Black excellence

Han Hyun-Min, who is Korean and Nigerian, defies odds to become a top model in Korea

TOP MODEL: Hyan

TOP MODEL: Han Hyan-Min

A MALE model, whose mother is Korean and father Nigerian, is defying the odds in his South Korea hometown becoming one of the country’s hottest fashion exports.

Han Hyun Min, 16, is the first Korean-African model to ever walk the local catwalks.

The teen, who only speaks Korean and prefers to be called by his given name, Hyun Min, said is different look sets him apart from other models.

“My strength lies in my different look from others,” the young model told The Korea Times.

He has appeared in 11 fashion shows, including during the most recent Fashion Week, has exposed him to international modeling scouts and designers.

The Korean-Nigerian model shared that there were times when he was told by designers that his skin colour wasn’t appropriate for them, but persevered.

In an interview, he revealed that his goal is to be able to model without people looking at him curiously for being different.

“People would not talk to me backstage at fashion shows because they thought I didn’t speak Korean. But once they learned I did, people start to gather around me and talk to me. I would participate in the rehearsals and coordinators there yell out orders in English only to me. I would wait until the end and tell them I don’t speak English so please talk to me in Korean.”

The 16-year-old’s dream is to move to neighbouring Japan in hopes of expanding his career.

“Also, there are many black models in Europe. My ultimate goal is Japan, where people don’t look at me interestingly,” he said.

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