Julia Lee leads the life of a glamorous supermodel and media personality. From strutting her stuff on the international/NYFW catwalks to being featured on the covers of some of the world’s best fashion magazines, this beauty is the face of some of the top fashion and beauty brands around the world like Shiseido; Make-up for Ever; Moroccan Oil; Kate Spade; Isabel Marant; Bulgari; Clinique; Maybelline; Express; Levis; Nike; Oribe and more.
She recently graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam. Julia Lee is American born of Chinese and Vietnamese descent and was honored to represent Asian Americans by telling her story of how hard she worked to create successful results. Julia Lee was scouted as a model during her freshman year in college and her success has brought her a new level of sophistication, diversity, and inspiration.
She graduated from Penn State with an honors degree in Marketing and International Business. Julia Lee is an on camera TV Host and has interviewed celebrities on the red-carpet for premieres and PokerNews. She is now focusing on her acting career. Her goal is to book a lead role in a movie and is reviewing scripts at this time to find her breakout role. She has done commercials like Citizen Watch and recently a music video for Latin singer Farruko. Julia Lee is an advocate for better representation of Asian Americans in the media.
Herworld Vietnam: Tell us about you?
Julia Lee: My name is Julia Lee and I’m an Asian American model and actor. I’m half Chinese and half Vietnamese and grew up near Philadelphia. My lifestyle is very much on the go, and my summer plans include going to my first rodeo in Wyoming and a fashion showcase in the British Virgin Islands. I’m a big believer in taking care of your mind, body, and soul through health & wellness. I started meditating a year ago, and it has helped me get through the toughest times by letting me listen to my heart and soul for guidance. I’m also a sparkling water enthusiast and advocate for better representation of Asians in the media.
Herworld Vietnam: Name top 3 designers that you wanted to work with
Julia Lee: If Karl Lagerfeld was still alive and at Chanel, that would be my dream to work with him and the fashion house. I also want to work with Prabal Gurung because his bold and vibrant designs make serious statements. One great example is his Spring 2020 “Who Gets to Be an American” collection. I admire that he has challenged the fashion industry to be more inclusive and is an advocate for diversity and embracing your identity. I would also love to walk in a Savage X Fenty show because Rihanna has so much talent as a designer and is an all around girl boss.
Herworld Vietnam: Who are your favorite Supermodel for as right now?
Julia Lee: Linda Evangelista. She’s my favorite of the 90’s supermodel era. Her face has a timeless beauty yet she was able to transform into any role in all of her photoshoots. She is a true icon.
Herworld Vietnam: Which’s clothing brands you most love to wear in daily life?
Julia Lee: I’m really loving Levi’s jeans because they are so classic. I’ve been wanting to get a pair of vintage ones for their fit and quality. I also like Aritzia for their basics that I can pair with just about anything. I love Alo Yoga for running errands around the city. And I’ve been wearing a lot more Nike because I’m a wannabe sneakerhead and am starting my own collection.
Herworld Vietnam: Are you ever wanted to get into acting career or singing?
Julia Lee: Definitely acting! I studied acting while living in LA and auditioned for a few roles. I always got a rush of excitement when I rehearsed scenes in class, so that’s when I knew it was something I should be doing more of. I’d be open to singing, but never tried to record any songs. A few friends have suggested I do voiceover, so I would like to take some lessons for that.
Herworld Vietnam: What was the biggest challenge you facing as an Asian model in America?
Julia Lee: One comment I would frequently hear was, “you don’t look Asian enough.” A lot of clients have an idea of who their Asian customer is and their ideal model has a very traditional look. The fact that I’m mixed Asian plus American throws them off.
When I started modeling those comments added to the complex I was having of being Asian vs. Asian American vs. Julia. I was having an identity crisis. It took me time and experience to get comfortable with and accept who I am. The more I became okay with myself, the more I started to book clients who were looking for realness.
Up until recently, there has always been a lack of inclusivity and diversity in the casting process which has been super frustrating. So many times I have experienced castings with only one spot for an Asian in a lineup of 20 models for a fashion show. Fighting for that single spot plus not even fitting the ideal “Asian model” mold has always been a big fight.
Herworld Vietnam: Tell us what’s next for you in the future?
Julia Lee: I plan on auditioning more for acting roles and working on more film sets. I’m also working on my second clothing collaboration with an artist on the All Hail Art platform. And I’ll be going to Summer Sizzle BVI, a fashion showcase in the British Virgin Islands, this summer with a group of designers, models, and creatives in the fashion industry. It will be my first trip outside of the country since the pandemic!
You can follow her on social media.
Photographer 📸: Manny Roman
Makeup Artist: Seiya Iibuchi @seiya_makeup
Hair Stylist: Tomoaki Sato @tomoaki_sato
Wardrobe Stylist: Gloria Johnson @styledbyglo
Associate Stylist: Kassi Reyna @kassi.reyna