Kim Lee is a model, actress and DJ from California. She has modelled for famous brands and appeared in high profile music videos and toured Asia as a DJ.
Birthday: May 22, 1988
Born: California, USA
Famous for: DJ, Model, Actress
Kim Lee was born to parents with French and Vietnamese origins. When she was young Kim Lee took piano lessons and at the age of 8 she was playing at family parties.
She wanted to start modelling at early age and has stated as always wanting to be on the covers of magazines. At the age of 18 she appeared on her first cover of a car magazine.
In 2006, she did her first job as a runway model for Emanuel Ungaro and Martin Grant shows in Paris. In the following year she worked famous brands such as Marc Jacobs.
In 2009, she appeared on the campaigns of several brands like Alexander Wang, DKNY Jeans, Calvin Klein and Converse.
She was voted as the number one sexiest woman in Singapore by FHM Magazine in 2011.
Kim Lee also featured in several music videos for artists Kanye West, Usher, LMFAO and Flo Rida.
Lee appeared in the movie Hangover: Part II in 2011.
Kim Lee became interested in DJ’ing after making a a joke with the Black Eyed Peas. She asked her friend to join her and quit her job to start her DJ career. She was invited to attend a festival in Vietnam which provided further opportunities including opening for Steve Aoki in Asia.
She is signed with Model Mayhem.
*Photo credits provided in references section below where possible. View a list of photographers here.
How did you originally get into modeling?
When I was growing up, I always loved photography and taking pictures. So when I was 17, I used to look at magazines, and I would think “why can’t this be me on the cover?” So what I did was take lots of photos, and I started sending them out to car magazines. And my first cover, was when I was 18, on a car magazine!
To me, it was a big deal. I really knew nothing. And from there, having grew up in Orange County, I would drive up to Hollywood, and just network. I ended up meeting quite a few casting directors, etc. And one of these casting directors suggested I try to do music videos.
So I started going to auditions. Every 5 days a week, I would go to another audition. And it was really hard because at that time I was driving from the OC to LA and it was really hard because most of the time, I wouldn’t get the part. But when I gained from it was confidence, and meeting people, and eventually I started getting a lot of call backs. And that’s when I started getting into music videos like for Kanye West and Far East Movement and LMFAO. And I developed a lot of relationships with the artists and the people on set.
How did your modeling career continue?
Well, I was looking at Maxim Thailand, and all these covers from FHM to Maxim said yes to me, and for a whole year, I was just killing it with the covers. And eventually won number one FHM in Singapore in 2011.
So I went from the music business to movie to print. And with my personality, I’m the type of girl that wants to do it all.
So then how does DJing fit into all of this?
Well, I got really tired of all the partying. And I was close with the Black Eyed Peas at the time, and they were keen to manage more DJ’s. And you have to remember at this point, I didn’t know anything about DJing. So I just joked with them that they should manage me. And a week later, they called me back and said, “okay, we’ll manage you.”
I told my best friend Kat, and now DJ partner, about it and said, “hey, why don’t we become a duo?” She was like: “That sounds like a cool idea!”
Next thing you know, she quit her job. I was like “What are you doing? We don’t even have a show yet!”
And for the first time in my life, I was really sure about something.
Ironically, at that moment, Yahoo Vietnam suddently released an article that said “Kim and Kat, the biggest DJ’s from the States” and we didn’t even have a show yet. What!
But that’s cool because they brought us over there and we played in a festival with over 30 thousand people. But at the same time, that was a great opportunity for us, and bring EDM music to them.
A lot of people were open to it, and a lot of people were really not into it.
And then it went viral online, people were really interested in this female DJ duo. From there, we went onto open for Steve Aoki in Asia. We’ve been touring there for the last 4 to 5 years and we even got a residency in a club in Vegas.
It’s been an adventure.
What strategies do you have to be great or successful at what you do?
We’re so lucky to be on this earth, so why don’t we just do the best and most we can do and accomplish whatever the hell you want in life.
I’m a very passionate and driven person. And I try to be positive everyday. I read a lot of motivational and personal development books. I believe in energy. I read the Secret all the time and I watch the Youtube videos.
What makes me truly happy, is when someone says “Congratulations on everything you’ve done and you’ve inspired me.” I get really inspired by people who are motivated by things that I do, because that’s really what I want.
So that’s what motivates me, but I think what I feel like I really need to do is network. I mean, beacuse of social media, I’ve run into so many opportunities. A lot of my contracts and gigs I got through networking as you can see through my career.
I just think social media is so important for our era.
What advice would you give to yourself when you first started out?
To be patient. I’m a really stubborn and aggressive person and it’s ruined some of my relationships in the past and so I would advise myself to be patient. I think I would have been able to achieve a lot more.
How I am towards work should be totally different from how I am towards relationships. I think I need to strike that balance.
How long have you been modeling for?
I don’t call it modeling because I don’t I just like to take pics and they just happen to get publish
What is the hardest part about being a model?I would say staying in shape all the time. There’s a lot of pressure on being fit.Who has been most supportive in your career?
How do you stay in such great shape?
I do cardio everyday but it’s more mentally for me
Do you have a favorite super model?
No but I do admire Angelina Jolie not because she’s attractive but more of the person she is and what she has done to help others is very inspiring to me
Do you have a favorite photo in your portfolio or favorite photographer?
I have too many.
Do you have any advice for aspiring models?
To find a manager or an agent. Take the best photos and find what type of modeling you wanna do. Could be glamour, print or high fashion.
What is your favorite thing about modeling?I love having a makeup artist and to me it’s like creating art. I love photography.