MAGAZINE: Cosmopolitan Magazine Korea September 2012
MODEL: Asian superstars, Changmin and Yunho from TVXQ
BRANDS: Gucci, Prada, Jamie & Bell, Jang Kwang Hyo Caruso, Bell & Nouveau, CK Calvin Klein, Jamie & Bell, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, American Apparel, Woo Young Mi Collection, Chrome Hearts, Louis Vuitton, Vanhart Homme, Cartier
WHERE TO BUY: Cosmopolitan Magazine Korea; Clothes and accessories, see captions.
Since their 2004 debut, Yunho and Changmin of TVXQ have ignited the Kpop craze. These dashing gentlemen now stand in front of our cameras reminiscent of leading men from 50′s classic films.
Like a movie star
Classic navy and camel colors goes well with the two men.
How does it feel to become a person of the fifties’ for a photoshoot?
Yunho: It has been a long time since we were able to have a photoshoot like this, so when we first started I was a little nervous. But as we continued shooting I got felt that it got more and more interesting. Initially I worried that I was unsuitable for the image of a fifties’ actor, and I was a little over-cautious. Haha.
Changmin: I really wanted to show everyone a man’s man, perhaps this is because I’ve grown older, and so it showed very naturally, and I was very satisfied.
Are there themes or ideas that you would like to shoot?
Yunho: Yes. I am a person with a vivid imagination… The handsome and sauve manly image is very good, but I hope to also show a more relaxed and free image. Perhaps shooting with animals, or even with a robot-like feel; those would also be unexpectedly interesting.
Changmin: I want to bring out the everyday manliness, such as watching a performance at the beach, drinking wine, that sort of thing. It has to be very natural, and it must come out looking refined. As opposed to having to strike specific poses, or wearing themed clothing, I would rather have a more ordinary image.
Yunho: That’s right. Or what about a person’s varied emotions? Following the change in situation and environment, the change in clothes must reflect that as well. Even though you might have to wear ten sets of clothing, which will definitely be time-consuming, I would still like to give it a try.
Accessories like scarves compliment stylish velvet.
Next year will be the anniversary of your tenth year after debut, and you could have that concept. Are you preparing for other activities?
Yunho: I would like to do activities with the fans. If you said that at first, we only wanted to show everyone the cool side of us, then this time round we would like everyone to see a side of us that enjoys the things around us. Of course, we would also follow our original style and prepare performances and live events, and we hope that everyone can be happy together, and enjoy it alongside us.
Having debuted for ten years, DBSK has already moved out of Asia, and has received the attention of the whole world. Recently they released a new single in Japan, and it moved 3, 100, 000 copies, setting a new record. How do you feel about this new accomplishment?
Yunho: I think it’s incredible. Although this might sound cliched, I am really grateful. As an artiste, receiving attention form everyone is something that makes me happy. As a member of DBSK, I feel that being able to accomplish such a feat is a product of our relentless hardwork. As for myself, even with this I will continue to persevere on and work hard. Because we’ve been in the business for a long time, it’s easy to plateau. Furthermore, DBSK is not the work of just one person, and we will continue to improve and change ourselves, because there are a lot of things that we have had yet to show, and we can always give a more impressive image to everyone.
Changmin: I too think that it’s incredible. Even though this is just the music market of Japan, it still made the news, and t has propelled us to the same level as other international stars, and it makes me really glad. They mentioned the Carpenters, and the influence they had on the music scene, but I feel that we are very different from them. Although we did break the record, but that does not mean that we are comparable with them. We will continue to better this record, so that when future artists break the record, they will have to mention the name of DBSK.
A tailored tweed bomber jacket completes this look.
Moving out of Asia, your popularity on Europe is also very high, and I heard that it was quite a surprise. And this popularity is relatively new. Stereotypically, European women are not attracted to Asian men. What do you think these women are attracted to in DBSK?
Changmin: Up till now the group of women who like us is not that big. If I were to calmly dissect it, it seems that it all started with a few who were really interested in Korean culture and K pop, and this then began to spread. Asian people used to like Western culture, but now it seems that the Western world has cultivated an interest in Eastern culture, and this culture has started to increase in its influence. Now the opportunities to showcase our nation’s music, dance and visuals have increased, and the influence will follow, and the number of people who like it seem to have increased as well. They must be looking at our passion on stage. This is something that makes me really glad.
To the public’s eye, and your own perception, it seems like DBSK is able to grasp things onjectively. Are there any discrepancies between the public you and the real you?
Yunho: Recently I have come to know about an interesting thing. At first I thought that everyone only thought of me as valiant. Actually I have a rather youthful side to me, and it seems like everyone was clear about that side too! Also, everyone thinks of me as much gentler and warmer than I think of myself. Like a friendly neighborhood older brother? So it feels like the relationship between me and everyone else has deepened one more step. I used to not want the public to know this of me, and I wanted to hide this side of me, but then I recently thought, “Isn’t this side a better side?” Stage me and everyday me are quite different, and that is a positive point in itself. This way I can show everyone a new side of me, but one that is not constructed deliberately. The more deliberate I am, the harder it is to show it.
Changmin: I am unable to pass such judgement about myself easily, so I am rather embarrassed, and I don’t know what to say.
Yunho: I too do not know. It’s just a question. This is Changmin’s charm.
