Makeup Artist/Hair: Nathalie Kim of Salon Cookie Couture (IG: @saloncookiecouture)
Wardrobe provided by: Kaimana Beachwear (www.kaimanabeachwear.com, IG: @kaimanabeachwear), Beijo Baby (www.beijobaby.com, IG: @beijobaby), Eurasian Hotties ( IG: @eurasianhotties)
Spray Tan provided by: Spray Tan Waikiki (www.spraytanwaikiki.com, IG: @spraytanwaikiki)
We first came across Gigi two years ago, when we attended a fashion show held during LA’s Fashion Week. Upon our first meeting, we were extremely intimidated by her – With the few more inches in height she has on us, her confident swagger down the catwalk, and those jaw dropping natural good looks, it was only natural. But once we got to know her, we were surprised to find out that she is one of the nicest and down to earth girls we’ve ever met. She exudes an innocence and honesty that we haven’t encountered, nor expected in today’s superficial world. It was easy to become comfy with her, and made shooting a breeze. Read on for our interview and get to know Gigi on a personal level. Think models breeze through a surreal life unlike the rest of us? Think again!
For the record, what ethnicity are you?
I’m half Korean and half Greek/Italian.
Where were you born, and where are you currently based?
I was born in San Diego, but I’m currently based in Hong Kong.
What was it like growing up? Were you a “mean girl” or a dork?
Oh lord! Well, you asked for it! I actually grew up in Germany. I was a military brat so I’ve lived all over, but I lived in Germany for 8 years from when I was 13-20. I was never popular actually; I was actually quite a dork. I never had many friends, but the few I had were very very close. I believe in 8th grade I experienced my first bullying from a group of girls who used to be my best friends. Of course I still to this day don’t exactly understand what happened, but you can imagine how terrible it was for a 14 year old girl to go from having best friends one day, to being bullied and tormented the next; that continued all throughout grade school. Every day there was something new. It got to the point where I actually had to eat my lunches in the bathroom stalls because I couldn’t stand eating alone around all these people who would talk about me. Eventually I left halfway through my freshman year of high school to be homeschooled, and boy was it glorious! I still had my close friends around, my baby sister was born so I got to spend a lot of time with her, and my relationship with my mom became stronger than ever. When it was time for my senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to go back. I wanted to have that “senior year” experience that everyone glorifies in America. Worst decision of my life! Of course, the girls came back ten times meaner, I got myself into an extremely terrible relationship, and I was more alone than ever. It wasn’t until graduation that I was able to let go of all the terrible memories of that place and make life long friends. I wouldn’t have changed any of it though. Everything that happened to me and all the people who bullied me have made me who I am today. Every single time they tried to break me I remained calm, I never lashed out, I was always kind, and I always forgave them. With that I grew strong, strong enough to handle the criticism of the fashion and modeling industry, strong enough to push through because no matter what anyone said about me, it wouldn’t matter. I know what kind of person I am, I know what I’m worth, and I believe in myself. It also gave me the gift to help other young girls with bullying. It’s not something many people would expect I had a problem with, so when they realize that I can relate, it makes it easier for me to get through to them. It’s a very sensitive subject and unfortunately it happens to so many people on such a grand scale. I take great solace in helping other young women who are being bullied because I can’t imagine anyone else going through everything I went through alone.
Wow, you’re like the second model we’ve interviewed who we thought would be a mean girl but ended up being the dork. Moving on, What’s the most likely place that we’d normally find you?
In a donut shop! I have an obsession.
Hahaha, fair enough. We love dem donuts too. How old were you and what made you decide to start modeling?
Well my Mom was a model in LA during her teenage years, so I always entertained the idea when I was young. I’d do a commercial or two with her, I’d go to some photoshoots with her as well, but it wasn’t until I was 15 visiting home in San Diego. I was at an Outback Steakhouse restaurant with my Mom and our friends and a woman followed me into the bathroom. Of course I was a little scared because there was this woman watching me wash my hands for an awkward few seconds, haha! She approached me and asked if I ever considered modeling, and told me she owned a new agency in San Diego. Unfortunately I was living in Germany at the time so I wasn’t able to work with her, but years later when I came back to San Diego I gave her a call and somehow she remembered me! Out of all the models she’s worked with and all those years she was still interested in working with me, so that’s how it began and the rest is history!
Any memorable moments so far modeling? How about exotic places you’ve been to because of modeling? Meet anyone famous yet?
Well the most memorable moments and exotic places kind of go hand in hand. Last year I went abroad to live and model in Bangkok for three months and that was the experience of a lifetime. I met the most amazing people, traveled to the most amazing islands, and ate some of the most amazing foods while I was there. Now I’m doing the same in Hong Kong! It really is a blessing being able to travel for work. The most famous celebrity I’ve worked with is probably Choi Seung Hyun, known as T.O.P; a Korean singer, rapper, and actor. He’s in a K-pop band called Big Bang, and (correct me if I’m wrong) they’ve got the largest following in the world known as “V.I.P.’s”. They come from all over the world! Not just Korea! I starred in their MV “Loser,” which gained over 20 million views within the first week it was released. I had the pleasure of meeting some very sweet and uplifting fans of theirs, and I received so much love and support from my role, it really made me appreciate the V.I.P.’s and how loyal and supportive they are of Big Bang.
