A young up-and-coming Korean-Nigerian model is making headlines in South Korea after breaking into the country’s fashion scene.
Han Hyun Min is a 16-year-old male Korean-African model who is defying the norms of the Korean fashion scene by being the first black-skinned talent to ever walk the local catwalks.
According to DramaFever, Han’s mom is Korean while his dad is Nigerian. And while his looks may make him seem like a foreigner to his compatriots, he is definitely a Korean. He also speaks only Korean and prefers to be called by his given name, Hyun Min.
In his modeling stints, Han confidently shows off his unique appearance, exuding pride of his heritage on catwalks and photo shoots.
“My strength lies in my different look from others,” the young model said. as quoted by The Korea Times.
Apart from his color, his height, at 6 feet 2.5 inches, easily sets him apart from his peers. His features make his dreams of someday making it into the international fashion world a very possible reality.
His appearance in 11 fashion shows, including during the most recent Fashion Week, has exposed him to international modeling scouts and designers.
While deserving of the attention, his rise to become one of Korea’s top male models was not without challenges. In a culture where celebrities have an obsession with fair, whiter complexions, he has faced his share of discrimination.
The Korean-Nigerian model shared that there were times when he was told by designers that his skin color wasn’t appropriate for them. He also keeps on being spoken to in English by industry people despite already having known that he’s Korean.
Right now, he focuses on his work while ignoring the negativity he receives from other people. His sights are currently set on conquering Japan after experiencing a different vibe in the country following a recent photoshoot he had for GQ Japan
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.