From Squid Game to Supernova: Hoyeon Jung is Vogue’s cover star in February
If there’s one word I would choose to describe Hoyeon, it’s yeol-shim. It illustrates the trait Koreans are most proud of. Work hard, put all your heart and soul into everything, until you feel like you might explode.
The next afternoon, we’re off to the Seagram Building, and Hoyeon, recharged from an early lunch at Locanda Verde, practices her presentation for the CFDA Award for Emerging American Designer of the Year. Leaning over a piece of loose leaf, she writes the correct pronunciation of each creator’s name in tiny, immaculate handwriting. “You know, in Hollywood the media never say my name, do they?” She said playfully. (Too often, they replace the soft âyuhnâ with an awkward âyoonâ.)
We arrive, circling the building for the right entry, and Hoyeon hugs my shoulders, chanting my name, “Mon-i-ca”, in three singing syllables, without the pitch of a newly created celebrity. âHo-yeon-ah,â I reply. If she’s nervous, she doesn’t show it. She walks into the room, in front of her two agents, and introduces herself to the event staff. The organizer explains his movements to him for this evening. “Do you want to browse the real thing?” She asks, expecting a polite refusal. But Hoyeon, diligent, asks to go through it once to make sure she gets it right.
âAnd the winner isâ¦â she pauses for dramatic effect, then throws her hands in the air and shouts, âHoyeon Jung! The hall bursts into laughter, the staff stopping with white orchids in their hands, and she leaves the podium with a triumphant smile.
There are three paparazzi waiting outside, standing shyly near the step and rehearsing. A man wearing a red supreme cap asks if he can take a photo, which Hoyeon’s agent politely refuses. Then he puts down his camera and pulls out his phone. “Could we be able to take a selfie?” He asks in Korean.
Hoyeon walks up with a smile and flashes the V sign, for the win.
We kiss one last time and we promise to see each other again soon. Hoyeon, a serious look on his face, says we’ll be going to his favorite place in Seoul, a hole in the wall where they douse freshly caught scallops with truffle oil. And unlike most people, whose words fly with the wind, I know she means it from the bottom of her burning heart.
In this story: hair, Holli Smith; makeup, Thomas de Kluyver for Gucci Beauty.
Directed by: Christine Yuan
Written by: Christine Yuan and Monica Kim
Director of Photography: Andrew Truong
Publisher: Chad Sarahina
Music: Ali Helnwein
Produced by: Intuition Films
Producer: Sydney Kim
Executive Producer: Marie Alyse Rodriguez, Edgar Rosa
Co-producer: Object + Animal
Production designer: Grace Nickow
Stylist: Jared Ellner
Hair: Jenny Cho
Make-up: Parc Nina
Manicure: Yoko Sakakura
Direction of movement: Erin Murray
Colorist: Dante Pasquinelli at Ethos Studio
VFX: Foreign Xchange
Sound designer: Christian Stropko
Supervising Producer, Vogue: Jordin Rocchi
Director, Creative Development, Vogue: Anna Page Nadin
Director, Creative Development, Vogue: Alexandra Gurvitch
Senior Director, Production Management, Vogue: Jessica Schier
Production coordinator, Vogue: Kit Fogarty
Production manager, Vogue: Emma Gil
Post-production supervisor, Vogue: Marco Glinbizzi
Global Entertainment Director, Vogue: Sergio Kletnoy
Creative Editorial Director, Vogue: Mark Guiducci
Vice-President, Digital Video Programming and Development, Vogue: Joe Pickard
Senior Director, Digital Video, Vogue: Tara Homeri
Content Director, Vogue: Rahel Gebreyes