Park Hyung Seop
Please introduce yourself.
Hello. I’m 23 year-old Park Hyung Seop who debuted as a model 2 years ago through Jang Kwang Hyo’s 2011 F/W runway show.
You debuted as a model when you were 20. How long had you been wanting to be a model?
Around winter break when I was in my second year of high school. I went to the beauty salon to get a new hair style and they showed me a picture of Lee Soo Hyuk’s hair style. After that, I think that I kept watching Lee Soo Hyuk while finding his photo shoots or pictures and my dream to become a model kept growing.
When you began to think that you wanted to be a model, you had a good reason to try to follow stars in their photo shoots or those on TV.
At first, I tried to follow all of them. That’s why I think I got to find my own style more than blindly following others’ styles. Even if I tried to follow them, I thought it was important that I found my own style and not just copy them.
I’m curious to hear about how you stepped into the modelling world.
I auditionned like everyone else for the “Seoul Fashion Week”. I’m from Daegu. I was in my second year of high school when I started working, so my dream grew as I attended an academy in Daegu. I caught the attention of my current agency during Seo Eun Gil’s “G.I.L Homme” collection and we had a meeting. I needed an agency, so I signed the contract right away.
So you went to Seoul and you started working as a full-time model?
At first, I lived between Daegu and Seoul. At that time, I was majoring in Hair Makeup and I wasn’t sure that modemling could be the job for me. So I decided to just try while I kept enjoying doing it as a hobby. I realized it was clearly a job with a vision.
How did you get to study Hair and Makeup?
I have two older male cousins. They both work in a beauty salon. The second one is a hair designer in Apgujung. The oldest one runs his own hair shop. Ever since I was a kid, I always thought they looked so cool when I saw them work in a beauty salon. I think watching them influenced me a lot.
Do you do your own hairstyle?
I like it. I often hear that I’m good at it. (laugh)
Many people dream to become a model, but there are some requirements. Did you work on getting a slim figure?
I wasn’t tall when I started working. At that time, I was 181 cm. The average model is 188cm. So my height gave me a lot of stress. Thankfully, I grew a little, so I’m 186 now. This is something that gives me less stress. When I attended my first meeting for the Seoul Collection Show, my weight was 58 kg. I auditionned in three places, I got to do the fitting, but I didn’t get picked for any of them. The clothes were too large for someone thin. I was so shocked that I started going to the gym and I ate mostly carbs and protein food, I drank shakes which made me gain 10 kg. However, because my weight was now 68 kg, the clothes were too small and didn’t really fit. I had to lose a bit of weight and my weight is currently 65 kg.
So have you been constantly trying to maintain this figure?
Yes. I work out constantly. I’m quite busy these days, so I’m too tired when I get home and I go to sleep right away, though. (laugh)
As you attended a modelling academy, you learned how to walk like a model. What do you think walking is about?
I learned how to have the right posture and walk the right way. I didn’t do a lot of modelling, but I think walking is more about walking in the way you feel than using gestures. I walk with the way I feel to match the show concept.
It’s the same for any job, but you have no day off. Have you been going through hard times during your modelling activities?
When I started working as a model, I didn’t get paid much, so it was difficult from a financial perspective. I even kept getting money from my parents for a year. To be honest, right now, I earn a lot compared to what my peers earn. So I’m happy I can pay for my little brother college fees and give money to my parents.
You walked the runway for the first time for designer Jang Kwang Hyo’s show and you wore high heels. Walking must have not been easy. I’d like to hear how you felt about that.
I was anticipating my first show. I couldn’t think I’d have to wear high heels. Jang Kwang Hyo-sunsaengnim liked the way I walked, so I was able to participate to his show, but I was uncomfortable because I had to walk with 12-cm heels. It was my first time wearing heels, so I put all my energy into it. I was very nervous and I kept thinking I had to do well because it was my first show, so I used all my DNA.
Are you nervous on the runway?
I’m always nervous. Being on the runway is fun, but when it’s over, I never get a feeling of satisfaction. I really try my best to enjoy the moment now because there were times when I couldn’t show what I wanted to because I was nervous.
Is there something you particulary worry about when you take an audition?
I think they look at the way you walk and your profile. Still, it’s important that your face matches the show concept, so I think they look a lot at the model’s image and body frame. Having the right attitude is important.
Models’ image depend of each show. Do you prepare for this?
I think preparation is necessary. In order to show that I can match any concept, I pull my hair back and wear a white short-sleeve t-shirt and pants for any audition. I want to show the basics.
Before going on stage, the time spent backstage is about getting your make-up done and putting on the outfits. What do models usually do during the stand-by time when they’re backstage?
Some people read books. I usually listen to music. Backstage is the place I can meet my model friends, so we get to talk about the things we didn’t have the time to talk about. We do nothing special.
Which kind of stage would you like to be on in the future?
I’ve worked for nearly every Korean magazine and photo shoot. I didn’t get to be in many shows for the “Seoul Collection” so I’m anticipating this year’s “Seoul Collection”. I want to stand in every collection show.
