Every week, The BAZAAR Spotlight series shine a light on people in Asia, particularly, that should be on your radar, if they aren’t already. This time, we decided to highlight someone a little different, not entangled in the fashion world or music industry. Albeit unconventional, she is an influencer nonetheless with an Instagram (@hyo_joo) following of 411,000 and counting! Introducing Ko Hyojoo, the graceful longboard dancer who has caught the attention of millions around the world, including Vogue, Hypebae and Marie Claire. She has even collaborated with brands like GoPro and Converse and it looks like she is on her way to more. Ever since her videos were shared by Korean-American rapper Kero One, Hyojoo turned into a longboarding sensation overnight.
Don’t get the hype? Just watch one of her Instagram videos below and you’ll be converted.
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Here are 5 facts you need to know about this adorable dancer on a 9-inch wide board:
1. Hyojoo picked up longboarding to fill time as she is a major introvert.
From her sunny disposition and easy-going personality, you would assume that Hyojoo is a people person. Some would think that she is putting herself “out there” through her Instagram videos on a daily basis to thousands of people. In reality, the hobby and talent was molded out of loneliness. Hyojoo has always felt socially awkward, hence she avoided most social situations leading her to have tons of free time. To fill that time, she decided to pick up skateboarding on a whim. In the next 3 years, she drove herself to master the sport and then moving on to the longboard that led to her major success.
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2. She loves to film videos too!
Besides longboarding, Hyojoo also loves filming videos on her Youtube channel that has over 68,000 subscribers and gaining traction on the daily. If you can’t get enough of her short Instagram videos, you need to subscribe to her Youtube channel for some breathtaking shots of Hyojoo weaving through Los Angeles, Korea, Seattle and more, with such incredible grace. We get to follow her around on her trips too as Hyojoo loves vlogging her travel experiences (fret not, guys, there are English subs). We guarantee that you’ll fall in love with her shy and down-to-earth nature. Despite her rocket to fame, Hyojoo remains authentic and true to herself.
3. Contrary to popular opinion, Hyojoo actually has a regular job.
No, she isn’t a professional longboarder, even though she basically has the skills to become one. And no, she isn’t a Youtuber or full-time influencer, even though brands have engaged her to work with them from time to time. Hyojoo has an actual, normal 9 to 5 job, just like the rest of us. She works as a user interface designer for LINE, a popular messaging app in South Korea. So longboarding and Youtube are truly just her hobbies that actually turned into opportunities. What’s extra mindblowing is that Hyojoo got this good in a just 3 years, picking it up in her past time!
4. She starred in a Far East Movement music video.
What she considers to be one of the highlights of her life, Hyojoo was the star of a music video by Far East Movement. It’s a romantic song, featuring popular South Korean singers Hyorin from SISTAR and Gill Chang. The music video was shot in Los Angeles and you can truly appreciate Hyojoo’s unique talent as she gracefully drifts through the LA streets at night. From the slow-mo shots and the illuminated umbrella she carries, Hyojoo captivated us thoroughly!
5. Hyojoo’s signature style is all about playful colours and high socks.
Hyojoo has her go-to longboarding outfit that consists of comfy, colourful shorts and a loose-fitting tee or tank top. Of course, we can’t forget her signature knee-high socks that compliment her favourite skateboarding shoes, Nike SB Janoskis. The socks accentuate the length of her legs and really highlight her movements on the board. In general, it’s all about comfortable casual clothing that is still very feminine. Her go-to clothing brands are SJYP and Steve J & Yoni P. Both are popular clothing brands in South Korea that merge street style and skateboarding for an uber urban look.
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In terms of makeup, Hyojoo is all about embracing her natural beauty. She is blessed with great skin and delicate features that she chooses to play up instead of cover up. Often times she rocks a bare face but when she does put on makeup, it’s very natural with a light smudging of eyeliner on the lash line and some tinted lip balm to add some colour. Her overall style is just like her longboarding skills… Effortless!
By Hanan Haddad