[20140219] Interview with Kim Sang Woo


Kim Sang Woo

He’s attractively tall and has sharp eyes. After an amazing debut on the European stage, model Kim Sang Woo from England is now carrying on many activities.

20-year-old rookie Kim Sang Woo constantly moves forward with activities such as, of course, being on stage for the Burberry Prorsum collection since his debut or taking part in the Stone Island collection. After being picked as “Model of the Week” by models.com, he’s receiving a lot of attention in Korea although he has never worked here.

■ A Fine Arts major student who became a model

– Please introduce yourself

Hello. I’m model Kim Sang Woo who is currently working in England. I was about 6 months-old when I moved to England and I’ve been living in London ever since. When I’m not working as a model, I’m a student majoring in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College (laugh).

– How was your childhood?

People say I’ve always been a lively person! When I was a child, I really loved meeting all kinds of people. When you work as a model, getting along with new people is something very important, so I think my personality helped me a lot.

– I’m curious about how you became a model.

I’ve always been interested in fashion, even before I started working as a model. I was also a Prada PR intern in Korea during summer and winter 2012. To be honest until then, I had never thought of being a model when I looked at magazines. However, before I got into Goldsmiths, I went to the Central Saint Martins college (design school) in London. It’s a school centered around fashion, so there were many students who needed a model. A lot of them asked me if I could model for them. I saw my potential at that time and I directly went to the Select agency. And I started working the next day. It’s been 5 months now.

■ Super Rookie, Catching Burberry

– You took part in the Burberry Prorsum show. Was the casting process also dramatic?

Being able to take part in the Burberry Prorsum show still feels like a dream! I can’t believe it. Burburry usually hires only the models they requested. I was a bit upset because I didn’t get requested at first. I had no expectation anyway because I had heard that Burberry was quite patriotic and mostly hired Caucasian models. I was with a friend and we had a casting at the same place after the Burberry one, so I decided to wait for him at the Burberry casting. Fortunately, I wore my Burberry bucket hat and my Burberry scarf. When I arrived, no one even asked me if I was requested and I was sent to the casting room with my friend and before I knew it, both us were cast!

– Didn’t you go through many steps before being cast?

The next step is called “recall”. I wasn’t one of the requested models, so I had no expectation and I went to my next casting location. I had more than ten castings on my schedule that day. I was extremely busy. However, the next morning, my booker called me and said that I was up for the recall. My booker asked me in a suspicious tone how I got cast when I hadn’t even received a request. Since they called me, I went over there. I tried on the look for this season. I walk for Christopher Bailey who is the one in charge of the overall image of Burberry. We exchanged a few words. I was contacted once again in the afternoon. They said there would be the “fit to confirm” session the next day. I couldn’t believe they had called me twice. I was given two looks. I liked them a lot, so that made me want to do it even more. I wore the clothes, I walked once and Christopher gave me the final confirmation. Of course, I was happy for myself, but I believe this is also very meaningful as it shows the slowly growing regards given to Asian models. Ethnicity is a very sensitive and important issue in the fashion world, but I feel like there is less discrimination these days and it’s a good thing.

– How did you feel after the Burberry Prorsum show?

I got the title of “the first Asian” [working for a Burberry show]. I really got goose bumps. Words couldn’t even express how happy I was. I’m honored.

– I heard work has been coming along since this show. How was it to work in a different country?

I did the Kenzo show in Paris. I was very lucky. I didn’t think I could work over there because I didn’t sign a contract with an agency from Paris or Milan. By chance, I was booked as “exclusive” for the Kenzo show through the Select agency in London.

– What other jobs did you do aside from doing shows?

I did a lot of things in a very short amount of time. My first photo shoot was for the Stone Island collection. After that, I also did photo shoots for GQ, ID, photographer Nick Knight and V Man, for the Dolce & Gabbana calatog, the Diesel Reboot capsule show for Nicola Formichetti, Man About Town, photographer Tim Walker and W. I feel blessed.

■ A “Korean” model who dreams of working in Korea

– You’ve probably had many occasions to run into other Korean models while you were working. How did you feel?

It’s even surprising how I never ran into Korean models in London. The first time I met a Korean model was when I was shooting the Dolce & Gabbana catalogue. I met Lim Wook that day. He’s currently working in Spain. When I did the Kenzo show in Paris, I met (Kim) Tae Hwan-hyung, (Park) Sung Jin-hyung, (Park) Hyung Seop-hyung. It was my first time meeting Korean models during a show. I was very pleased to meet these models who are currently in activity. They were very nice to me, they’re good people. Hyung Seop-hyung and I contact each other sometimes. If I go to Korea to have fun, I plan to meet all of them to spend some time together.

– Have you ever thought about working in Korea?

Of course, I have! If I go to Korea, I definitely want to try to work there. The problem is to get the opportunity to go to Korea, though. If I get a lot of work in England, it will be hard for me to go to Korea, unfortunately. I hope the opportunity will come one day!

– You haven’t worked in Korea yet and you’re already receiving a lot of attention.

I’m so grateful that Korea shows me interest! I will try my best to make Korea known, so please keep watching out for me.

– I know you went back to London after the Kenzo show. What have you been up to these days?

I was very busy once the season ended. I did a lot of photo shoots. I’m not planning to drop out of school, so I keep studying. That’s why I don’t have a second of rest. When I’m not working, I spend my time doing some art. I almost live in the art studio. You’ll be able to see my work if you go to sangwfk.tumblr.com .

– Do you have upcoming projects?

I plan to keep working hard and at a steady pace. Enjoying every day and being thankful for everything I have, being thankful to the ones I love. This is how I want to live. But who knows what the future has in store? I’m living this way today, but I was an ordinary college student just six months ago (laugh).”

Original article: news2day
Translation: @onesunnylady


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