Korean Wave

'Squid Game' star Jung Ho-yeon is first East Asian model on 'Vogue' cover

Marane A. Plaza - Philstar.com
'Squid Game' star Jung Ho-yeon is first East Asian model on 'Vogue' cover
Jung Ho-yeon as seen in Vogue
Vogue via Twitter, screenshot

MANILA, Philippines — "Squid Game" star Jung Ho-yeon has made history as the first East Asian model to be solo featured on the cover of Vogue magazine, in all its 130 years of existence.   

Prior to her overnight stardom from the hit South Korean TV series, Jung had already made a name for herself in the world of fashion.

In 2013, Jung competed in the fourth season of "Korea's Next Top Model" and finished as a runner-up. In 2016, the model landed a contract with Louis Vuitton, and also walked the runway for luxury brands like Chanel and Gucci.

Jung mentioned in a media interview that she channeled her Top model competitiveness to play her "Squid Game" charcater Kang Sae-byeok, or Player 067. The "survivalist" Netflix series was watched by 142 million households worldwide, becoming the most watched series at the time. This feat has made Jung gain an instant 19 million Instagram followers almost overnight.

In the Vogue February 2022 cover story, Jung shared her feelings about her sudden fame. 

“The feeling, there’s a limit to what words can express. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t eat. I was so confused, and it was so chaotic. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t trust it.” 

The Vogue cover story also explored the model turned actress' childhood.

"The second of three daughters, Hoyeon was born in Seoul and raised on the outskirts, in the hamlet of Myeonmok-dong, in a household of women. For the last decade, her father has run a 24-hour roadside diner called Oori Nara, or Our Country (typically searched on Naver, South Korea’s Google, as 'Squid Game Hoyeon’s family restaurant'). He serves steaming mounds of rice and bone-broth stews swimming with rings of green onion and flakes of gochugaru, a spice that she loves. It’s from him that Hoyeon inherited her own love of cooking, carefully re-creating her favorite family dishes as though casting a line toward home."

While Jung is the first East Asian to grace the cover as a solo feature for the coveted fashion magazine, Indian actress and former beauty queen Priyanka Chopra became the first Asian to receive her solo American Vogue cover.

RELATED: In photos: Fashion trends 2022 nod to WFH, Year of the Tiger


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