Jung Ho-Yeon is a South Korean actress and model. After playing a lead role in the South Korean series “Squid Game” (2021), she gained international popularity.
Jung Ho-Yeon was born on Thursday, June 23, 1994 (aged 27; since 2021) in Myeonmok-dong, Seoul, South Korea. Her zodiac sign is Cancer.
She was educated at Hyewon Girls’ High School, Seoul. When she was in high school, she attended MBC Academy in Seoul, where she learned the basics of modeling. She studied modeling at Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul. Naver
- Daum Height (approx): 5′ 9.8″ (176 cm)
- Daum Weight: 49kg
- Esteement Body measurement: 31”-23”-34”
- Eye color: Brown
- Hair color: Black (tint in red and blonde)
Family & Ethnicity
Her father is said to be the owner of a soup restaurant.
She has two sisters, an older and a younger. Her sister’s name is Jung Ji-Yeon.
In January 2016, her relationship with South Korean actor Lee Dong-Hwi was made public. The couple had already been dating for months. Together, the couple is known as a couple of fashionistas and free personalities [who] do not hide their affection.
- The Society Management (New York) (since 2016)
- Elite Model Management (Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, London, Spain, Copenhagen) (since 2016)
- Nomad Management (Miami, New York, Los Angeles) (since 2016)
- ESteem (Seoul) Models (2012-2019)
- Saram Entertainment (Seoul) (since January 2020)
At fifteen, she began taking modeling lessons, and at sixteen, in 2010, she began working as a freelance model, walking for runways at Seoul Fashion Week for two years; she was working without an agency at the time. In 2011, she auditioned for the second season of the reality show “Korea’s Next Top Model” and fell for it. After reaching the Top 30, she dropped out of the show as she fell on show and suffered a pelvic injury.
In 2012, she signed with ESteem Models after qualifying for an audition. The following year, she auditioned for the fourth season of “Korea’s Next Top Model”. In the series, she was eliminated in the second episode; however, she returned in the fifth episode and became the series runner-up.
In 2013, she appeared in South Korean singer Lee Hyori’s music video “Going Crazy”.
The following year, she appeared in South Korean singer Kim Yeon-woo’s music video “Move.”
In 2014, she was seen in the music video for “Beat” by Kpop boy band 100%. After appearing in Korean editions of magazines like Vogue, Elle, and W, she signed with The Society Management in 2016 and left South Korea to pursue a career overseas. The same year, she also signed with Elite Model Management (worldwide) and Nomad Management (Miami, New York, and Los Angeles). She quickly moved to New York with a fiery red hair color, a hairstyle that became her signature look. The look brought her recognition as a red-haired Asian among designers.
She was supposed to make her international catwalk debut to walk exclusively for American designer Alexander Wang, canceled. Her international runway debut came in September 2016 at the Opening Ceremony S/S 2017 show at New York Fashion Week. Soon she walked the ramp for Marc Jacobs (American fashion designer), Alberta Ferretti (Italian fashion designer), Chanel (French luxury brand), Max Mara (Italian fashion company), and Fendi (Italian luxury brand ). She has also appeared in magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Love and W and has been featured in Sephora and Gap campaigns. In 2016, she was selected by French fashion designer Nicolas Ghesquière and casting director Ashley Brokaw to walk the ramp as an exclusive model for Louis Vuitton during their S/S 2017 show, which was her debut on the Paris Fashion Week catwalk. She has walked the ramp for brands like Burberry, Miu Miu, Jason Wu, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Giambattista Valli, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Prabal Gurung, Jacquemus, Gabriela Hearst, Moschino, Oscar de la Renta, Roberto Cavalli, Jeremy Scott , Tory Burch, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Acne Studios, Brandon Maxwell, Gucci and Lanvin.
Apart from that, she has appeared in advertisements for brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, and Bottega Veneta, and has been on the cover of magazines like Vogue Korea, Vogue Japan, CR Fashion Book, and Harper’s Bazaar Korea.
In March 2019, she appeared in a promotional video for Pharrell Williams and Chanel’s collaborative capsule collection.
In the same year, she appeared in the music video for the song “Taste of Acid” by South Korean rock band Hot Potato.
In October 2021, she became Global House Ambassador for fashion, watches, and jewelry for Louis Vuitton.
The same month, she was seen in Adidas Originals’ Adicolor campaign.
