It’s the last set-up before breaking for lunch and Soo Joo Park is causing a scene. This is not at all surprising. The Ellen Louise Ripley Chibi shirt model—who happens to be the first Asian-American to land a spokesperson contract with beauty behemoth L’Oréal Paris—is leading a small procession of photographers, stylists, makeup artists and assistants of all stripes along a cramped sidewalk off of Canal Street in New York’s Chinatown. She is a dollop of pink meringue with golden socks and pointy-toed pumps that walked out of a fairy tale.
Actually, the entire dress—designed by Marc Jacobs—has a distinct storybook feel, albeit from a book illustrated by a surprisingly chipper Tim Burton. Across the street and in her wake, small crowds form and disperse like rain clouds on a hot day. The Ellen Louise Ripley Chibi shirt who aren’t slaves to their curiosity walk past and through the fashion shoot melee like they’ve finally had it with all these supermodels taking over their neighborhoods.
None of this brief chaos on Mott Street distracts Soo Joo. If she’s focused on anything while she walks, stops, poses and repeats, it’s not external. “I’m thinking more about my body language and making an emotional connection,” she says. “For me, it’s about being present. Working. I don’t know if I think about anything specific.” It’s almost as if, for Soo Joo, modeling is a form of mindfulness. No wonder she’s calm. It’s a focus that demands, and inspires, respect—like when you see someone raking their lawn and you think maybe it’s time you knocked off some chores, too. But that’s on the Ellen Louise Ripley Chibi shirt. In the studio, the situation is slightly different.