We Cannes not believe!

Startstruck with L'Oréal – in conversation with Soo Joo


Cannes Film Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the year; L’Oréal Paris, who has been an official partner of the festival for 25 years, hosted its second edition of the Lights on Women award accompanying the 75th Cannes celebration. The Lights On Women Award, presented by Kate Winslet, is an award that recognizes promising female directors in cinema and offers a pathway for the next generation of female talent.

On the occasion of this award, L’Oréal Paris has invited particularly influential women, amongst them DJ and model Soo Joo, the first Asian-American Model to land a spokesperson contract with L’Oréal Paris. We caught up with her to chat about all things beauty, perception, and the things that matter most to her.



A: What does being part of the beauty industry mean to you?

S: Being a part of the beauty industry is a really surreal feeling, like the fact that I am a person of color and that someone who looks like me can also participate in, I guess, widening the perception of beauty. Beauty always comes from within to a certain point, but we do all have eyes and most people have vision, and perception is such a big part of your psyche. So I always take it with a lot of gratitude.

A: You also studied architecture, if you could construct your dream object, what would it be and what would it look like?

S: I was joking and saying my dream object would be a cloning machine so I can duplicate myself. Being in like 16 different places. But to answer your question, I think something that I would love to have created that’s a beautiful object would be like a perfume bottle, just because I think scent is such an important part of someone’s identity. And to have created something that is visually appealing and carries another part of the sensory of olfactory senses, I think would be amazing.

A: Do you believe in form follows function?

S: As like a hardcore minimalist obsessed fan I love Mies van der Rohe and Cobussier and architects like that. But I think in my life form follows function sometimes. There always has to be a function but sometimes the way I dress and stuff you know, I think I definitely like to have some frivolity because life is about enjoying and every now and then you want to have just form sometimes. I actually have to think about it a lot because in school, I think I really tended to be more drawn to, like, brutalist architecture and minimalism. But I think me, myself in my life tends to be a little bit more eclectic and at times frivolous.

A: You are a DJ: What is the beauty of sound to you?

S: The beauty of sound is the ability to connect people to their emotions and others. I think a lot of the times when I’m DJing, I always try to think of music that’s going to make someone think of another. Like I want them to be moved, not only physically but mentally. And also it can attach to certain parts of your memory. It can recall some of the best experiences. I don’t know if someone was having the best time, like simply on a road trip somewhere with their friends and they were listening to certain songs. I do that a lot with some of my friends. We go on a road trip and we’re always listening to the same track for the trip. It’s like our set of songs for the trip and like that. It can have a connective power like that, I think.

A: Can you describe your style aesthetic in terms of looks, but also lifestyle and music?

S: I think more than anything, it’s more intuitive, but it does come from observing a lot. You know, I don’t like to complicate things. I live by my heart. So when it comes to my fashion or aesthetics versus how I live my life or how I work, I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve like I express it in the most earnest way possible.


A: So no labels for you.

S: No labels and anything is everything. I usually don’t like to denounce anything or praise anything in general because we’re human beings, we can be capricious and we change minds all the time. I think that’s the beauty of it. We’re always transitioning.

A: When do you feel most beautiful?

S: I feel the most beautiful, when I’ve slept hahah. When I’ve had my 8 hours of sleep and eight cups of water I feel the most beautiful because I think mentally, the more I age, the more I realize it’s important to take care of your mind and body. I mean, of course, when I have the super talented hair and makeup team that come and do their magic I look amazing, but I want to feel amazing from the inside because I think that’s what really matters.

A: L’Oréal Paris honors women with its own award. How important is such an award in general?

S: It’s extremely important on so many levels. I’m so honored to work with L’Oréal Paris, especially because it is all about empowering women and expressing your strength because we’re worth it. It’s kind of become a personal calling. I’m a huge fan of Kate Winslet, personally. She’s an incredible, talented, versatile, character actress. It’s really hard for females to be represented in this industry. It’s one of the industries where it’s really difficult to have the space and feel seen beyond just being an actress or like a starlet. And it’s incredible that L’Oréal quite literally sways Lights on Women.

Afra Ugurlu
Juni 16, 2022
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