After modeling for some time overseas, she decided she wanted to be an actress because models often have short working lives, a belief she acquired after working in the industry. While visiting South Korea during the holidays, she began taking acting lessons. She also improved her English to play better. After signing with Saram Entertainment, in February 2021, she auditioned via video, while in New York for Fashion Week, for the South Korean survival series “Squid Game”, which was broadcast and distributed by Netflix. After arriving in South Korea, she auditioned again for the role in person and was immediately cast in the series. Written and directed by South Korean filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk, the series is based on a contest, consisting of children’s games, in which 456 players enter to win a prize of 45.6 billion yen; losers face the death penalty. She played the lead role of ‘Kang Sae-Byeok’ (numbered 067), a North Korean defector who enters the game to pay a broker to save his parents across the border and buy a house for his family. For her role in the series, she practiced the Hamgyŏng dialect with real North Korean defectors, watched documentaries about defectors, and learned martial arts. To build her character, she was inspired by the loneliness she felt in New York City and also wrote a diary from her character’s perspective. Talking about it in an interview, she said,
By writing his daily journals, I was able to construct Sae-byeok’s point of view, as well as his facial expressions, in myself. I would almost say that I physically accumulated all his experiences to express his character. Of course, I had to train in martial arts for the action sequences and learn the North Korean dialect. All of this effort put together, plus the help of many people I worked with, all resulted in the character of Sae-byeok.
Other main roles in the series were played by Lee Jung-Jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-Joon, O Yeong-Su, Heo Sung-Tae, Anupam Tripathi, and Kim Joo-Ryoung. The series was a huge hit around the world as it became Netflix’s most-watched series when it launched. The series is also the first South Korean drama to top Netflix’s ten most-watched weekly TV shows worldwide. Her role in the series was highly praised by fans, earning her Squid Game Star from critics.
- Korean Fashion Photographers Association – 2015 Rookie of the Year Award
- Asian Model Awards – Asian Star Award in 2019
- Placed in Model.com’s Top 50 Global Models list in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- Actress: Amy Adams
- Actor: Song Kang-ho
- Film(s): Doubt (2008), Wild (2014), Kill Bill series, Orphan (2016), Roma (2018)
- Director: Quentin Tarantino
- Puzzle: Sudoku
- Video game(s): 2048, Candy Crush
- Book: Han Kang’s Vegetarian
- Artist and photographer: Karl Lagerfeld
Facts / Anecdotes
- She was a tomboy growing up.
- As a child, she attended various academies to learn violin, piano, swimming, English, and math. When she was in elementary school, she swam. She even won four second-place awards at swimming competitions in Gyeonggi-do. However, her parents wanted her to focus only on her studies, so she had to stop swimming.
- In an interview, she said she wanted to make money. When she asked her for suggestions, people told her she should try modeling because she was tall. She agreed and decided to try modeling. When she went to the modeling academy, her teacher gave her odd modeling jobs like graduation shows in fashion school. Sometime later, she realized that there were Asian models. She then begins to take modeling seriously and signs with an agency.
- After competing on Korea’s Next Top Model, she realized she wasn’t ready to compete yet. To improve herself, she started looking at models in fashion magazines and how they behaved.
- Before deciding to become an actress, she faced a career crisis. It made her feel alone. In an interview she said,
I had no one to share my good or bad news with. I was constantly repressing my loneliness. It was only after entering the real world that I became firmer.
- She took her loneliness and turned to books and movies in hopes of learning more about humanity. Instead, a desire to do acting grew within her.
- She was called “one of Seoul’s top modeling talents” by Monica Kim of Vogue in 2015 and “the current girl in the world” by K-Ci Williams of Vulture in 2021.
- After the success of Squid Game, she became the most followed South Korean actress on Instagram in 2021, surpassing top South Korean actresses Lee Sung-Kyung and Song Hye-Kyo. As of November 2021, she had 23.6 million followers on her Instagram account.
- She is friends with South Korean singer Jennie (of Blackpink). They first met at Paris Fashion Week, where Jennie had come to watch the Chanel show, and she was on the ramp. Jennie’s stylist introduced them to each other. Later, she attended a Blackpink concert in New York. They became friends. When she visited South Korea, she always hung out with Jennie. They are often spotted together and actively support each other in their work.
- She has a friendship group named Chin Ho-Hyeop, consisting of models Kim Jin-Kyung and Hwang Se-on, with her.
- As a child, she dreamed of becoming president of South Korea.
- She loves cats and has two pet cats named Tash and Zhushi. However, she is also a huge fan of dogs.
- She has done advertisements for many international brands including Calvin Klein Jeans and Chanel.
- One of her favorite beverages is chrysanthemum tea.
- Before moving to New York, she died her hair fiery red, which was a mistake on part of the hairstylist. However, her hair color turned out to be good, and she decided to go with it. This became her signature look overseas, and she earned the identity as a ‘red-haired Asian’ among fashion designers.