With her heart-stopping performance in Netflix's Squid Game, no one would've guessed that the series was 27-year-old Jung Ho Yeon's first major acting gig. She's definitely no stranger to the spotlight, though. Long before playing the fiery Kang Sae-Byeok, Ho Yeon had been on the world's most prestigious runways and magazines as a model. And just to give you an idea of how big of a deal she already was: She was once named one of the top 50 models in the world!
Ho Yeon has been modeling since she was 16 years old, but just like Shin Hyun Ji and Choi Sora, it was her Korea's Next Top Model stint in 2013 that gave her the career boost she needed. Although she only came in second to Hyun Ji in season four, it still catapulted her to become a mainstay in local runways and magazines.
A few years later, Ho Yeon was unstoppable. She made her international fashion week debut at Opening Ceremony in 2016, which opened many doors for her. Soon enough, her signature bright red locks were on the runways of Louis Vuitton, Rag & Bone, Marc Jacobs, and Chanel, alongside features and editorials on American Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and more.
To no one's surprise, Ho Yeon's quick rise to fame overseas eventually landed her a spot on Models.com's prestigious rankings. She was named one of their Top 50 models in the world in 2018, even scoring her own solo feature on the fashion publication.
Reacting to the news, she candidly wrote on Instagram, "Thank you so much for letting me be a model for @modelsdot TOP 50 in the world! It’s a magical day [emoji] I think there is a fairy [emojis]."
The model also revealed her intention to cross over to an acting career in her interview. According to Ho Yeon, acting was her dream and she was considering pursuing it in L.A. soon. While the latter has yet to happen, she did eventually make her debut—on a Netflix original that's now trending all over the world, no less!