Seconds into our convo with Soo Joo Park—just after Chanel’s seaside-inspired spring/summer 2019 show, for which the model sat front row—we find ourselves swimming in a crowd of her fans. Ever the chill California girl (despite having modelled for every major fashion house in the biz), Park graciously stops to say hi to everyone. Here’s what she said in between all the excitement.


THE CHANEL WOMAN IS… “She is a woman who likes to take risks and chances. I think she’s quite adventurous, and she likes to push the boundaries a little bit. That’s the spirit of who Gabrielle [Coco’s given name] was, and that still flows through [the brand] today.”


ON DIVERSITY IN FASHION “There’s still a long way to go, but it’s getting better. On the runway, there are so many different women of colour, like the beautiful Adut Akech. She closed the show, and it was such a beautiful look. I think there’s been some improvement, and it’s very visible.”


PARIS CHECKLIST “I love the spa at the Royal Monceau, and I always try to go to Korean restaurants with my Korean friends. My faves are Bistrot Mee and Guibine.”


LIFE’S A BEACH “My dream holiday is in two parts: one week with my family and a couple of close friends by the beach in a big house, then another week alone so I can have some quiet time. I’m from California and love the sea and the sun, so every year I try to find a new sunny destination.”


MOM KNOWS BEST “When I’m feeling exhausted or under the weather, calling my mom gives me a shot of energy. Hearing her voice is therapeutic. She always tells me that health is above all, and the more I work in this industry, the truer it sounds.”


This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of ELLE Canada.