At an enviable 186cm tall, Kim Ji-soo was immediately identifiable from a distance (which followed by the screams of his ardent fans). The 26-year-old fair-skinned impeccably dressed South Korean actor, professionally known as Ji Soo, not only stood out from the crowd with his height but also his versatile acting chops on popular Korean dramas such as the hilarious romantic comedy Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and action-packed Bad Guys: Vile City.
Ji Soo started as an actor trainee and managed to catch the eye of producers early through his first cameo role which lasted mere minutes. Offers kept rolling in after and he eventually got his first lead role with Strong. In addition, this charisma and professionalism landed him a gig as a Fendi spokesperson.
ESQ: You’ve mentioned before that you favour comfortable clothing. How do you define that?
Ji Soo: When an individual pays attention to wearing specific clothing, no matter expensive or affordable, you have to feel good in them. It could be a hoodie or even sportswear. I tend to look for such clothing.
ESQ: What piece of clothing would you choose to enhance your personality or boost your confidence?
Ji Soo: For important days like today, I like to wear mellow and merry clothes like a printed short sleeve shirt and clean-cut shoes to make a positive impression.
ESQ: Name a grooming product that you can’t live without. Why so?
Ji Soo: My skin is on the dry side, so I will bring a moisturiser wherever I go.
ESQ: How does your acting experience and environment affect your fashion decisions?
Ji Soo: I’m used to everything that’s occurred naturally due to the course of work. As long it’s not forced, I’m open to clothes that are natural and comfortable.
ESQ: What is it like working with a stylist for events and public appearances? Do you leave it up to them to dress you or you have a say in wearing a preferred ensemble?
Ji Soo: It can be both. I like comfortable and neutral clothing as it tends to go better with my style. The stylist would attempt to try a variety of clothes on me. So, the decision is strongly based on the occasion. I don’t respond well to clothes that are either too excessive or bland. Among the clothes that the stylist suggests, I would pick something that is more natural and comfortable for me.
ESQ: How do you feel to be a spokesperson for Fendi?
Ji Soo: I like and admire Fendi, so I’m proud to be able to a spokesperson for this luxury heritage brand. I have liked Fendi from before and coincidentally, it is a band that goes well with my image. I like that its direction is becoming more trendy and younger.
ESQ: Koreans do incorporate spectacles as part of their outfit. What do you think about eyewear as an accessory as a form of self-expression?
Ji Soo: Aside from clothing, fashion accessories also can show a person’s personality. Nowadays, there are more and more accessories that people can wear to express themselves. I feel that eyewear can provide a subtle hint of my personality without ruin an entire outfit.
Men usually go for dark or cool type of glasses. For me, the style will depend on the venue I’ll be at.
ESQ: Are there any clothing you thought you wouldn’t like but works out for you at the end?
Ji Soo: There are some days when I put on some clothes that are quite outrageous. Somehow, they seem to go well with me after trying them on. It can even boost my confidence too.
The clothes that I choose depends highly on the venue and occasion. For example, if it’s raining, I wouldn’t choose bright colours, I would tend to pick darker colours instead. If I’m heading to a cafe with friends, I would pick something that’s comfortable and easy. So, the venue and weather can have an influence on my fashion decision. When I go for formal meetings, I would wear something that’s more presentable.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Photography by Vanessa Caitlin
Assisted by Sam Poh and Hazirah Rahim