Lisa Song Sutton is a Korean-American model with extensive print, promotional modeling, event hosting, and television experience. Known for her outgoing personality, friendliness and professionalism, she has many magazine and modeling credits as well as working affiliations with the FORD Modeling Agency, Platinum Agency and the Red Agency.
When she was 19, Lisa signed with a major modeling agency and during her college years at the University of Arizona she modeled as a Jack Daniels girl, a Bud Light girl, and did as much college type modeling that she could get her hands on. After graduation Lisa moved to South Beach. While she was there, she attended the University of Miami and began to transition away from college modeling. Lisa began to model for high-end print work, men’s magazines such as Maxim and FHM, swimsuits, lingerie, and car calendars. She was also an on-air television host for a celebrity driven entertainment show where she appeared on television with Snoop Dogg, Michael Strahan, Michael Bay, and many others.
While living in South Beach, Lisa began an international modeling career and traveled everywhere including France, the Bahamas and Korea in furtherance of her modeling.
Lisa now shares her time between South Beach and the Las Vegas strip.
I think it’s wonderful when women are strong and comfortable with their bodies and modeling is a great medium for that.
Asiance: Lisa, tell us about yourself. Was modeling something you have always wanted to do?
Lisa: With my upbringing, school and academics were always a number one priority. However, modeling and pageants were something that always interested me. When I was approached to sign with a modeling agency while in college, I readily accepted, and it was a fantastic way for me to earn additional income while also in school. Since then, it has really grown into a career, a source of substantial income, and has provided me with life-long friends and invaluable experiences.
Asiance: What type of modeling do you like best?
Lisa: I enjoy all aspects of modeling, but I am most comfortable with print work. I love working on a fun, outdoor swimsuit shoot at a beautiful beach destination. I think it’s wonderful when women are strong and comfortable with their bodies and modeling is a great medium for that.
Asiance: Do you think that your nationality has ever been a hindrance to your career?
Lisa: Absolutely not! If anything, being Asian and specifically being Korean has helped my career. For example, in Miami there are so many beautiful models and the majority of them originated from Europe, South America or Cuba. I distinctly stood out in the modeling community as one of the few Asian models available for print and event work.
Asiance: What’s your motto or life advice that you live by?
Lisa: My father told me at a young age, “Remember, hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” I have found that to be true across the board in my academic, legal, and modeling careers. If I am truly committed to a path or project I make sure to give it my all. Work ethic in something you’re passionate about is important no matter what industry you are in.
Asiance: So you balance both a legal career and a modeling career, how do you do it?
Lisa: (Laughs) Not sleeping much? No, no I actually get pretty adequate sleep. I just love both industries! The legal and modeling worlds are such polar opposites that I never feel burnt out and can stay fresh in both. The legal community can be pretty stuffy at times so I am very fortunate because the law firm I work for is very supportive of my modeling career. The managing partner, my direct boss, allows me the flexibility to pursue my modeling endeavors so long as it doesn’t interfere with my work at the firm. As a result, I tend to schedule the majority of my modeling jobs on weekends or at least at times that are not traditional work hours. For example, I shot for a magazine last month and the photographer wanted a sunrise shot. It was a 6am shoot, full makeup and lingerie. Afterwards the heavy makeup and eyelashes came off, I got dressed in my business suit, and by 10:30am I was sitting in my office getting work done. Just a normal Wednesday! (laughs)
My advice to those in the Asian American community is the same as my advice to anyone of any race or origin. Stay true to who you are and what makes you, you.
Asiance: What are the 5 things you can’t live without?
Lisa: 5 things I can’t live without? Hmm…well, in no particular order: definitely my blackberry…lipstick…netbook…high heel shoes…and kimchi! (laughs)
Asiance: You have lived and worked in both Miami and Las Vegas. Which city, do you feel, is the easiest to find modeling work?
Lisa: I think it completely depends on what type of modeling work you’re looking for. Miami is wonderful because nearly all major industries shoot on location in south Florida, year-round. Modeling in Miami provides you with so much exposure. One day you could be shooting a test for Sports Illustrated in the Florida Keys and the next afternoon you’re shooting an episode of CSI: Miami. In Las Vegas, you have more conventions that take place so models looking for promo/spokesmodeling work may want to focus more on the Vegas market. What is nice about Vegas is that there is no exclusivity here. You can be signed with more than one agency. In my experience, both Miami and Las Vegas have treated me very well. The industries are fairly similar and the modeling community in both cities is relatively small, smaller than you would think. I have had no complaints and I love both cities.
Asiance: You keep yourself fit and trim. What exercise and beauty routines do you follow?
Lisa: I enjoy hot yoga and eating healthy, although I do enjoy cheat meals every now and then! As far as beauty routines, I think Shiseido has wonderful face cleansers and moisturizers. I have used their facial products for several years.
Asiance: What do you think is the hardest part about being in the modeling industry?
Lisa: I think one of the hardest parts is that people tend to pass judgment about what kind of person you are, and what abilities you may or may not have prior to even meeting you in person. They have only heard that you’re a model, you’ve been in such-and-such magazine, maybe they have even googled you, and after reviewing the content the assumption is that you must be a bimbo, and maybe you’re snobby, maybe you’re a diva. Most people aren’t aware of my academic background and they are generally surprised that I’m not the bimbo/snob/diva they expected me to be when they meet me in person.
Asiance: What advice do you have for people in the Asian-American community that want to pursue modeling?
Lisa: My advice to those in the Asian American community is the same as my advice to anyone of any race or origin. Stay true to who you are and what makes you, you. Some people will love it, some people will hate it, and there will be those who are indifferent. All you can worry about is what you can control and how you can become the best version of yourself. If you want to pursue modeling be sure to surround yourself with those who are looking out for your best interest and take jobs that make you happy.