• adidas + UO: May Hong

    The future is now. For our new + exclusive adidas campaign, we teamed up with 19 up-and-coming creative minds that our shaping our cultural landscape. Scroll on to go behind the scenes of our Fall 2016 campaign and meet the creatives who are working to #createourfuture. 

    RISD-educated model May Hong passes the time by drawing anything and everything. We chatted with the Queens-based creative about exploring new mediums and inspiring young Instagram followers. 
    Lead photo by Braina Laviena @picsfortipz 

    Can you tell us about yourself and what you do? 
    I model right now, but I draw in my spare time and write and go to a ceramics studio.

    That’s great. Are you based in New York? 
    Yeah, I live in New York, I'm from Queens. I was born in Korea, but I came here when I was six and I've grown up in New York my whole life. Then I lived in Providence for four years for college, I went to RISD for printmaking. Yeah, that's what I've been doing.

    What kind of things do you draw?
    I just draw for myself. I'm not really drawing to show, it's more journaling for me.

    What's the first thing you can ever remember making?
    I have drawings that I don't remember making, but I have an early memory of being given a new material. My mom would be making dough for a Korean dish that you make on rainy days that requires a dough, she would make extra for me to play with. She would make me an extra ball of dough to play with Which is really funny, I hadn’t thought about, but that's one of the first sort of new materials I remember being intrigued by.

    Photo by Braina Laviena @picsfortipz 

    What makes for a powerful image? 
    I feel sort of really jaded at the moment. I think we are so flooded with imagery, that I think it's really hard to distinguish. I guess anything that would capture honesty. 

    Who keeps you going? 
    I think because we immigrated together, rather than my parents moving and me being born here. I feel like we are a team in a lot of ways and I feel a responsibility. I feel like we were sort of displaced at the same time. Not that it wasn't by choice, but it was a significant transition and I feel like being able to witness that even if as a child I'm not going through the same difficulty.

    Because of that I think they keep me going. Just in that regard. That they allowed me to pursue what I wanted, to pursue art, that inspires me to stick to that personally, and at least continue to make work for myself because it was such a huge sacrifice to allow that.

    Photo by Braina Laviena @picsfortipz 

    As a creative person in the fashion, do you feel like you have a responsibility to make the world a better place? 
    I recently received a message, which of course I receive crazy messages, or just silly ones, but I received one recently that was from a Korean teenage girl that just said, "I'm growing up in a community without a lot of people that look like me. I feel like it's been really difficult for me to accept how I look and my own self esteem and my own self image. I just wanted to let you know from seeing you, seeing photos of you, it's just allowed for me to accept myself and accept that I am beautiful too even if I don't look like everyone else in my town."

    That was kind of a really intense and beautiful thing to receive. Just because I didn't expect to be modeling at all. But then when I saw that it reminded me I didn't grow up with anyone that looked like me. It's definitely changing and evolving over time. There is still a lot of work to do for people of color. 

    If you could talk to everyone on earth at once, what would you say to them?
    I don't know if I would say anything. I feel like if everyone was listening to me right now what would I say? Like, "Hi?" Yeah, I would say, "How are you? How are you feeling today?"

    Photo by Braina Laviena @picsfortipz 

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