This content is also available in: Vietnamese

Culture Magazin (CM): You have a background in business and marketing management, how did you become a model?

Kim Do (KD): First of all, thank you for this interview today. While I have always had an interest in business and marketing, I also shared a passion for fashion and photography. My friends entered me into a modeling contest just for fun, and since I don’t often say no to a new challenge, I took the chance to find out what it takes to become a fashion model.

After surprisingly winning the contest, a lot of new doors opened up for me, and I decided to take my modeling career to the next level. I had the honor to work with so many talented photographers, hair & make-up artists, designers and stylists. What started out as a hobby, soon became a full time job doing photo shoots, video shoots and fashion shows in Europe and the United States. These opportunities have lead me to become a presenter in the entertainment and business field in the Netherlands, and now I also work as a marketing specialist, so it’s a full circle.

CM: What were some scary, funny, demanding or life-changing moments you have been through as a model?

KD: Oh wow this is a tough question, as there were so many! I guess the scary part was trying to make it as a fashion model without posing nude. It is almost being expected of models nowadays that they would be okay with nudity. When I made the decision to become a model, I’ve also decided that I would only do things to make my parents and myself proud. Though I have nothing against exposing the human body as a form of art, I would prefer it not to be mine (laughs). There were also funny moments, when I had to do outdoor photo shoots while it was literally freezing (below zero degree Celsius), and I had to wear summer dresses pretending it was warm. There were times when I had to shoot in the cold water, so I kept telling myself in my head “I’m on a warm island, it’s so warm here”. Oh and then there were times when I had to climb into trees or on cars in my high heels, while I’m so scared of heights. Let’s just say, anything for a good shot!

CM: To you, what is the difference between lifestyle fashion, every-day fashion and high fashion?

KD: To me, lifestyle fashion is where you can express your personal style that makes you unique, yet is stylish and affordable. Every-day fashion is more casual, and something you can wear on any ordinary day. High fashion or haute couture is trend-setting, unique, exclusive and often expensive.

CM: Share with us a situation when you had to utilize your cultural background and insights to accomplish the task.

KD: I was born in the Netherlands, and raised by my hardworking Vietnamese parents. In all the jobs I had encountered, whether it was in fashion or business, I had the advantage of utilizing my cultural background. Dutch people are very down to earth, and Asians are often humble and work hard. Combining these characteristics in a hectic environment, has always helped me stay calm and focused to accomplish any job. I am also fluent in multiple languages, which has helped me out a lot when I’m traveling for work. A good attitude and communication are key in any field.

CM: For those with good looks and sharp style wanting to become models, what advice can you offer them?

KD: Stay true to yourself! What I see is that a lot of models are trying to copy one another, or they are trying to change themselves too much to fit into the fashion industry. That is such a shame. I think you should just embrace your unique look, and be happy with who you are. Personally, I don’t fit into the typical modeling height or weight, nor do I feel the need to starve myself. If you follow me on social media, that would definitely become clear. My advice to those who want to become models: If it makes you happy, do it! If it doesn’t, then don’t. It’s that simple (smiles).