Model Spotlight: Koala
Who is she?
As enigmatic as her name, K.O. aka Koala lets the Internet see only what she wants us to see, and, with a gaze that penetrates the screen, she demands your attention. In a society shaped by images, oftentimes the subject forfeits their agency to the viewer’s eyes; however, there is a palpable confidence that is exuded through which Koala asserts her dominance over the viewer, solidifying control over her own body.
Koala’s online persona is a manifestation of sweet and spicy. Upon first glance of her natural beauty, many might underestimate her ferocity. The glowing porcelain of her skin and the childlike fullness of her cheeks presume a hint of youthful innocence that makes you want to shield her from all the evil in the world. But her personal style and cheeky captions say otherwise. Full of patterns and funky color combinations, Koala’s strong, edgy makeup and bold, form-fitting outfits ooze an undeniably independent sensuality. The duality of her aesthetic not only allows her to rock show stopping looks but also prevents onlookers from assuming that they’ve got her all figured out.
While she’s most well known for her modeling career, Koala is a successful woman of many hats. She finds herself on the other side of the camera as part of the photography and directing duo, Markus & Koala, alongside renowned fashion and celebrity photographer, Markus Klinko (who shot Queen Bey’s iconic Dangerously in Love album cover). Together, they combine their artistic styles at a point “where glamorous, high fashion fuses with the gritty edge of youth culture”*. When the moon rides high in the sky, she slides on a pair of headphones and becomes DJ Koala, performing at both secret warehouse shows and big parties, like Kodak x Forever 21 and CFDA x Galore.
Identifying as Chinese American, Koala honors her heritage as an integral part of who she is but doesn’t let it dictate the direction of her artistry. The images she produces in collaboration with other artists are unadulterated manifestations of her creative mind and it’s evident that sticking to the status quo is not her cup of tea. At the flip of a coin, Koala is able to portray a wide array of different attitudes, aesthetics, and characters, ranging from sweetheart to total badass, embodying the true dynamism of the feminine spirit.
Check out Koala’s Instagram here.
*Markus & Koala “About” page, www.markusandkoala.com/about
Julia Eunji Choi