Each week, we take the time to highlight one of our favorite emerging models. Previously, we profiled Ela Boelling and this week we're turning our attention to Dahan Phuong Oanh. We caught up with the budding beauty to talk about her career so far, her passion for modeling and her plans for the future.
Have you always wanted to be a model? If not, what did you want to be growing up?
Growing up I was the tallest girl in my town of 50,000 people and was always teased for my height (my nickname Dahan means crane). Once I found out about modeling in my early teens, I knew I found my calling. It is not a common choice and my mother was very worried but supportive.
How were you scouted?
At 17, I was casting for a local TV show in Viet Nam when Taste Management reached out to me. I did not make it very far in the show but ended up signing with the agency.
How would you describe yourself as model in three words?
Adventurous -mindful - passionate
Your first modeling job?
Lookbook for Moi Dien - a very nice local Vietnamese brand.
What is your favorite or most exciting aspect about being a model?
The thrill of being on stage and the nerves before a job. Once I start walking and vibing to the music I am fired up it is an indescribable feeling! Also, the multitude of different experiences, people and culture. I get to learn new things every day.
Is there anyone that you admire as a role model and why?
G-Dragon is my definition of an OG. He is an atypical South Korean musician who defied obstacles and initial rejections to become a world-famous super star with sheer talent and dedication. And he can rock any clothes! Cardi B is also a role model of mine. Her optimism and sense of humor is contagious. I love both their music and their underdog story - maybe because at times I can identify with them.
What's been your biggest OMG moment to date?
Working with Stella McCartney was definitely an OMG moment. To see her philosophy about fashion in practice was a thing of beauty.
What is your dream shoot/campaign?
I have so many favorite brands this is hard to choose. But something experimental that combines music, fashion and film would be amazing. Or even theatrical like any McQueen show from 1995 to 2000. They were such a mood!
Biggest lesson that modeling has taught you?
Be humble and be kind. Fashion is fun and glamorous, but it is a collaborative effort and everyone is very hard working. I like making friends with everyone on the job and learn about them.
What's the best life advice you've ever received?
The middle point between an expert and a newbie is where you do your best work. I always try to keep a learner mindset and push myself to see things in different perspective.
How do you stay in shape?
I work with a personal trainer at home. When I travel, I try to eat healthy and have a set of full body reps.
What do you think about fashion? What does it mean to you?
Fashion is a mean of expression of a generation, beyond clothing, it is an attitude. To be able to mix a little bit of the Vietnamese swagger into everything I do, I hope I represent my people well.
If you had to be head to toe in one designer brand for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Rick Owens. I'm obsessed with his accessories. His furniture's and decors are also to die for.
How would you describe your style?
Ever evolving. I treat myself like an empty canvas that I can design and deconstruct every day - the point is to surprise myself.
Denim or leather?
Heels or flats?
Neither. I'm a boots and sneaker head.
Vintage or contemporary fashion?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Shoes! I have too many, but I can't help it.
What's been your most indulgent purchase since you became a model?
If you were an emoji, which would you be and why?
The flame emoji because that's what I try to put in everything I do.
When you're not busy modeling, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I love going to art/design museums and shows, hanging with friends, discovering cool local places wherever I travel.
What are you working on now and what do you dream of happening in the future?
I am trying to hone my skills every day to become the best I possibly can. My dream is to help put Vietnamese fashion on the world map.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?
I like to live in the moment so lets this be a surprise for both of us.
Thank you, Dahan, for taking the time to talk with us!
Interview by: Clinton Gonsalvez
Special Thanks to Elena Ghesini @ Women Management (Milan).
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