9. Jang Yoon-Ju
Starting her modelling career in 1997, at 17 years old, Jang Yoon-Ju has had a lot of national and global recognition for her work, including the Fashion Photographers Best Model Award in 1998, 2002, and 2005.
After appearing in countless ads and runway shows, Jang went on to become an actress and TV presenter, hosting Korea’s Next Top Model. She also appeared in the 2015 film Veteran, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best New Actress at the Grand Bell Awards.
8. Han Hye-Jin
36-year-old Han Jin began her modelling career in the early 2000s. She's walked for major designers like Marc Jacobs, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabba, Louis Vuitton, Monique Lhuillier, and Karl Lagerfeld.
7. Bae Yoon Young
With a distinctive, doll-like face, Bae was a standout at the 2015 Seoul Fashion Week. Within a few months, she was walking for Prada and shooting campaigns for huge international brands.
After the 2017 spring/summer Fashion Week shows, models.com listed Bae as one of the top newcomers of the season. That year, she walked for Chanel, Fenty x Puma, Valentino, Marni, Versace, Fendi, Burberry, Coach, Michael Kors, Victoria Beckham, and Tommy Hilfiger.
6. Kwak Ji Young
Even though she didn’t bag the crown at her first modelling competition in 2009, that did not stop Kwak Ji Young from achieving success. After working the runways in New York, Paris, Milan, and London for several years (for brands like Chanel, Galliano, and Vivienne Westwood), Kwak finally got the recognition she deserved when she was awarded the Model Star Award at the 2015 Asia Model Awards.
5. Park Ji Hye
31-year-old Park Ji Hye is represented by Elite, one of the biggest modelling agencies in the world. Her runway portfolio is quite impressive, walking in shows for Dior, Vuitton, Elie Saab, Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Hermes, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Balmain x H&M, and Michael Kors.
4. Kim Sung Hee
Kim Sung Hee was originally a professional dancer and ballet major before falling into modelling by accident. After being scouted at a shopping mall and appearing on the Korean reality show I Am A Model, she signed with the most prestigious modelling agency in South Korea, ESteem Models.
The world couldn’t get enough of her. Kim made history as the first Asian to model for a Miu Miu ad campaign in 2012 – the same year she started modelling.
3. Hyoni Kang
Also known as Kang Seung-Hyun, Hyoni is perhaps one of the famous Korean models in the world. In 2008, she became the first Asian model to win Ford’s Model of the World.
Hyoni has expanded her career and is now also an actress, TV show host, and film director. Kang is expected to star in the upcoming drama Partners for Justice 2.
2. Park Soo Joo
With her bleach blonde hair and intense stare, Park Soo Joo is a huge personality in the Korean fashion world. Her debut season comprised of walks for Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Fendi, and Lanvin. Since then, she’s had campaigns for Michael Kors, MAC, and BVLGARI.
She’s currently represented by IMG in Paris and Australia, ESteem Models in Seoul, and Women Management in New York. Park recently appeared at the 2019 F/W show for Chanel as well as editorials for Dazed & Confused Korea, V Magazine, and Fashion Magazine Canada.
1. Choi Sora
Choi first made waves on the third cycle of Korea’s Next Top Model. But what really launched her into international stardom was her Louis Vuitton Cruise runway in 2014. After that, Choi was in high demand. In 2017 alone, she walked over 50 shows around the world.
She’s worked with almost every major designer in the world, like Vera Wang, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, and Calvin Klein. She recently walked for Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Dior for their 2020 Resort collections. Besides being a model, Choi is well known for her awesome street style.
Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
These Korean female models are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other men and women in the Korean fashion industry that are turning heads. Expect more Korean faces on ad campaigns, magazine covers, and the runway soon enough.