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South Korean model and actress HoYeon Jung is enjoying the unprecedented level of attention that Netflix's successful K-drama Squid Game has brought her - the kind of overnight fame that only comes with such a global hit. Now Louis Vuitton has named the star, who plays Kang Sae-byeok in the series, as the brand's newest global house ambassador for fashion, watches, and jewellery.
The luxury ambassadorship is a significant step for Jung in the wake of her growing success, first as a competitor on Korea's Next Top Model in 2013 and now as an actress - and arguably Squid Game's most fascinating character. Within days of the series landing on Netflix, it became the first Korean drama in history to hit number one in the US. Jung, in particular, became a social-media superstar, gaining a sudden influx of millions of followers. She is now the most-followed Korean actress on the platform, making her an ideal fit for Louis Vuitton's global campaign efforts.
This isn’t the 27-year-old's first partnership with the brand: she first walked the runway in Louis Vuitton's 2017 spring ready-to-wear show, for which she sported red hair and a strapless leather dress. Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton's creative director since 2013, said of the partnership, “I immediately fell in love with HoYeon’s great talent and fantastic personality, and I am looking forward to starting this new chapter of the journey we started at Louis Vuitton a few years ago.”
Jung has said her Instagram presence, in particular, inspired her to try acting in the first place. As she told W Korea: “In a way, Instagram is a space where I edit and show what I want to show. But at some point, I thought, ‘Am I really this person?’ People like my shiny look, but to me, I’m a much different person than her... I relieved my loneliness with movies and books, and I had a strong desire to express what I felt through acting. So during the holiday season, I came to Korea and took acting classes.”
After finishing acting courses, she received her first-ever script for what turned out to be her debut role: Squid Game. Now, after cinching an ambassadorship and one of the most talked-about roles of 2021, there's little chance the spotlight on Jung will flicker out any time soon.
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