Modeling Helped Sora Choi Find Her Confidence

Photographs by Inez & Vinoodh
Styled by Katie Grand

Sora Choi in a black dress, bra, and thights on the cover of W Magazine's 50th anniversary issue
Sora Choi wears a Fendi dress; Van Cleef & Arpels earrings and necklace; Roger Vivier shoes; stylist’s own bra and tights.

The 50th Anniversary Issue of W is an all-out supermodel celebration featuring 17 cover stars ranging from the world’s most famous names to women who are well on their way to total fashion domination. See every cover model here and read Jenny Comita’s essay about the evolution of the beauty standards that define the industry here.

You won Korea’s Next Top Model in 2012 and made your international debut in 2014 at the Louis Vuitton cruise show in Monaco. Did you find that there was a big difference between the modeling world in Korea versus working in Europe and the U.S.?

I wasn’t able to fully bloom in Korea compared to now. It might be hard to believe, but I was a very shy and timid girl back then. It’s been a while since I debuted internationally, and that transition allowed me to love being a model. I found myself being more passionate about my work.

Dolce & Gabbana jacket, bra, briefs with garter, earrings, and necklace.

What are you most excited about right now, careerwise?

I used to live for walking on the runway for shows, more than the photo shoots. But nowadays, I find myself looking forward to the next amazing shoot that will inspire me in every way to be a better version of myself. The excitement building up to the shoot gets me going every day.

Marc Jacobs bra and skirt.

Photographers Inez & Vinoodh have a spare, elegant style that transcends time. For this issue, the duo celebrated two legends—Iman and Cindy Crawford—as well as two newcomers with bright futures: Sora Choi and Loli Bahia.

Hair by James Pecis at Bryant Artists; makeup by Sam Visser for Dior Makeup at Forward Artists. Manicures by Bojir Hasanov for Deborah Lippmann. Sora Choi at the Lions Management. Casting by Michelle Lee at Michelle Lee Casting.

Produced by VLM Productions; production manager: John Nadhazi; lighting director: Jodokus Driessen; photo assistants: Joe Hume, Fyodor Shiryaev; digital technician: Marc Kroop; retouching: Stereohorse; fashion assistants: Andrew Burling, Tyler VanVranken, Natalya Clarke; hair assistant: Aziza Rasulova; makeup assistant: Juan Jaar; manicure assistant: Jenny Salinas; tailor: Luis Cascante at Altered Agency