work consists of photoshoots for Guess, Tag Magazine and Beanpole-Sport China. She also featured in the Duckdive Lookbook and appeared in Dazed Korea Magazine.
Ye Ri finds pleasure in wearing red, black (as it matches everything), and some pink accessories. Outside of modelling, she likes to dance to Naria Bang’s choreography and exercise. Even though 2020 has been a gloomy year for the entertainment industry, including the fashion industry, Ye Ri still manages to do work when it comes to photoshoots. How does Ye Ri perceive the domestic fashion market? Was becoming a model her dream? We caught up with her a few days ago and chatted all about fashion and Ye Ri’s favourite styles.
Photo © Jeong Ju
Most people see fashion as a beautiful yet difficult industry, particularly for women. What prompted you to become a model? Weren’t you afraid that you might go through hard times yourself?
I didn’t plan on becoming a model from the beginning. I knew that nothing comes easy, no matter what kind of work you do. When I was in high school, I was thinking about what kind of career I wanted to have and I started thinking positively about modelling. Then, I decided I wanted to be a model, and I thought I could be a good model if I became one.
Although you haven’t been modelling for a long time, it seems like you have gained a lot of experience already – what features of your character have helped and still help you at work as a model, and which complicate your work?
It hasn’t been that long since I debuted, but I think I’ve had a lot of different experiences. The reason I was able to keep modelling is because being hardworking was the top priority for me. I was also always thinking about how I could become a better model and what I needed to change. There are times when a complex situation occurs or when it’s difficult for me emotionally, then I keep reminding myself of why I am doing this work and I always try to brush it off if something upsets me and try to enjoy what I am doing.
Photo © Guess
Looking at your editorial work, the pictures are not only full of natural femininity, but there is a lot of character in them. How do you achieve such incredible results while being photographed?
I’m a model that wants to embrace diverse concepts like femininity, power, warmth, and coldness. I consider my soulful eyes and the aura of my face as my assets, and I constantly take pictures of myself when I’m not working as well as when I’m working and contemplate in order to highlight them. I still need to work on things, but I want to capture a lot of stories and moods in my pictures.
Are there any habits you have before you walk on stage or in front of the camera for a fashion shoot?
The day before I have a shoot or a show, I try to sleep well and eat less. You have to sleep well to ensure good skin condition and eat less to prevent bloating. But it kills me because I don’t sleep well at night and love to eat.
Let’s talk about your beauty regimen: how do you keep yourself healthy? Do you have any tips for our readers?
On days that I wear makeup, I always remove makeup before going to bed even if I can’t feel bothered to. And I keep my skin well hydrated. I also take vitamins and nutritional supplements. And, because maintaining my weight is key, I usually try not to overeat, and if I think I’m gaining weight, I’ll do home training right away to work it off.
Photo © D-ANTIDOTE
Fashion trends are ever-changing. Which fashion trends are your favourite this year – do any of them really match your personal style?
I hear the trendy colour this year is classic blue. I see quite a lot of Denim fashion which is easy to style. Since ‘new-tro’ is in, I think coordinating with denim jackets or jeans would be the most natural and stylish way to go about it.
The modelling industry is known to be harsh; how do you perceive the Korean modelling industry? Is there anything you really wish would change?
Korean fashion models have a lot of personality and talent. I hope to see more media outlets that can give them exposure. I also would like to see more diverse ways and methods for me to communicate with the public.
American designer Bill Blass once said, “When in doubt, wear red.” Red is generally established as the colour that brings out confidence. What is the colour – or colours – you find yourself the most comfortable wearing, and which colour(s) gives you confidence?
I actually love red. Red looks great on me. My favourite colours would be red, black, and pink. I’m sure a lot of people like black because you can style it with everything. And I’ve got a lot of pink accessories because I love the colour pink.
Photo © Callray
Do you see yourself strictly as a model or do you ever feel the pull to create fashion designs yourself?
I love clothes and am really interested in fashion. I think I feel the most like myself when I’m modelling. I try to maintain a certain level of tension and enjoy myself when I’m working.
Which part of your job as a model do you find the most difficult? And which is the most rewarding?
I think I get stressed at the situation itself when things don’t go the way I planned. Also, I think I feel proud of myself when I’m really satisfied with the results after a shoot. It’s so rewarding when the results satisfy the client, hair and makeup, the photographer and the staff altogether, and not just myself.
What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progressing in this field?
I’ve done a wide range of photoshoots, shows, and advertisements, but I don’t want to just stay where I’m at now; I want to take it to the next level and then the next and so on. I want to keep building my career and inform more people about Joo Ye Ri, the model.
Photo © Park Jieun
Where else would you wish to model? Is there a particular country you would like to go to after the Coronavirus crisis ends?
I want to get into Europe and China. I have to stay in South Korea for the time being because of the Covid-19 situation, but I want to make my way into the international market in the distant future and experience first-hand the modelling industry and fashion there.
In your downtime between shows and campaigns, what helps you relax?
I chat casually with fellow models. Having a mindset of ‘just enjoy it’ instead of pressuring yourself with ‘let’s not make mistakes’ helps.
What’s next for you? Now that fashion shows have been cancelled due to the outbreak, have you got any plans for the future?
I’ll be working on staying in shape until the next Seoul Fashion Week. Now that I have a lot of extra time, I plan to learn to dance, which is a hobby of mine, read, study other languages and keep working towards becoming a world-class top model.
Written and interviewed by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Julia Litwinowicz
Translated by Lee Hyun Jung
Featured photo © Park Jieun
All other photos © Courtesy of A.Conic and the photographers