Joey Mead King now: ‘I’m very comfortable with who I am, who I’m with and what I do’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Joey in harlan + holden overlap pleat paint dress
Joey in  harlan + holden overlap pleat paint dress
Joey in
harlan + holden overlap pleat paint dress

There’s more to Joey Mead King than a chiseled face and a bikini body at 42 years old. The model mentor, emcee, animal savior and “woman warrior” is also beautiful inside.

“I start in the morning with meditation and an affirmation, honoring me. With the energy from meditation, you can conquer the world—kindly,” she said.

She just got back from a retreat in New South Wales, Australia, a highlight of which was a refreshing week-long digital detox.

On the morning of the Lifestyle shoot, she had burned incense to purify the atmosphere, and played the singing bowl for a calming effect.

Brand ambassador

As the latest ambassador for harlan + holden’s B.C. (basic components) collection, King appropriately wore an easy-fitting blouson from the line. It dipped on the side to bare a shoulder.

“Clothing is a way of representing your character without you having to say anything. It’s a good connection with my mood that day… It’s like how I feel this morning. I wanted to come in light-colored clothes before we start our day. I wanted to be comfortable and neutral, and show my womanhood. I’m proud of my shoulders, but I don’t want to scare you by showing my cleavage. I feel like I’m exposing my sensuality without flaunting any sexuality.”

King’s long limbs and perfect proportions make her an ideal model for any designer or fashion label. Discovering her distinctive style was a journey.

As she was growing up in Australia, her references were free catalogs from department store chains such as Kmart, Woolworth and Target.

Once she saw a catalogue shot of a model wearing two skirts knotted together. “I imitated it, and it worked!” she said.

harlan + holden 4bc tank top in black and pleated skirt in red
harlan + holden 4bc tank top in black and pleated skirt in red

Spice Girls fashion

As a young adult working as a video jockey for Channel V, King was attuned to the Spice Girls’ fashion at the height of their ’90s fame. The ebullient young woman played around with exposed midriffs, baggy pants, platform sneakers and bright colors.

King channeled the sassiness of Scary Spice, who was the most adventurous dresser in the group.

“I liked her roar and the fun she represented. You wanted to be her friend. It was the same energy I was showing as a VJ because those years were music years. I’d be on the set doing the top music videos. My hair would be in tiny pigtails with little butterflies or spiders. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Everything was dancing and super talkie. As we went on, I actually liked to be more quiet.”

In New York, King became exposed to diverse fashion viewpoints as a Ford model.

“I knew that style could be anything, but I didn’t know yet what suited me. That was a good base entering the fashion industry, where as a model your job was anything that was given to you. You were the canvas to the artist.”

She was 28 and tasked to model body-conscious clothing, tight corsets and outrageous shoes, she had to emote like the siren or the dominatrix.

“It was an ideology for most models and celebrities—walking around in lingerie or projecting an ideal of how fashion magazines wanted you to be. That was when I realized that this wasn’t working with me. I needed to be comfortable first in order to express,” she recalled.

Joey in harlan + holden Dart Amboy Deliver dress
Joey in harlan + holden Dart Amboy Deliver dress

Relaxed silhouettes

Nonetheless, American fashion exposed her to relaxed silhouettes.

“I understood that comfort is the essence of everything,” she said. “This was when I moved into what is now my style—a mixture of my moods, just wanting to be calm and quiet, or moments when I want to be seen. Do I want ease or control? I go between these two rhythms.”

“When I want to be quiet, I’m attracted to pastels, whites and blushes. On days that I want to feel dominant or strong, I’d do black or red.”

When she was a model mentor in “Asia’s Next Top Model,” the show presented her the opportunities to rock in clothes that were normally limited to the runway. It became her playground to promote Filipino designers. The talent fees enabled her to splurge on Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins.

But, despite the show’s high visibility, King began to feel uncomfortable about projecting drama before the camera, especially when giving feedback to aspirants.

“I wanted to help a young mind grow into the best she could be. But television has to add in a little more ‘television personality.’ I refused to break down a girl for television,” she said.

Pencil skirts

Today, King’s schedule revolves around her interests. Her OOTD depends on her meetings.

She favors pencil skirts. “I can show that I’m a responsible female. You can trust me. Pencil skirts have sass, yet you can’t muck around with me. I’d wear a nice shirt, add turquoise or diamond earrings and a pair of kitten pumps.”

For hosting jobs, she dons what’s suggested by the client. The clothes are either lent by designers or sourced from an extensive personal wardrobe.

But, when she’s with friends, she’s in espadrilles, flats, sandals and loose clothing.

On warm days, she puts on a bikini and has a help take a long shot of her for Instagram. The photos make a statement that she’s well-maintained at 42 years old.

harlan + holden 4bc dress in nude over  harlan + holden 4bc Extensions in ash
harlan + holden 4bc dress in nude over harlan + holden 4bc Extensions in ash

Woman warrior

Added to her list of titles is “woman warrior”—“someone who speaks her mind intelligently without having to back down from anybody,” she explained. “She speaks from her heart… I speak of a lot of things that are important like mental health, spiritual awakening and standing up for your rights. As a human, I feel like I’m part of many women who feel the same.”

One of the biggest and most publicized challenges was helping her husband, the former Ian Angelo King, a hotelier and race car enthusiast, come out as the transgender Angie.

“The majority response was positive, which we weren’t expecting. This made us step out even more and help others to step out also. There are a lot who can’t even touch that door. With our situation, I felt it was time to showcase that. It’s a new normal,” she said.


The Instagram posts show the couple in color-coordinated outfits. Since they travel a lot, King is more experimental in dressing up abroad. In Los Angeles, she takes to bohemian dressing, cocktail clothes and heels. When they go to car shows in Europe, she’s all bundled up in layered clothes and boots.

She pointed out that Angie’s virtue is unconditional love. “Even with the flaws. That’s what is amazing about it. The essence is the unconditional communication and the patience that this will grow. We want each other to be the best we can be.”

As one of her Instagram posts says, “I like weird people… the black sheep, the odd ducks, the rejects, the eccentrics, the lost and forgotten. More often than not, these people have beautiful souls.”

Whether people criticize her or her marriage, “I don’t care,” said King. “I can’t defend myself to everybody. I don’t need to. I’m in my 40s, I’m very comfortable with who I am, who I’m with and what I do.” —CONTRIBUTED

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