I think that when you’re a model, you also want to join overseas collections. Do you have plans to do so afterward?
I’m thinking about advancing overseas. That’s why I’m studying English. I’m convinced that modelling is my path. Once I confirm my position after doing many shows in Korea, I want to do collections overseas.
When did you get a fancafé?
I’ve had my fancafé since I started working as a model. It’s really awesome. I’m thankful that model fandom expands.
How do you feel when you see people who like you?
I’m not handsome like a flower boy. Should I say they’re crazy? I feel like those who like me are crazy. (laugh) I think it’s awesome and I’m thankful.
When I look at your street pictures, it seems that you enjoy the neat suit style. Is there a brand you particularly enjoy?
Lately, the coolest brand for me is Balmain. And there’s the brand I’m wearing today which is Korean brand Liful. I pay a lot of attention to the design, so I’m not the type to niptick over the brands.
I heard Key from SHINee was one of your close celebrity friends. How did the two of you become close?
Kibum is also from Daegu, so we’ve been close since we were kids.
We can see your pictures with SHINee on your Twitter and Facebook page. Do you often meet?
When we’re not busy, we meet quite often. The new album SHINee got released and they began their promo activities. I’m also busy, so we haven’t been able to see each other lately.
What do you usually do when you’re out between guys?
It’s always the same when I meet my friends. We go to the restaurant, we talk about our daily lives, we drink coffee.
I think it must be hard for you to walk around freely because your job got yourself known for your face.
We mostly meet at dawn when we finish our schedule at night. I’m comfortable with doing activities at dawn.
You use SNS. Sometimes there are misunderstandings about celebrities whose words are considered as wrong and thoughtless. Doesn’t that make you feel uncomfortable?
I write my messages with honesty. There were already times when there were misunderstandings because I didn’t think about my words and didn’t convey what I wanted to say. Still, I don’t really worry about that. It’s probably because I don’t think of myself as a public figure. My number of followers keeps growing and there are more people supporting me, so I think I must control myself.
You chose Kim Young Kwang, Kim Woo Bin, Lee Soo Hyuk, Hong Jong Hyun as your role models. Did you get to see them a lot in real life while working as a model?
I was able to meet all of them through work. I was very shy, so I didn’t show it, but I fanboyed to my heart’s content.
These people who are your role models already tried acting and they got to work even more. Do you think about going into acting?
There’s no need to be tall or thin to be an actor. You must be very talented. More than anything, you must be good at acting. I’m currently learning a lot as I’m taking acting lessons. It’s true that I’m thinking a lot about going into acting, but my passion for modelling is bigger than my love for acting.
Sounds like you have good social skills. Is there a model you’re close with?
I’m close with everybody. I like people and I don’t make distinction. I’m close with all the models in my agency and I’m also close with the hyungs who are rappers.
Which kind of model would you like to become?
There are Korean models working overseas, but Na Dae Hyuk is the only Korean man on the “Models.com” male models list. It’d be nice if there was a lot of Korean models on Models.com. I hope to see my name there. I want to work hard and become an international model.
The little story of Park Hyung Seop who runs toward his goal.
Work aside, what do you usually do the rest of the time?
I meet with my friends and we get something to eat or we grab a cup of coffee. I’m working out, I’m taking acting lessons, I spend my time doing things like this.
What other hobby do you have?
I really enjoy watching movies. I can even go to the movies by myself. I went to watch “New World” recently and I enjoyed it.
Do you go often to the movies?
I either listen to recommendations or try to find about movies that can be entertaining but I haven’t seen yet.
Movies and working out aside, what’s gotten your attention?
I’m really into hip-hop these days. So, I kind of want to rap as a hobby. As in my goal isn’t to perform on stage, I just want to do it for myself.
Can you recommend hip-hop musicians to our readers?
Dok2, Beenzino and The Quiett who form the “Illionaire” team. They have a lot of good songs, so I want to recommend them. I often go see them when they hold a concert.
How would your friends describe you?
They say I’m off the wall and I’m in my own world. It’s often surprising how I have thoughts others don’t. I usually have a bright image or this image of the guy who jokes around, but they say that when they talk to me, they realize I actually think a lot and I’m not just a bright child.
What are you worrying about these days?
I worry about many things. I think being a model is a job that is always stressful. I know that many of cool guys will appear from now on, so I must take care of myself. And I’m also more careful about my activities because there are more and more people watching over me.
Being in your early 20’s is a time when there are more things you want to do than things you have already accomplished. If you have a goal, can you tell us what it is?
Being recognized as a model in Korea. I do want to advance overseas, but I’ll think about it once I have accomplished my current goal.
Please say something to the Cuvism readers.
I hope you will keep watching over me and supporting me as I keep working with the same humble mindset. Please show me a lot of love. And show a lot of love to Cuvism. Thank you for reading this interview.
Original article: Cuvism
Translation: @onesunnylady – thesunnytown.com