It’s an August morning in the Gangnam district, Seoul, South Korea, where there’s a pair of A-list, Emmy-nominated stars. Squid game The stars were gathered in a five-star hotel. After finishing the photo session, Jung Ho-yeon was in Zoom mode, had a big smile and raised both hands to form a heart to describe the experience, she said it was even sweeter because it offers a chance to reunite with his best friend Lee Jung-jae.
Recently, they haven’t had much time to see each other, as Lee has been busy promoting his directorial debut, Huntingwhile she was filming Alfonso Cuarón’s Apple TV+ series Disclaimer opposite Cate Blanchett. They will have another chance to play together on September 12th, when Squid game crew headed to Los Angeles for the Emmy Awards, in which the Netflix series was nominated for 14 trophies including best drama series and personal nods to Lee and Jung.
Win or lose, Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Korean series delivered something that wasn’t built: a record-setting viewership for Netflix as the most watched series in streamer history, with 1.7 billion hours watched. Starring in the world’s most popular TV show has made Lee even more globally famous – the 49-year-old Seoul-born is already a big star in his hometown with over thirty shows – and at the same time solidified a new career path for the 28-year-old model – film actress Jung with her first credit.
And Jung’s hand gestures can easily be applied to her work. Her character, Kang Sae-byeok (Player 067), is at the heart of the blockbuster series, while Lee’s Seong Gi-hun (Player 456) is the soul, as is the last man standing at the end. Season. Creator Hwang told CHEAP That second season will focus on Gi-hun’s journey after he becomes “a whole new person” in the finale.
Their screen time as rivals in the death game is over, but their careers as in-demand fashion stars continue – and are thriving: Jung as an ambassador for Louis Vuitton, while Lee has an enviable deal with Gucci. They signed with the fashion houses last fall, not long after the show took off. Before the Emmy Awards, the actors talked with CHEAP (with the help of interpreter Hyewon Park) about all things style and their common roots in the modeling business.
You both started your careers as models; How has that influenced your style and fashion sense?
LEE JUNG-JAE I’m not really a fashion model. I mainly model for commercials, and when doing commercials, you have to make the product stand out and the model must not overshadow the product. So I didn’t need to dress fashionable at that time. I have to say that I really don’t model because I want to.
JUNG HO-YEON When I’m modeling, I get a lot of opportunities to try on outfits with different concepts, so one thing I’ve learned is don’t be afraid to explore different styles and choose to experiment, even when not shooting. image.
How did your style develop when you started acting?
LEE When I first started acting in the early 1990s, the actors [in South Korea] had to prepare their own clothes for TV shows and movies. From ’93 to circa 2000, I styled my own hair, and when choosing a costume, I try to choose the one that best suits the character. I want color schemes to bring out my character’s emotions in a particular scene. That was the time when I put the most attention on fashion.
JUNG I don’t think evolution has anything to do with the transition to acting because in my early years as a model I was really lost. I’m going to do really intense makeup and costumes. But as I went through my career, I got really exhausted and gave up on fashion. I usually just wear sweaty clothes and casual clothes. About five years ago, I found a balance where I was trendy but not overdone, with just the right fit.
How would you describe your red carpet style today?
LEE I’m a person who doesn’t like boring things. There are different red carpet styles, and it all depends on the atmosphere of the event. If it’s a really formal event, I’d go with fewer accessories. If it’s not too formal, I try to choose a chic wardrobe.
JUNG For the red carpet, I listened to my team for their opinions and I would describe it as a very natural yet detailed style.
How would you describe your style when you’re not working?
JUNG I actually wear the same thing every day – jeans or Adidas track pants – and then I just change into a t-shirt. I also have an Adidas ambassador deal, so it’s easy.
LEE I mostly choose colorful clothes. And people already know that I’m a fashion icon, that I dress well, so I can’t really go anywhere without paying attention to my style.
Can you talk about working with your stylists, Gianna Hwang (Lee’s stylist) and Aeri Yun (Jung’s)?
JUNG We decide together, and sometimes it can be confusing because we have so many ideas, but it’s good that we always listen to each other. We share photos, just like Audrey Hepburn. Or, in the past, we used to draw and sketch ideas, share those ideas and talk about what we like.
LEE We have been working together for six years. She is a very meticulous person; she prepared very carefully so that i could have many styles to choose from.
You both have deals with big luxury homes. Why did you decide to partner with a brand?
LEE When Gucci changed designers [naming Alessandro Michele creative director in 2015], I think Gucci has gone in a very bold direction in terms of color and design. It looks very new, innovative and sophisticated. I had a very good impression of this brand, but then I started to approach Gucci a lot. At that time, they contacted me to cooperate, and I was very happy.
JUNG First of all, I know [Louis Vuitton creative director] Nicolas Ghesquière has been very good since I was a model, and I really admire his designs because I think in a way it’s a great mix of modern and old. I also admire how he draws so much inspiration from the art and pays so much attention to the structure of his outfit. I really wanted to work with Louis Vuitton because of his signature design philosophy. And just because, I mean, it’s Louis Vuitton!
Any favorite pieces you’ve worn for the brand?
LEE It was hard for me to pick one, but when I first became a Gucci ambassador, we had a photo session to make the official announcement. They sent me three looks, and one was a furry black suit. At first, I thought it looked too intense and it might not suit me. But when I tried it on, it looked great and I was so happy [wearing it].
JUNG I can’t just pick one, but I really liked my dress at the SAG Awards. And I just appreciate that [Louis Vuitton] make me a daenggi ribbon, a traditional Korean hair accessory. I suggested to my stylist that we could do it, and she asked them to make the accessories and they did. It was quite an experience, to show tradition in that way as a Louis Vuitton ambassador.
Have you ever noticed the impact of what you wear on your fans or the public?
LEE I did a lot of commercials [for Hunt], and I wore a pink coat and an ivory blouse on a TV show. I unbuttoned the top three buttons and put on a bold pearl necklace. People were really interested in that and it was covered a lot by the media. I think it might be one of the most influential pieces I’ve worn.
I know many people list you as a style icon, but who is yours?
LEE Timothée Chalamet. He dresses in a very interesting, attractive way.
JUNG Have a lot of! I really like Jennifer Aniston’s ’90s style. She is amazing. I also like Winona Ryder and Cate Blanchett. I always post 90s style pictures because I think actresses look very iconic in that era.
What clothing items do you keep an eye on for fall?
JUNG A knitted vest, velvet pants, loafers and tie.
What is your essential travel item?
LEE I always carry my laptop and tablet with me, because I have to write and watch movies.
JUNG Buckwheat Tea and Cup O’ Noodles.
Is there something else you love, like a car or a watch?
JUNG A Contax T3 film camera.
LEE I like vintage items, so I have a few vintage cars and watches.
If you had a guest visiting Seoul, what places would you take them to?
JUNG Comfort Seoul, a cafe and bar with city views; Namsan, a park where I like to go for a walk; and Nemojip Korean BBQ, a super delicious Korean barbecue restaurant.
People will notice what you wear at the Emmys. Have you chosen your outfit yet?
JUNG We haven’t had it yet, but I would say it will be very luxurious. And details.
LEE Since the Emmys are such a big, big awards ceremony, Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci, asked me what style I wanted and he gave me a few options. I picked one out and he would do a custom look for me that I would wear.
The edited interview is long and clear.
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter September 6th issue. Click here to subscribe.