Jung Ho-yeon: How She Went from Korea’s Next Top Model to Hollywood Rising Star

Jung Ho Yeon‘s rise to fame was each sudden and surprising — a minimum of for the mannequin turned actress herself. Used to the modeling way of life, Jung did not count on to land a job in Netflix’s Squid Game that might change her life ceaselessly. Who would have thought that her debut performing position would instantly be her breakout one that might earn her recognition all the way in which in Hollywood?

Born on June 23, 1994 in Myeonmok-dong, Seoul, South Korea, Jung was raised in a well-off Christian household with two siblings. She showcased her aptitude modeling in early childhood along with her photogenic options and expressions. Jung accomplished her primary highschool training on the Hyewon’s Girls High School. Given how she was already taking modeling courses all through highschool on the age of 14, her follow-up goals had been clearly settled on majoring in modeling on the Dongduk Women’s University College of Performing Arts. Indeed, it is right here that she realized model-walk, a ability that might undoubtedly come in useful within the close to future.


Jung’s modeling profession has seen her competing on Korea’s Next Top Model and reserving runway reveals at Seoul Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. Some of the well-known luxurious manufacturers she’s walked for embody Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Prabal Gurung, and Oscar de la Renta, to call just a few. It would, nonetheless, be Squid Game that modified the course of her life. Here’s a have a look at how Jung Ho-yeon went from Korea’s Next Top Model to Hollywood’s latest rising star.

Korea’s Next Top Model

Although she definitely had the predesposition and aspiration to turn into a mannequin, Jung admitted to Vanity Fair that, when she began on the age of 14, she had no prior background or curiosity in trend; she merely simply wished to become profitable and journey the world, and modeling appeared like essentially the most environment friendly possibility. Starting out at such a younger age, Jung labored as a contract mannequin for 2 years and needed to work her personal method up in small steps. 2010 noticed her debut for Korean labels at Seoul Fashion Week, which gave her the push to audition for the second season of Korea’s Next Top Model, It in the end did not work out in her favor as she needed to give up after entering into the Top 30. However, after signing with Esteem Models, Jung tried Korea’s Next Top Model once more within the fourth season and managed to win second place (first runner-up). From there, it was solely pure that the Korean editions of magazines like Vogue, Elle, and W wished to show her of their centerfolds. After conquering the trade in her dwelling nation, the following step was New York — with purple hair.

Related: Squid Game Remains Most Popular Netflix Series as Stranger Things 4 Fails to Break Record

“Red-Head Fiery Asian”

Needing to interrupt out of her consolation zone, Jung yearned to get out into the world, expertise new issues, and make her world mark. Signing with the distinguished modeling company, Elite Model Management, Jung determined to maneuver abroad to New York, the place she would have countless alternatives ready for her. However, earlier than doing so, she made a daring choice — with out consulting her brokers — to dye her hair purple, which might go on to turn into her signature look overseas. That mentioned, it is disheartening that regardless of her success as a mannequin, individuals abroad would name her the “red-haired Asian” as an alternative of studying pronounce her title. As for her first worldwide present, shortly after her Alexander Wang unique bought canceled, she made her grand debut on the New York Opening Ceremony, the place she had the prospect to stroll along with her position mannequin Karlie Kloss. It was after this gig that the style world fell in love with Jung, and by no means stopped.

Indeed, Jung bought to stroll for main names reminiscent of Marc Jacobs, Alberta Ferretti, Chanel, Max Mara, and Fendi, and appeared in campaigns for Sephora and Gap. The 2016 Parish Fashion Week earned her a Louis Vuitton unique, and 5 years later, per Harper’s Bazaar

, she’d have the honour to turn into their world ambassador. The individuals working along with her all the time described her, per Vogue, as “very special, super generous and friendly” and really simple to fall in love with. Likely due to each her easy-going character and work ethic, Jung has climbed her technique to the highest of the chain, strolling in reveals for large manufacturers, from Burberry and Emilio Pucci to Gucci and Chanel.

Jung has since partnered with Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Herms, Bottega Veneta, and Adidas Original for his or her campaigns and ads. The grind by no means appeared to cease over the ten years of her profession as a mannequin, which is what led Jung to discover the thought of ​​furthering her experiences as a human being. Being featured on the covers of Vogue Korea and different main magazines was undoubtedly a profession achievement, however she wished to department out. It was time to take some performing classes.

Breaking Through with Squid Game

Despite being so younger, and as a result of trend trade (poisonous) obsession with youth, Jung’s modeling working regularly declined. As a consequence, she knew she wanted to broaden her skilled abilities and put together a back-up plan in case work actually dried up. Jung advised Teen Vogue that she began taking performing classes again in Korea whereas nonetheless modeling and perfecting her English. She discovered refuge in films and TV reveals whereas caught in motels overseas and located the film trade the right match for her. Once her modeling contract ended, she went on to signal with the performing company Saram Entertainment.

As if the celebrities aligned in her favor, the first-ever script she obtained from her agent was none aside from the position of Kang Sabyeok within the hit present Squid Game, While in New York for Fashion Week, Jung was known as to Korea to correctly audition and instantly landed the position. The concern of disappointing and failing such an essential debut challenge was there. Nevertheless, Jung devoted the time to arrange for the position by studying the North Korean Hamgyŏng dialect, coaching in martial arts, and maintaining a journal from the defector’s perspective.

Drawing on the sensation of loneliness that she felt via her modeling profession, Jung managed to convey to life the present’s now-favorite character. Not solely did Squid Game turn into Netflix’s largest collection launch of all time, the actress turned so widespread that she noticed her Instagram following go from 400,000 to now 23.2 million, making her the most-followed South Korean actress of all time. The success did not cease there as Jung and her co-star Lee Jung-Jae made historical past by successful Best Actor and Actress on the 2022 SAG Awards. And that is what you name a profitable performing debut.

Related: A24’s The Governesses Sets Its Leading Ladies: Lily-Rose Depp, Hoyeon Jung, Renate Reinsve

What’s Next For Jung Ho-yeon?

After signing with the Creative Artists Agency in November 2021, it is secure to imagine that Jung’s extra more likely to concentrate on her upcoming performing initiatives somewhat than retreating again to the runway. She has already appeared in The Weeknd’s music video for “Out of Time” alongside Jim Carrey. As for films, Joe Talbot’s upcoming A24 function The Governesses will star Jung alongside Lilly-Rose Depp and Renate Reinsve as three rebellious governesses who determine to desert their way of life for extra Bohemian, erotic adventures. We may also count on to see the actress in an upcoming AppleTV+ thriller Disclaimer reverse Cate Blanchett. The plot facilities on a famed journalist who discovers she’s a novel character hiding a giant secret. Make positive to undoubtedly maintain a watch out, as we are able to say with utmost certainty that Jung’s star in Hollywood is simply starting to rise.

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