For the inaugural feature in our KOREAN MODEL FILES series, we take a night stroll with NASA-dreamer and finance-student-turned-fashion-model, Aiden Choi. The Seoul-born now New York City-based model opens up about what it takes to make it in the industry, upcoming projects, and where he likes to grab a slice in the city.
Hello! To get started, please introduce yourself. Hi, my name is Aiden. I’m 23 years old and I’m from Seoul, South Korea.
What was your childhood dream and how did you fall into modeling? My childhood dream was becoming an astronaut at NASA, but I ended up studying business in New York. In my senior year, I was scouted near Williamsburg Bridge and that’s how I fell into modeling.
What’s the unique characteristic of your mother agency, Major Models? You won’t find any conventional people at Major. Anybody I have ever met is their own character and has their own style that stands out from the crowd. I love meeting new people at Major, because they always have an interesting life story to tell.
How do you like the industry now that you've seen it from the inside? Although it might seem captivating in appearance, the modeling industry is not easy work. Only hard working and diligent people can make it in this industry.
What’s your favorite aspect about working in the fashion industry? The people I meet. I’m constantly inspired by the talented people I meet whether they are designers, photographers, directors, or artists. People in this industry are incomparably passionate about their jobs and those kinds of people are the ones who are great at what they do while enjoying every moment of the journey. They are also very straight forward and professional people and I like working in a kind of environment where everybody is a team and work together to reach a goal that cannot be done alone.
How do you prepare for your modeling gigs? Do you have a particular prep routine? I make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep everyday to reenergize and shave every morning. I like to stretch while listening to music on my headphones before a shoot. This helps me tune out of the hustle around me and concentrate on the job.
Is there a really memorable modeling job? My most memorable modeling job this year was shooting a campaign for Reebok. It was my first worldwide campaign and I am ecstatic that it will be hung up in stores all around the world.
Tell us about a particular subject that fascinates you. I love anything related to soccer. I’ve been playing soccer for the past ten years and even in New York I play with my friends every week.
When you're not working, what’s a typical day for you, AM to PM? I’m not a heavy sleeper and I don’t have a problem getting up early, but I like to get my hours in when I can. These days I wake up around 11 and go out to meet up with friends for a cup of coffee. Some days I have castings in the afternoon, but on other days I hit the gym or meet up with friends to play soccer.
What are the Top 3 favorite places to go to in NYC that you’d recommend? I recommend visiting Le Bain at the Standard hotel in Chelsea. It has a nice view of the city at sunset and is quite cool even in the summer. You have to visit New York Supreme Pizza near Penn station and make sure to get a slice of upside-down and meat-lover. They have the best pizza in New York. When in Williamsburg, I make sure to get a cup of soy latte at Devoción. It’s one of my favorite cafes because it is spacious, has great ambiance, and the crowd isn’t rowdy.
These days you’re listening to … I’m more of a hip hop person and I like listening to old hip hop. Eminem is always a good choice.
What's the most important life lesson that you’ve learned so far? Everything takes time.
What’s the future like? I don’t have a set plan. I go with the flow and deal with things when they hit. I hope to be working while traveling around the world.