Mun Ka Young: TUMI’s Newest Brand Ambassador Is an Overpacker Who Values Function and Style in Equal Measure

We caught up with the South Korean actress while she was in Singapore for TUMI’s ‘Discovering Asra’ regional event last month.
Published: April 9, 2024
Mun Ka Young: TUMI’s Newest Brand Ambassador Is an Overpacker Who Values Function and Style in Equal Measure
Mun Ka Young with TUMI Asra Small Crossbody in Moonlight. Photo: Courtesy of TUMI.

Unlike the antagonistic and childlike characters she sometimes plays on screen, Mun Ka Young is the picture of elegance and sophistication in person. Dressed in a billowing, sleeveless white dress, the South Korean actress was the epitome of grace when we met her at Capella Sentosa for this interview. As TUMI’s newest brand ambassador, she was in Singapore to commemorate her first-ever campaign with the brand, and the launch of its latest women’s handbag collection, Asra.

“This collection is perfect for busy women on the go, like me, who don’t want to sacrifice either style or function,” the German-born actress remarks. “Also, it feels wonderful to celebrate here in Sentosa, which inspired some of the beautiful colours and patterns in the collection.” The island’s idyllic sunset served as inspiration for one of the colourways in the Asra collection: Purple/Sunset. 

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Mun Ka Young: TUMI’s Newest Brand Ambassador Is an Overpacker Who Values Function and Style in Equal Measure
Mun Ka Young with the TUMI Asra Crossbody Bag in Cameo Rose. Photo: Courtesy of TUMI.

Child actress turned television gold, Mun is to South Korea what Jennifer Aniston is to Hollywood. High praise for someone so young but don’t let her youth fool you. The 27-year-old has a wellspring of experience to draw from—and it shows. An actress with range, Mun has entertained millions of audiences from silver screens to the black screens we hold in our hands. Her most notable works include the lead role in Tempted (2018) and Link: Eat, Love, Kill (2022).

“If you know MBTI, I’m type J. I plan everything. I cannot buy things [at my travel destination],” she confesses. “So for example: Medicine—or any kind of thing that I know I might not need—I’ll pack anyway, just in case. It makes me happy and comfortable. But I always end up having to travel with two luggages,” she admits, before breaking into a bashful laugh. 

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Mun Ka Young: TUMI’s Newest Brand Ambassador Is an Overpacker Who Values Function and Style in Equal Measure
Photo: Courtesy of TUMI.

Her must-have items include earphones for listening to music and a face mask that moisturises your skin as you wear it. “Basically, there's a wet tissue inside the pocket of the mask which keeps your skin from drying out,” she explains. 

“This is also the reason why I love the TUMI Asra Large Hobo in Black because it fits a lot of things,” she enthuses. “I still like to be prepared. But the consideration here is that I wanted to be dressed nicely and professionally so I like bringing the Cameo Rose version as it ups the fashion ante.”

Speaking of fashion, the star’s off-duty style might surprise you. “I prefer to wear comfortable clothes like sweatshirts, but I also enjoy dressing up in classic pieces.”

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Mun Ka Young: TUMI’s Newest Brand Ambassador Is an Overpacker Who Values Function and Style in Equal Measure
Photo: Courtesy of TUMI.

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Throughout our entire conversation, the actress maintained her composure and answered every question without skipping a beat—all while wearing a smile on her face. A skill she no doubt honed over her decades-long acting career. But at what cost? “Even though my school days and memories of it might be shorter than most, I have no regrets,” she affirms. “I’ve tried my best to enjoy the best out of it. If I go back in time, I’ll do the exact same.” 

It’s clear then, that Mun is exactly where she’s meant to be: At the peak of her career securing coveted brand deals while still doing what she loves most. But if given the chance, she’d love to spend the day at Universal Studios Singapore. “Even though I’ve been there before, I love buying the dolls and souvenirs.” There you have it. Mun is an A-list actress and global brand ambassador who’s still just a girl who wants to have fun.


Mun Ka Young with Creative Director Victor Sanz.

Aptly titled ‘Discovering Asra’, the event saw the region’s biggest names—200 to be exact—gathered at Sentosa Pavilion for a night of good food, great entertainment and even better company. Hong Kong singer and actress Charlene Choi, Indonesian singer Isyana Sarasvati, Filipino actress and reality TV star Sarah Labhati, Thai actors Dunk Natacha Boonprasert and Love Pattranite, and Singaporean actors Carrie Wong and Desmond Tan were among those in attendance. Joining the star studded dinner and party were TUMI global executives—including  Andrew Dawson, President, Victor Sanz, Creative Director, Jill Krizelman, SVP Global Marketing & eCommerce, and Aris Maroulis, VP for Asia-Pacific & Middle East. 

Mun Ka Young with Thai actors Dunk and Love.

The evening began with an idyllic sunset cruise aboard two luxurious TUMI-branded yachts which brought guests to Sentosa. There, they were whisked away to an exclusive dinner venue located within Sentosa Golf Club. Here, guests were welcomed with a rotating showcase featuring the Asra collection backdropped by soft, curved flowers and silk-adorned arches inspired by the bag’s handles. Next, guests were led into the “Marble Room” which paid homage to the collection’s campaign with a striking display of the bag in Cameo Rose. Following which was “Asra Alley” featuring a captivating video projection by visual artist Markus Kanzler, exploring the silky draping textures and colours of the collection. 

Mun Ka Young with Filipina actress Sarah Lahbati.

Finally, guests arrived at their seats at long tables flanking the room lined with LED panels—a canvas for the evening’s illustrative storytelling, celebrating the partnership between TUMI and Mun.

Guests were treated to a specially-curated menu by renowned Art Director Loic Serot in collaboration with Chef Bjoern Alexander, formerly of Octavium, a two-Michelin starred restaurant in Hong Kong. Each dish in the five-course meal took guests on a gastronomical journey through Mun’s diverse heritage. 

After dinner, the evening continued with a digital firework display, an energising performance by South Korean DJ Siena, cocktails by Singapore’s award-winning Nutmeg & Close, and an edible dessert art wall by Singaporean Chef Janice Wong.


Mun Ka Young: TUMI’s Newest Brand Ambassador Is an Overpacker Who Values Function and Style in Equal Measure
Mun Ka Young with the Asra Small Crossbody in Cameo Rose, Asra Shoulder Bag in Cameo Rose and Asra Large Hobo in Black. Photo: Courtesy of TUMI.

Rejecting the notion that style must be compromised for function, creative director Victor Sanz dreamed up the Asra collection. The latest edition to TUMI’s budding women’s category, this collection offers all the functionality of a TUMI bag that we all know and love, underlined by an uber chic, feminine style. These handbags, in various sizes (small crossbody, shoulder bag and large hobo) and colourways (black, moonlight, cameo rose and the Sentosa-inspired Purple/Sunset), enable travellers and city dwellers to seamlessly go from day to night with its soft pleated structure, matching hardware and knotted shoulder strap.

TUMI's Asra collection is available worldwide in-stores and online.

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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