KMK: Black Models in Korea

Much like in the music Industry here in Korea for the longest time seeing a black face happened so rarely that unicorns seemed to be more real than a black performer in K-pop. That’s slowly changing. More and more black voices find expression through K-pop and now, thankfully, the same can be said for black faces in the Korean modelling industry. Slowly, but surely black models in Korea have been popping up in advertising campaigns, billboards, commercials, and yes the Korean Fashion Week runway shows.

Han Hyun-min

The latest face to make a splash in the Korean Modelling industry belongs to 15 year old Han Hyun-min. He’s the son of a Nigerian father and Korean mother. Born and raised in Korea his “exotic” looks challenge the old notion of what it means to be Korean. His presence shines a light on mixed race citizens and illuminates that being black and Korean is not mutually exclusive. His stunning features not only grabbed the attention of SF models but now the general public as well. Hopefully his inclusion keeps the door open for many more black models in the future.

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Sam Okyere

A more well known name within Korea belongs to Sam Okyere. He’s known for his television and film work, but before his big break on the Korean show Hello Counsellor he did do modelling gigs so he definitely belongs on the list. Ghanaian by birth Sam arrived in Korea as a student with dreams of becoming an engineer. However, the acting bug has bitten him and he’s off to hopefully a big and bright career in Korea.

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Sarah Banim

One of the faces of B&B Entertainment Sarah holds a love for Korea. Originally coming to visit her brother she fell for the country and decided to return as a student and then later as a model. She’s also worked in Korea’s television industry. Her mother hails from Cameroon and her father from Italy but she was born and raised in France! She’s a world wandering wonder in the flesh who’s found a home her in Korea’s burgeoning fashion landscape. You can follow her life in Korea on her youtube channel to check out her latest food escapades and adventures.

 

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Joel Roberts

Joel Roberts holds the distinction of being the first African American model to join a top Korean modeling agency. Signing on with YG KPlus this ping pong enthusiast from D.C. has been making waves in the Korean fashion world. His face can be seen not only in Korean magazines and runways but also on variety shows, music videos, and commercials. He’s been making his mark here for the last few years and from the looks of things his star will continue to shine.

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Phoebe Corey

Phoebe Corey made her way to Korea by way of Taiwan, where she studied the culture and language, and St. Lucia, where she was born and raised. Landing in the land of the morning calm, she immersed herself in the fashion world as a freelance and commercial model landing several big gigs with the likes of Naver, Caffe Bene, Laneige, and Samsung. A recognizable face not only in Korean magazines but also at Seoul Fashion week. Now she’s continuing her foray into the fashion world by working on her own collection. She’s a face to be reckoned with!

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