Model in the Spotlight: Jae Yoo

In our ongoing series Model in the Spotlight, we get up close and personal with the world's leading male models.

Images courtesy of Soul Artist Management

In our ongoing series Model in the Spotlight, we get up close and personal with the world's leading male models.

Jae Yoo began his modeling career almost by accident. While visiting his sister in New York City three years ago, he got scouted and sort of just stayed—if "just" staying means starring in Moncler campaigns shot by Steven Meisel.

Age: 25

Height: 6' 2"

Hometown: Busan, South Korea

Agency: Soul Artist Management

Your first gig: A catalog for Tommy Hilfiger, followed by a TV commercial for William Rast and an American Eagle campaign.

Career highlight? If I had to pick one moment, it'd be working with Steven Meisel for the Moncler campaign. I'd always wanted to work with him.

What do you plan on doing after modeling? My dream as a kid was to become a dentist, so I'm currently studying for the DAT exam. However, I'd like to keep modeling as long as I can.

Any preshow or pre-shoot rituals or superstitions? I have a few habits I've gotten into from the beginning of my career. I always open my mouth really wide to relax my cheek muscles. I looked so uncomfortably stiff when I first stood in front of a camera, and the photographer would always tease me about it. And before the shows, I take a moment to say a prayer in order to relieve my anxiety during lineup.

The craziest thing you've ever been asked to model: I rode on a horse in a studio. Naked. I thought that was bizarre, but the client insisted and I decided to get out of my comfort zone for once.

The one item from your wardrobe you'd save in a fire: My denim jacket I got as a gift from my girlfriend.

How do you stay in shape? I used to play basketball twice a week, but when I'm busy, I go to the gym nearby for cardio and also lift weights, and I do push-ups and crunches at home.

What's your grooming routine? After a shower, I use moisturizer, body lotion, and toner, all from Kiehl's, because that was the first beauty product I was introduced to. For hair, I use anything I get free from shows or shoots!

Your best quality: I was told that my best quality was that I have a very Asian look but also the bone structure of a non-Asian. I think this puts me in a unique position. Also, I try to stay humble and remain respectful to everyone I meet.

Your worst quality: I'm still very shy in front of cameras. It's ironic but true. Even as a kid I hated taking photos, so I would cry and run away from the camera. But I'm slowly overcoming this fear.

If you could change one thing about your body, it would be: This is a bit embarrassing to say, but I'd like to slim down my lower body. I have bigger legs than most models who walk the runways because I grew up playing sports. In real life, though, I love my athletic legs.

Best piece of advice you've ever been given? During my first fashion week in New York, I wasn't sure if my walk was right. In castings, I would always ask if my walk was good enough, and my agents told me that as long as I stayed true to myself and showed off my personality, it would translate on the runway.


Images courtesy of Soul Artist Management

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—Todd Plummer, follow him at @toddkingston

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