Yoon Chan-young about her love of fashion and being a Coach ambassador

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The first Coach Ambassador to South Korea, Yoon Chan-young, spoke about the history with the brand, its widespread recognition since Netflix’s ‘All of Us Are Dead’, and dressing to express her true self.

With every major breakthrough of the K-drama series, a rising international star emerges: enter Yoon Chan-young from the Netflix hit ‘All of Us Are Dead’, a zombie apocalypse thriller that has been sinking its teeth in audiences around the world. Recently, the 21-year-old was named Coach’s first brand ambassador for South Korea, joining the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan, Jeremy Lin and Köki as the face of the global Coach family.

Yoon Chan-young was recently appointed Coach’s first ambassador to South Korea.

“I was initially very fascinated to hear about Coach’s history,” Chan-young says of the brand. “I can see that there are many different types of stuff that Coach offers people. So, I think it will mean a lot to me to continue this legacy, and continue to look at the Coach fashion brand.”

For the Coach’s Spring 2022 collection, the pieces can be summed up in three words: colorful, cheerful and energetic. This line features a variety of prints, from denim to florals and bright, bold colors that tend to pop in the spring and will seamlessly transcend summer. Rocking these motifs, Chan-young debuted in the brand’s Spring 2022 ready-to-wear campaign, which also featured the Hitch backpack—an accessory that pays homage to Coach’s rich heritage.

Chan-young shares that for him, fashion is a way to tell a story. It is fitting that, as an actor whose roles are diverse, Chan-young conveys the characters he plays and their personalities through the clothes he wears. For him, fashion is not just clothes. It’s a way of revealing a part of him to the world — a way of telling people how he really feels, without words.

Yoon Chan-Young poses with the Hitch backpack, Coach’s flagship bag that pays homage to the brand’s tradition and heritage.

“Her clothes and style really help represent and express the character,” explains Chan-young. “So, I always remember what I’m wearing, and I try to relate it to the character I play in any role.”

Between celebrating his belated birthday and teaching him the Malay word for ‘thank you’, we catch up with Chan-young about Coach, his fashion nostalgia and his future, and what it takes to be an ‘Oppa’ in this day and age.

What was your first experience with Coach?

When I was in elementary school, my mother had a Coach bag. So, that’s the first impression I got from Coach. Coach has never been a foreign brand to me. But I will say that my first proper encounter with Coach was when I had just finished shooting for “All of Us Are Dead”. I received a leather bag from Coach, as a gift — and it was the first personal Coach item I’ve ever owned.

What’s your favorite piece from Coach right now, and why?

There’s a T-shirt I’m wearing that I really like. This is a black T-shirt with a bunny design on it, and I wore it for a photo shoot for this [Spring 2022] collection. It’s super cute, and the best part is that it’s also made of organic cotton. So, not only have a great design, but also good for the planet. From the moment I saw it, I thought, “Oh, this must be for me!”

Credit: @yooncy1 on Instagram.

Can you share with us your personal relationship with fashion, and how it has changed throughout your career so far?

Ever since I was in high school, I really enjoyed seeing different types of clothes. Later, when I was training to become an actor — of course, I still had to practice — I preferred a more ‘comfortable’ look. ‘Overfit’ clothes and ‘street’ looks are what I love to wear. But at the same time, when I feel good, I like to dress up. For example, if I go to a party, I will wear a shirt and tie. I just enjoy looking at different fashion styles and learning about them. And this is something I want to keep doing, especially with Coach — to keep seeing all the different styles.

What are some ways Coach’s brand philosophy aligns with your personal values? In other words, what do you and Coach have in common?

The goal of the Coach brand is the courage to be real. This is clearly in line with one of my personal beliefs and values, which is that there is a certain power that comes from being authentic — you are your ‘true’, your natural self. So, that’s one thing.

Another of Coach’s brand values ​​is ‘wonder what if’. It really encourages curiosity, and at the same time, it’s a value that promotes diversity. So, I think these types of Coach beliefs and values ​​are some of the similarities I can find with myself in this brand.

“I prefer a more ‘comfortable’ look,” admits Chan-young. “‘Overfit’ clothes and ‘street’ looks are what I love to wear.”

You are the first South Korean to become a Coach ambassador. How do you expect the brand to integrate your culture or personal values ​​in the future?

Coach is a global brand with a long history and heritage. Having luxury items rooted in its own deep traditions, but at the same time having trendy items, such as when collaborating with other brands to adapt. So I thought you could combine the two, and one of the roles I played was doing just that. I want to combine the two and promote it, so that people of all backgrounds — young and old alike — can enjoy it and learn more about it. I think the younger generation, like me, can actually help promote this diversity too with my support. If I can achieve it, I’m sure it will be useful.

How would you describe your current personal style versus the characters you’ve played so far?

I personally believe that fashion truly represents and expresses a person’s lifestyle and emotions. So, I think fashion can help me express my ‘color’. There is a Korean saying that ‘clothes give you wings’. This means that depending on what you are wearing, you can look better because it will help you express yourself. Be it personal life or with my character, his style really helps to highlight the personality even more. So, I always pay attention and think about what I’m wearing, and then use that to connect with the character I’m playing.

You must have become famous since Netflix’s “All of Us Are Dead”. How do you feel about gaining wider recognition and publicity following the event’s worldwide success?

I have received so much attention and love since I was able to express myself in that role, and I am very grateful for that. I really feel good about myself. I also became more confident about the next steps I wanted to take, and in what I said and did. But at the same time, I feel a greater responsibility. So I told myself that in order for me not to feel pressured about all this, I had to try harder and try harder.

Last but not least, what are the do’s and don’ts of being an ‘Oppa’?

I think being an ‘Oppa’ has to do a lot with your appearance. What I mean is, the way you look on the outside — you have to be really neat and tidy. You have to shower often, and you have to wash your face. Wearing perfume would also be a nice touch, but the most important thing in all of this is that you shouldn’t wear this style all the time. Only when you meet someone special. You should save a style like this for a very special day.

“I believe fashion really represents and expresses a person’s lifestyle and emotions,” said Chan-young. “So, I think fashion can help me express my ‘color’.”

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