All eyes on me
Known for her striking Cleopatra eyeliner and daring sense of style, model and social media personality KIWI LEE HAN is taking the sartorial and beauty worlds by storm. She's commonly seen flitting between Fashion Weeks and photo shoots all around the wor
How did you get started in modelling?
A schoolmate of mine is a bridal make-up artist. When I was 16, she used me as a model to create make-up looks. I uploaded the photos of the looks online afterwards and I’ve been getting jobs regularly ever since.
You’re of Taiwanese and Korean descent. What would you say are the differences between the two cultures?
I’d say in Taiwanese culture, or for Taiwanese fashion, people tend towards the sweet, girly looks, while the Korean market definitely has a more distinctive style and attitude. Between the two, I prefer the Korean style; they’re more centred and determined, and I think they dare to be a bit more creative as well.
Which culture do you identity with more?
The two cultures are so different, but because my own style is more daring, I’d say I identify with the Korean culture a bit more.
What’s your favourite food? Do you cook?
Actually, my favourite food is McDonalds, because it’s so convenient! I very rarely go into the kitchen to cook, but I think I make a pretty mean Korean kimchi dish.
You have a very signature look with your short fringe and smoky eye. How did this look come to be? Do you have a style icon?
Well, in the beginning it was because of this one film I watched called Helter Skelter. And I’ve always had an obsession with Cleopatra’s gaze; I felt having that look gave me a very glamorous style. So I created my own look with those two inspirations, and after some time it became my signature. I have many style icons; I love Rihanna and Kaia Gerber.
Looking back, are there any past styles you’ve done that you find embarrassing or funny?
I think every past trend that was popular had its reasons for being popular then. But whenever I look back on old photos of myself, I do really want to hide all of them. I don’t want people to see them and feel embarrassed for me!
Do you have any hidden talents or tricks?
I’m actually pretty good at playing Chinese instruments. I learned how to play at a young age, and I can play the guqin and the yangqin. I think everyone would be incredibly surprised to see me play! It really doesn’t match well with my usual image.
When do you feel most down?
When I don’t meet my own expectations or other people’s expectations, I feel extremely guilty. I usually set pretty high standards for myself and give myself a ton of pressure.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a flight attendant. My dream was to travel the world. But somehow I found myself in the modelling industry, and it also allowed me to travel to different places for work and play, so I changed my mind!