His current lack of makeup may be a stark contrast from the bold eye looks he typically wears onstage and in music videos, but his skin is just as dewy as ever with the help of a nearly undetectable layer of foundation. His brows are probably lightly filled in, too, but I could be reaching. If anything, Baekhyun’s wearing the standard amount of makeup for celebrity men. Just enough to amplify his glow, not enough to make a statement.
Baekhyun’s glow is due in part to a consistent regimen; he lists toner, lotion, and moisturizer as the official order. But how many times do you wash your face, I ask, causing a couple of people in the human bubble of managers, publicists, and security guards surrounding us to laugh. Baekhyun ignores their snickers and answers, “Two,” in English. (That’s right, double cleansing is no laughing matter.) “If I wash my face too many times, I get skin troubles,” he adds.
Baekhyun says he hasn’t changed up the steps of his skin-care routine in L.A., or ramped up the number of sheet masks he uses. With EXO constantly traveling for concerts and events, “My skin gets used to the environment,” he says. “So wherever I am, I use the same skin-care routine.”
The Privé Connection
How did I end up interviewing Baekhyun in a club, you ask? Let’s go back to May 2018. Baekhyun made it onto Vogue‘s home page when he was named the co-creative director of streetwear brand Privé Alliance. Alongside Danyl Geneciran, the brand’s CEO, Baekhyun helps create pieces that “put highlights on the basics,” Baekhyun explains to me. He later reveals that he’s surprised that almost all of his ideas have been executed.
My favorite part of Privé is how its offerings have a certain fluidity to them, much like Baekhyun’s onstage persona. None of Privé’s shirts, jackets, and bags are confined to overtly masculine or feminine silhouettes, and the same designs are available for men and women. “It’s very important to have everyone be able to wear the clothes comfortably,” Baekhyun explains. “Without any official communication, we agreed that [Privé Alliance] is going to be unisex.”
With the newest Privé Alliance collection launching in April, the brand invited the public to join Baekhyun for a fashion presentation. The location: the very club we are sitting in. Although he doesn’t act like he is (he kept to himself for most of the event), Baekhyun is undoubtedly the center of attention. He is the reason the floor below us is with filled with people from all over the world. Everyone’s here to see Baekhyun, not the latest Privé pieces.
The Identity Connection
In hindsight, I should have anticipated Baekhyun would present himself in this low-key manner for his first-ever solo appearance in the U.S. In Privé campaigns, he’s usually seen as he is now: natural, casual, effortlessly cool. His makeup is minimal; his natural-colored hair looks like all he did was run his hand through it; his outfits are sleek. With all this in mind, I ask him if he could dye his hair any color for the next campaign, what would it be.
This is the only question Baekhyun doesn’t answer concisely and without hesitation. “I don’t know,” he says in English. After taking a couple of seconds to think about it, he adds in Korean, “I love the black,” adding “simple” in English.
This single word — simple — perfectly mirrors Baekhyun’s personal aesthetic. “Basics, but with many l