Oh wow, it’s official. We’ve finally worked with those beautiful Korean girls that you always see in Korean Music videos. Pretty much the only reason we watch them, hahaha. Meet any creeps or stalkers so far while modeling?
Fortunately I haven’t met any yet. I’ve been so lucky to have been surrounded with the right people since day one. The only downer was when I found out my manager and mother agent (whom I’ve known for years and trusted like a father) stole money from me, and lied straight to my face about it continuously. The betrayal was what hurt the most, I didn’t even care about the money. Here was this guy who had my career in his hands, someone I had complete faith in, and he completely took advantage. It makes me wonder what else he lied about after all that time! And to make things worse, after it was known that I wanted to leave the agency, I get a call at 4 am from one of his other models (obviously not sober) claiming to be his “right hand man” and that I was making a HUGE mistake if I leave the company, among other things. Ha! To this day he still hasn’t paid me. I hope his other models watch out and keep track of their payments. One day karma will bring justice.
That’s messed up. But yeah, he’ll get what he deserves. Any goals modeling wise? The next Cosmo cover perhaps?
I want to change the way this industry is. I know everyone says this, but I just feel we’re so close already! Look at Kate Upton! She’s revolutionized the standards of being a model! I’m just a bit smaller than her, yet I still struggle to get work because I’m still considered too big. I want to bring change to the industry, I want to show the world that healthy can be sexy too.
We still think you’re hotter than Kate. So your fiancee’s a Gracie. How’d you guys meet?
Haha, I knew this was going to come up! Yes, I’m engaged to Clark Gracie and I’m so so blessed. We met through family friends of mine!
Do guys freak out when they hit on you and then they realize you’re with Clark?
Lol! Well I can’t remember the last time I was hit on, but when I meet new people and they see my ring they ask “Who’s the lucky guy?” Of course as soon as I tell them it’s “WHAT?!” haha. Always the same response. It’s a little crazy when I realize how many people around the world know who he is, and sometimes I have to take a step back because I forget how much of a world famous athlete he is. I think it’s because there’s two sides to Clark; the humble, cool, world class competitor that the rest of the world sees, and the sweet, secretly cat loving goofball only I get to see 😋
Are you into MMA/BBJ as well?
You know, actually I have a passion for Muay Thai. I’ve only done it a few times but every single time I do, I get a rush like never before! Unfortunately I can only train once or twice a week because of my job, but it’s definitely something I love so much. I absolutely love the self defense aspect of BJJ as well, I think it’s an incredibly important skill that everyone should learn, especially women!
A girl that does MMA. Sexy. Favorite part of your body? What do you think guys notice in you?
This is always such a tough question. I would have to say my eyes. So many things can be said with a single look, it’s incredible. I feel like I’m able to project my emotions through my eyes very well. It also helps with modeling and acting.
Oh right, yes, we noticed your…eyes first. Any special talents?
Well, for acting, I can cry on command, almost immediately, every time, haha. I am also excellent at making a box of donuts disappear right before your eyes. With that being said, no. I don’t really have any special talents.
If you were single, best place to bring you on a first date?
Definitely a festival of some kind. A festival, a carnival, a theme park, anywhere that we could have fun. I love the people,the lights, the sounds, the games, and the rides! I also love cotton candy and caramel apples. especially cotton candy caramel apples! YUM! 😋
Favorite food spots, fave cuisine?
I love all food. There’s literally no cuisine I dislike. My top two would have to be Korean and Indian, but I love it all.
If you were single, what do you look for in a guy?
How much he loves his family, especially his mother. I think it’s very important for him to have a good relationship with his mother, because then you know he will treat the mother of his children with the same respect. I’ve seen both sides, and I can definitely say that is a very true statement.
Do you know Dan Bilzerian? What do you think of him?
This was so random haha! I don’t know what I think of him; honestly I don’t really care. Everyone is different. If you want to live the ultimate obnoxious playboy lifestyle go ahead. Some people just want to live life to the fullest. I say let them be.
Haha; the reason we asked about Dan Bilzerian was because we see all these models throwing themselves at him. So the question is, would you sleep with Dan Bilzerian for a million dollars?
Oh god no! Yuck! I’d feel so gross! No way! My skin is crawling just thinking about that.
Beauty, brains, classy, and talented. Clark is a lucky guy. On a scale of 1-10, rate your shoot with us.
You guys are awesome. I love you all! I give you 100! From my casting videos to the photoshoots, I can always count on you to make me look amazing. Not to mention how much fun we have on set! You’re definitely the coolest most humble people I’ve met in a long time.
That’s what all the ladies say!