HAO YUN XIANG'S LOYAL TO LEARNING Whether he’s herding sheep in rural Australia, flying a plane off the coast of New Zealand, or hiking across glaciers in Iceland, top Chinese model Hao Yun Xiang is always ready for adventure—especially when it comes to work. The Beijing-native was a professional athlete before taking on modeling and rising up its ranks. “To me, travel is an excellent chance to meet new friends and experience new things,” he says. “From immersing myself in a foreign culture to opening my mind to ideas I never thought before, I always have something to gain from exposing myself to different people and places.”
In this exclusive interview with DFS, he tells us about his latest discoveries, where he's headed next, and why we should never stop exploring.
What does loyalty mean to you? To me, loyalty is everything. It's what keeps me focused. It reminds me to never forget where I'm from, to appreciate what I have and to look forward and be open to the future. There's always something to learn. I'm lucky that my work allows me to travel and try new things all the time.
When it comes to travel, is there something you like to try in every city? Everyone who knows me knows I'm very fond of food! Beijing and Jiangsu are the places I am most loyal to because Beijing is where I was born and Jiangsu is where I grew up. I consider both to be my home. When I'm away, I miss the dishes my mom cooks for me, like her delicious fish stew. However, New York is where I work and currently live. So, I'm also loyal to it. In New York City, I am a big fan of all the diferent types of cuisine in Koreatown in Midtown, Chinatown in Lower Manhattan, and Little Tokyo in the East Village. There is also a popular Asian restaurant called TAO which I like to go to with my friends. No matter where you go, food is a great way to get to know the local tastes and create conversation.
What is your favorite method of transport? I love to sail. To me, sailing is another way to explore the world. Since I started at the age of 17, I have been very fond of the experience of crossing and exploring the ocean. It is full of challenges, but I feel like only when I sail can I break free from the pressure of daily life and completely be myself.
Do you prefer to depart or arrive? Whether by sea, land or air, I love both. Arriving always gives you the feeling of excitment that an adventure is about to begin while departing gives you the satisfaction of having collected new things and experiences. Either way, you never go home the same.
How would you describe your packing style? My packing is very simple. I bring a backpack everywhere I go because it holds everything I need and allows me to navigate where I'm going with ease. Time is very important when you're on the go, so I always have my watch with me. Music and a good book help me relax on the plane and headphones make a great accessories along with a ring and some cool sunglasses. Finally, I never forget my favorite shoes. They have traveled long distances and across many countries with me.
What is your grooming regimen like when you're abroad? First of all, try to get some sleep after you board. Put on a hydrating facial mask and a sleep mask for your eyes to help you look your best upon arrival. In terms of what I pack, I always carry cleanser, face cream, eye cream, hand cream and lip balm. These are the daily grooming essentials that I cannot live without. If I forget any skincare products, I make sure to pick them up at the duty free stores before I exit the airport.
Where are you headed to next? My next destination will probably be Cancún in Mexico. I really want to visit there to explore the roots of Mayan culture.