L’Oreal Just Signed Model Soo Joo Park As Their 1st Asian Global Ambassador


It’s the fashion trend that has everyone talking…diversity. There are so many iconic fashion and beauty brands that are branching out from the homogenous visuals that have dominated the market for so long, and finally listening to what consumers are saying about the need for greater definitions of beauty.

L’Oreal are the latest brand to make a major move in the name of diversity, but it is certainly not their first. They have announced Asian-American model Soo Joo Park as their first Asian global ambassador.

The Californian platinum-haired beauty started her fashion career somewhat late at 26 (late by industry standards, that is) and is fast becoming the next big thing in the world of fashion and beauty.

In an interview with Style.com she talks about the significance of her new signing, and what it feels like to be a barrier-breaker in an industry that still exhibits a lot of push back against diversity in many areas.

“The thing is that I’m Asian, but I’m also Asian-American. And I think growing up in America and having a multicultural background, you know where you stand but you also want to melt into the pot. It’s such an honor, but I also think the world is getting smaller and the globalization of commerce is influencing industries like beauty and fashion. So to be the first to represent a global brand is a huge honor. But I don’t want to be just that one thing; I want to be the global ambassador,” she said.

Diversity is something that has been on her radar for a while and she looks up to certain designers who are willing to push the boundaries to make the industry more inclusive.


“I have so much respect for designers like [Azzedine] Alaïa, who has always loved the more multi-ethnic women. And designers like Karl [Lagerfeld]. In a way, I think the rising power of China urged the designers to be more global, and it’s good that they were encouraged to be more inclusive. And people are starting to understand that the world is getting smaller and you see different faces everywhere.”

Being a woman of color at a time when many designers still only cast the “token” ethnic face in shows is something Soo Joo hopes will change over time, because she doesn’t like how that perpetuates a competitive mindset amongst ethnic models. She sees the trend of the “it’s me or you” slowly changing with more brands understanding the powerful value of diversity wherever possible.

“Part of the reason I bleached my hair was to get away from that competition. In a way, I was successful. But in some ways, it limited me from a lot of jobs. I had one casting director who flat-out told me, “I wish you hadn’t bleached your hair because I feel like you’re too much of a departure from the typical Asian model.” But I stuck with it because I liked it and it was a look that I wanted to own.”

Choosing to go to college and then start working in the modeling industry is quite unusual, as it often happens the other way around for most models. However this is what she chose to do and it seems to be paying off.

“I did have a different trajectory than most models and I value it very much…but the thing is that with this industry, everything is constantly changing. For me, it was good to start later because I had a better idea of myself. With this industry, so much is dependent on trends, so your look can be in one season and then you’re never seen again. So it’s good to be confident about who you are and where you stand,” she said.

“By understanding yourself and being older, you can market yourself more successfully. I’m hoping because of that I’ll have better staying power, so I’ll stay relevant and not be easily phased out.”

If L’Oreal’s track record lately is anything to go by, Soo Joo Park is here to stay. In 2o14 the brand made headlines after signing 69 year-old actress Dame Helen Mirren to be the face of their Age Perfect campaign. In February 2015 her campaign video was released.


In September 2014 l’Oreal became the first worldwide beauty brand to receive certification for gender equality from the World Economic Forum initiative that is seeking to reward and promote brands that pursue diversity at all levels of their company. So it is not just in front of the camera, but also behind the scenes that the company wants to lead the way in industry change.

The news of Soo Joo Park becoming L’Oreal’s first Asian global ambassador comes hot off the heels of the news that french fashion house Dior signed mega star Rihanna as the first black women to be the face of their label. The singer who has been outspoken about not wanting to be a role model, couldn’t help speaking about what an impact her new deal will make on other young black women who for so long haven’t seen themselves represented at the highest level in fashion.

“It feels fantastic. It is such a big deal for me, for my culture, for a lot of young girls of any color. I think to be acknowledged by Dior means a lot, as a woman, to feel beautiful — to feel elegant and timeless,” she said.

For young girls of any color is right indeed. Those words are at the essence of why blogs like ours make a big deal of news like diversity castings in fashion. It’s about showing a generation of young girls that who they are is enough, what they are is valuable, and they don’t need to change or adapt to feel like they fit in.

Major kudos to this continuing trend, we can’t wait until this diversity thing is just “normal”.






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