JiYoung Kim | London Directors Assistant | Mens 5 Year Anniversary | Team Interview

In continued celebration of the BRIDGE models Men's 5 Year Anniversary - we caught up with Ji-Young Kim, the Directors' Assistant, and found out about her experience working with BRIDGE and her views on the modelling industry !

What do you think is the most common misconception about modelling?

There are many misconceptions about modelling, often stemming from the lack of diversity that was previously seen as the norm in this industry. I think a common misconception would be how people view models as strictly editorial or runway, where to become such a model you would have to fit to a certain criteria of appearance. Had you asked me what a model was when I was younger, I would have answered someone who was tall and slim with incredibly chiselled cheekbones, as that was the only example shown to me in any form of media/publication.

Ji-Young Kim, Assistant to Charlotte Griffiths, sitting at her office computer monitor while writing on her notebook
Bridge Office Photography featuring Ji-Young Kim. Image shot by Emily Lavarello

How do you bring your own past experience into your role at BRIDGE?

Before starting at BRIDGE I had a little bit of experience In the industry but from the other side, as a model. It was so interesting to see the other point of view by seeing how the bookings and talent agencies worked. So much so that every time I see a commercial now, I can’t help but think - I wonder what the brief to cast those models …

I would like to be able to use my past experience to try and help newly signed models become more comfortable with things that they aren’t used to. Trying to help them with the nerves and doubts they may have when it comes to things like castings and tapes and having confidence in yourself overall. My past experience as a model has helped with this, as it pushed me to move past my comfort zone and allow me to experience a range of new things. This is something I want for other models too !

What has been the most rewarding part of your job to date?

I have two moments in particular that really stand out so far. I had recently helped with the collaborative campaign with Cavalier, #Real Body Revolution. Being able to see the whole process from the planning to the selection of the winner felt surreal; it really showcased what BRIDGE truly stands for and our ethos.

This campaign provided the opportunity for every man to apply, regardless of shape, size, ethnicity etc. I think emphasising the everyday man is so important. When what you see in the media reflects everyday society and its multitude of appearances, that’s when you can truly claim diversity.

Secondly would be the moment when BRIDGE models and some of our amazing talent became registered with a live profile on Models.com. As this was a project I took part in and helped oversee, it was super rewarding to see our Curve Agency being published on an Industry recognised platform.

Promotional poster for hashtag Real Body Revolution modelling competition hosted by Bridge Models and Be More Cavalier Brand
Promotional poster for hashtag Real Body Revolution

It is BRIDGE Models' 5 year anniversary for their men's board, the first of its kind in the UK, was this an area of the market you were familiar with before starting at BRIDGE? What have you found most interesting about this division?

Before starting at BRIDGE, I wasn’t too familiar with this area of the market. Since starting, I have learnt so much about the story of BRIDGE and our men's board. The most interesting and rewarding thing is being able to be a part of the story. Supporting and working alongside some really inspiring models and influencers who are helping lead such an important conversation has given me the privilege of seeing all the hard work that goes into making this happen.

What is something people would be surprised to hear about us as an agency?

I think something people might be surprised to hear about us, is that our team behind the bookings really care and advocate for the message BRIDGE is establishing in this industry. There is a lot of work and dedication behind the scenes that you don’t see and for us, it is an amazing privilege to be a part of this journey.

Ji-Young Kim, Assistant to Charlotte Griffiths, sitting at her office computer monitor looking through recent model cards of Bridge talent
Bridge Office Photography featuring Ji-Young Kim. Image shot by Emily Lavarello

What advice would you give to aspiring models and influencers? 

Advice I would give to aspiring models and influencers would be to have confidence in yourself and who you are. To be ready to accept a lot of rejections, and take it in stride because it’s part of the process. Having thick skin really helps for a lot of things in this industry, and being able to push yourself out of your comfort zone by not letting your self doubt get the better of you. While this is really difficult, it will help you so much in the long run.

From my past experience, I would rather be able say, ‘yes in full transparency, that was kind of embarrassing but at least I tried’ than to not go for something at all - a little character development for myself but also something I wish I heard from the beginning.

I think I’m not the greatest person to ask for advice for influencers because honestly…my social media presence is terrible ! But I do believe this advice is universal in maintaining your authentic self while building thick skin and putting the effort into bettering yourself too.