This monochrome-wearing 24-year-old’s just like one of us. No, really. She plays video games (League of Legends, in particular), reads manga comics (Nana’s her fave), enjoys manicures (lotsa black) and red lips. On a whim, she decided to win Korea’s Next Top Model a few years ago, then packed her bags for a runway career in the “Big Four”, and cultivated a habit of scoring major fashion campaigns. At this moment, she’s making it look too easy to be this great.
MANIFESTO: It has been a few years since you won Korea’s Next Top Model. Do you feel like you have a chip on your shoulder?
SORA CHOI: No, not at all! Good things happened more than bad things did, and I believe I am here because of Korea’s Next Top Model.
M: Social media plays such an important role in modelling right now. And you have a good following on your accounts as well. Do you view it as a good thing or a bad thing?
SC: I think it is a good thing to have a presence on social media because there are people who watch me as I mature as a model.
M: How much of what you post on social media is the real Sora Choi?
SC: All of it is the real me!
M: Was modelling your first job?
SC: Modelling was my first job. I was just an ordinary girl before I became a model.
M: If you had to choose another career, what would it be?
SC: I would like to get married.
M: When was the last time you were star struck?
SC: I have never been star struck by a celebrity, artist, or anyone else. My taste in artists change so often.
M: Not many know that you’re into video games. What is your all-time favourite game and what games are you playing right now?
SC: I grew up as a tomboy, so I played Starcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and others. I currently enjoy playing 3D action games on the phone – I like that they are simple and portable.
M: You’ve got a rather cool personal style, a mix of rocker and streetwear. Do you feel out of place when you’re having to pose in girly, feminine dresses and gowns?
SC: I do feel a little out of place (Laughs). Pink, pretty, and cute dresses are especially super awkward for me.
M: What are you reading right now?
SC: I am currently re-reading my favourite manga, Nana, from the very beginning.
M: What’s your secret talent that not many people know of?
SC: Hmm… I’m not sure! My English isn’t so good so it doesn’t really show, but I am very gregarious.
M: What was your last big purchase?
SC: The last big purchase I had was a pair of leather pants from Saint Laurent.
M: What did you spend your first big pay cheque on?
SC: I’m not too sure. I think I spent it on food?
M: What was the last movie that made you drop a tear?
SC: I am not a fan of sad movies. I prefer action, fantasy, and animated films.
M: Do you have a pet peeve?
SC: I don’t really have a pet peeve. I have a tendency to just think about something that annoys me for a second, and forget about it right away.
M: Do you have tattoos? If not, what would you get if you were to ink one?
SC: I don’t have any tattoos. I would really like to get a black-ish red rose next to my chest, but my agents are telling me not to get one.
M: If you could have one superhero power, which one would you acquire?
SC: Teleportation!!! It’s the best!!!
M: Do you cook? If you do, what is your signature dish?
SC: Yes, and my signature dish is a traditional Korean dish called ì•í˜¸ë°•ì„ (Ae Ho Bak Jun). It’s a sliced zucchini-like squash with a piece of cooked meat on top.
M: Name a guilty pleasure of yours that not many people know about.
SC: My guilty pleasure is painting my nails. I usually paint my nails black. I am in a much better mood after painting my nails. I paint them when I don’t have work.
M: What is the most Korean part/quirk about you?
SC: My bare face! Bare face is perfect for traditional Korean dresses.
M: If you could have a chance to meet three famous people who are no longer with us, who would you like to meet?
SC: I’m not sure. I don’t think I have anyone in particular that I’d like to meet.
M: Name three songs that are having a heavy rotation on your playlist now.
SC: My taste in music changes in all the time! But my favourite genre is pop-rock.
M: You’ve been to some major parties and events. What’s that one event you always look forward to and why?
SC: I don’t usually go to parties and events. I’m not a fan of alcohol and cigarettes, so I am not a huge fan of parties.
M: What’s your New Year resolution? And have you successfully completed any (or this year’s)?
SC: It’s the same as last year’s, and the year before! It is to work harder!! I’m really greedy when it comes to work (Laughs).
M: How would you like to be remembered (in life and career)?
SC: I would like to be remembered as a really wonderful and passionate model.
[More pictures in the January-February 2017 issue of MANIFESTO]
Photogrpahy: Tak Sugita
Fashion Director: Jonathan Yee
Styling: Christine de Lassus @ Art Department
Make-up: Parco Blancas @ L’Atelier NYC, using Nars Cosmetics
Styling Assistant: Pedro Rodrigo Gonzalez
Agency support: Wilhelmina New York