Changmin: Not long ago I was photographed wearing a shirt that I had worn before, and I saw the comments the fans made about the photo – “Oh, he’s worn it before. Oppa, why did you wear the same shirt twice?” I did not know that I was wearing the same shirt twice, so I thought, why would the fans think this way? Then it hit me, that in the eyes of the fans, someone called Max Changmin should not wear the same clothes twice, no matter where he goes, and this was a fresh perspective to me.
Layered shirt over turtleneck and sewing lines on the coat’s lapel animates this outfit.
Looking at your professional life, when comparing to your peers, you have already acheived a great amount of success. In the future, if you are to think back to the time when you are in your twenties, what do you think will be the most memorable moment?
Changmin: No matter where I am, it will always be the same stage (that I remember). After having debuted for about three or four years, in order to promote DBSK’s name in Japan, we had to start again on a small stage. I can’t remember clearly which stage it is, but I remember singing and thinking, “I really like being on stage and singing, it’s really fun.” Those were some trying times, and because I was quite young, when I was tired it was easier for me to be grumpy, but it was really at that time where I was really happy. Even up till now I can still remember it quite clearly.
Yunho: As for me, my most memorable time was when we were first starting out in this industry. If I had made a different choice then, I would be on a completely different path right now. For Jung Yunho, his twenties were his golden years. It was full of energy and passion, and it was channelled into all of his activities, to better myself. I really want to enjoy this time. If I were to say that I did not gain any experience from my twenties, choosing instead to run mindlessly ahead, then I would like to start preparing for my thirties now, because real recognition starts in your thirties.
Overlapping knitted sweaters are designed for comfort.
If you were to go off and do your own solo projects, what would you like to do? Have you thought about it?
Yunho: I have thought about solo activities before. I’ve even thought about them with Changmin. It is clear that he will achieve certain success, but perhaps it is better for me to just think about it. Thinking is a favorite hobby of mine. Haha. Changmin and I are very different people, and this is due to the distinctions in our personalities. I hope to be like Michael Jackson one day, an artiste I really respect, and have a strong impact on everyone, like in terms of dance or in the kind of music. DBSK used to have a lot of SMPs, very strong and powerful songs with matching dances, but if this were to be a little more sensual, with darker undertones, I think that personally, I would prefer such a thing. Sometimes on stage I will show this side to everyone, that there is this other side of mine. I wish that Changmin could go sing more rock songs. Not a simple rock song, but one that has a lot of showmanship and theatricality, that would suit his style. In Michael Jackson’s movie “Moonwalker”, the plot is a collection of short films, and it always moving. But this sort of thing is rarely seen, and if someone would like to try it out, now would be a good time.
Changmin: Talking about solo, I would like to try a lot of different styles. R&B, ballads, and acoustic tracks are all things I would like to record, and even rare soul, songs that are quieter and calmer. About what Yunho said, I will try my best to study hard, and then try all these things.
Even if you didn’t give them similar tailor-made clothing, you still feel the aura between the both of them.
I heard the Changmin recently picked up the guitar?
Changmin: I’ve developed an interest in the guitar since the beginning of this year, and I feel that it has a lot of meaning. After learning the guitar, I would like to learn the bass.
I heard that Yunho can cook very well, did you learn it?
Yunho: I really cannot cook. It was only that one time during a Japanese fan meet that I was jokingly called a chef by them, and it apparently became news. But at that moment, I did become interested in cooking. Both of my parents are good cooks. And I can only make one dish, which is ginseng chicken soup. If I have a chance in the future I would like to learn how to cook. A husband who can cook very well, isn’t that the ideal? Haha.
Russian coat over a warm jacket relaxes the mood and completes this look.
That’s quite kindly of you. Are the both of you inclined towards being kindly?
Yunho: I too am uncertain. To some people, we are very kind, but to others, I am a very bad person. Perhaps I am somewhere in the middle. If I wanted to try harder, it has to start from the fundamentals, but it is not good enough. If there are lapses in your behaviour it is very easy to give people a bad impression.
Changmin: I try to be kind, and to engage the other person. But I prefer the relationship I have with my friends, lively and loud.
Have your ideal types remained the same as before? Yunho’s was Jun Jihyun, and Changmin’s was Yuko Takenouchi.
Yunho: I am indeed a fan of Jun Jihyun. Actually my ideal type is the one from “My Sassy Girlfriend”. But it has changed recently, one some occasion. I prefer a woman who can trust me. I believe that as long as there is trust, it doesn’t matter how the other parts are, it will all be good. Naturally, we must have easy going and open personalities.
Changmin: Whether we can meet frequently or once in a while, if it is passionate it is a good thing, but I do prefer quiet and peaceful relationships.
Men in Suits
Although the differences between the both of you are great, but you both still cooperate for the sake of DBSK. In what kind of direction will DBSK be moving in, and are there any goals that you are working towards?
Yunho: As the years pass, I wish that DBSK’s music will continue to be relevant, and that people will know DBSK for their hardwork and pursuit of new challenges. At times when I look at the letters from the fans, saying that they’ve become healthier from listening to our music, that they now have dreams, and that they hope to become like DBSK someday. These things are the most heartening. Now it feels like we have some responsibility.
Changmin: Popularity will definitely wax and wane, but apart from that, I hope that DBSK’s music and performances will continually improve in quality.
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