Digital Cover: Kenji Fan x Canada Goose & Carl F Bucherer

Water polo athlete-turned-model Kenji Fan has something to say about his approach to personal and professional choices. Whether it is his traditional demeanour in his private life or outgoing curiosity in his work life, he tells Hill Choi Lee about his goals and how he expresses himself through fashion

As far as millennials go, Kenji Fan, 21, hardly refers to himself as an exception to the lure of social media. Already a known water polo player for the Hong Kong Water Polo Team, Fan found recognition in 2020 when he – like so many of his peers at that age – decided to dip into the realm of Instagram. What happened for him that didn’t happen for many of his immediate contemporaries was that it landed Fan a spontaneous modelling gig. It has been a whirlwind since then.

Hoodie, pants, down jacket and shoes from Canada Goose

A world of makeup, styling, props, mood boards and the like opened up to Fan whose prep consisted mostly of physical warm-ups and mental preparation. “Before I started modelling, I wasn’t aware of the amount of work that went into a photoshoot,” he confesses. “The amount of effort to produce one photo surprised me at the time.”

Down sleeveless jacket from Canada Goose. Fan wears the Heritage Bicompax Annual Hometown Edition Hong Kong watch from Carl F Bucherer.

But not everyone was enthusiastic about Fan’s newfound modelling career at the time. “My father was not in favour of me debuting in modelling,” he explains. “Back then I was prone to starting something and abandoning it when the freshness wore off. But since I entered the industry he witnessed my dedication and passion for what I do, he is now supportive of my endeavours.”

Hoodie, pants and down jacket from Canada Goose

Since then, Fan has been featured as a host on an F&B show, expanding his portfolio into a TV personality. “I’m looking forward to doing more of these jobs so that I can be a more well-rounded entertainment artist,” he admits.

Quite a daring approach for someone who says he struggles with insecurity and is a self-proclaimed traditionalist in a sense. “When I go on holiday, for example, I prefer going to places where I know the way, have been before and would not normally and readily go and discover new places,” he says.

Hoodie, pants and down jacket from Canada Goose

“However, when it comes to work, I want to try new things and expand my horizons. I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m still in a phase where I’m eager to absorb new experiences. I’m very well aware that my approach to my personal and professional lives are polar opposites.”

Tee, denim jacket and denim pants from Kenzo. Fan wears the Manero Peripheral BigDate watch from Carl F Bucherer.

Whether he is reserved or adventurous in expressing himself in terms of his fashion sense, is still up for debate. “I’m not a big fashion person per se, but I do like accessorising myself with watches, rings, necklaces…,” he explains. “Definitely earrings.”

“On the daily, I prefer comfortable clothing matched with cool and edgy pieces, such as t-shirts with big logos, eye-catching patterns or strong prints.” Fan also doesn’t shy away from vibrant colours as he leans toward purple and red colours. “I do lean toward a more ‘bad boy’ feel in my styling.”

Shirt and pants from Wilsonkaki. Fan wears the Manero Central Counter watch from Carl F Bucherer

“If there is anything I wish to express with fashion is that I’m a versatile, multi-dimensional individual, who can present a wide range of personalities.”

Fan admits that he is still quite “green” in the business, but he certainly doesn’t lack a clear goal or ambition. “I want to break out of Hong Kong with my work, and be recognised on an international level as the Kenji Fan.”

Also see: Digital Cover: Collar’s Candy Wong x Maje

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