Model-Slash: Designer-Slash-Director Hyoni Kang
Hyoni Kang can multitask with the best of them. After winning the Ford Supermodel of the World competition in 2008, the 24-year-old Korean model (pictured) has consistently worked with top designers including Jason Wu, Phillip Lim, and Michael Kors. When she’s not running around to castings or photo shoots (she was recently one of the four cover girls for W Korea’s seventh anniversary March issue), Kang keeps busy by designing her clothing label Reborn Process.
Back in 2009, Kang partnered with two friends (one, a stylist; the other, a photographer and Vogue Korea editor) to open Reborn Process as a tiny Soho boutique, where she offered vintage finds reworked by the trio. They’ve since expanded into a full line, now their main focus. (The Crosby Street store has since closed, but they’re looking to eventually reopen in the West Village.)
In the meantime, Kang is also busy working on Play With New York, the online TV show she directs and produces, geared at a Korean audience (it’s currently in Korean). For the six-episode series, which debuted in May at Hyoni-TV.com, Kang scouts and tours neighborhoods including the East Village, Chelsea, and Harlem, calling out insider spots and bringing on guests like fellow models Hanne Gaby Odiele and Shu Pei Qin.
On Thursday night, Kang will host Opening Ceremony’s Fashion’s Night Out event at the Ace Hotel, where Korea will be launched as the retailer’s country of focus for 2013. OC cast Kang in several of its recent lookbooks, and the store also carries Reborn Process (the Fall collection will arrive later this month). “What I love most about Hyoni’s line is that it is a reflection of herself and shows her individuality,” says OC’s Carol Lim, who met Kang when she was interviewed by her for a Korean TV station. “I don’t like how a lot of models wear all-black everything,” Hyoni adds. “You need to have fun with fashion, which I want to be involved with for a long time.”