Instead of the usual audio, I had to record this interview with Q2Han on video to keep track of who said what, and playing it back during transcription, it looks like I’m seated between parallel mirrors: identical twins Kyuwon and Kyujin Han frequently and easily finish each other’s sentences and pick up when the other trails off. Keeping up with them feels like umpiring a game of table tennis.
But there’s nothing combative about how the pair go about their conversation. The digital creator duo Q2Han, who often stylise their names as Qwon and Qjin, have made their upbeat, affectionate banter a prominent feature of their vlogs and online content, so much so that they can’t bring themselves to appoint a third person to edit their footage, for fear of diluting their unique colour and tone.
Qjin: “That’s something that worries us a lot—”
Qwon: “—and stopping us from ever getting a team … We have this kind of humour that only we get—”
Qjin: “—as sisters, and I don’t think anyone can—”
Qwon: “—capture that and edit it in the way that we want. It’s kind of hard to explain.”
Deftly combining hilarity, homeyness and healing, Q2Han vlogs span a spectrum of emotions even within the same video. It’s a style that has obviously worked: Their fanbase community, nicknamed Qtees, number almost 690,000 Youtube subscribers, 211,000 Instagram followers and nearly 200,000 Tiktok followers at press time.
And Q2Han have never been busier. Since launching their Youtube channel 11 years ago, the content creators, both graduates in fashion design and business management from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, have gone from uploading straightforward fashion DIY tutorials on drafting patterns and creating dresses, to publishing elaborate vlogs on anything from attending Milan Fashion Week to thrift shopping, from persevering through a day-long fast during Ramadan to camping in an RV. And as they evolved, so have their audience and the wider vlogging community too, creating an intricate, interdependent and ever-changing ecosystem.
Qwon: “In terms of content, back in the day, when we just started on YouTube, we were mainly more focused on, like—”
Qjin: “—purely for entertainment: something very loud, like imitating K-pop outfits or makeup or doing challenges. But as we grow older, as we become more mature, our content is becoming more mature.”
Qwon: “And I think our Qtees are also growing up with us. They’re also becoming a little more mature, so challenges and entertainment-type of videos were not really working on our channel anymore. So we shifted more into things that are healing, something that can show our personality and lifestyle.”
That trajectory also tracks with how the duo see the vlogging scene has evolved to showcase more of the inner worlds of the content creators themselves. “I feel like in the past, a lot of the vlogs were very loud in character. It had to be something that can surprise people and grab their attention quickly, like clickbait,” explains Qwon, the older twin by one minute. “I feel the vlogging community is becoming more centered towards people who are filming behind the camera and not what they’re doing—the [audience] want to connect with them on a personal level, like reading their diaries.”
And there’s plenty to know about Qwon and Qjin. Even before the launch of Q2Han, it’s been just the two of them. From introverted children who didn’t make many friends, to 32-year-olds who have never been apart except for a single three-day stretch, Qwon and Qjin bear the entire load of building their brand between the two of them. For instance, for a sponsored Instagram Reel post, negotiating and communicating with brands, brainstorming a creative direction, securing a studio, doing their own makeup and hairstyling, preparing their wardrobe, serving as videographer for each other, editing the clips, publishing the approved video and sending invoices—they do all that themselves. “A lot of the time the work that goes into being a content creator is rather overlooked or underestimated, but we call it a one-man show, especially if you don’t have a team that can help you with it,” Qwon says.
In a hyper-competitive, one-day-you’re-in-and-the-next-day-you’re-out world of fashion, lifestyle and beauty influencers, Qwon and Qjin are keenly aware of the stress of having to up their game constantly, made more intense by the continual launch of new platforms and products, and the general murkiness of the algorithms that underpin their operation. “We didn’t use to do Tiktok but we felt this pressure to create a Tiktok account and start on it,” Qwon says. “As social media becomes bigger, there are more new apps and we need to keep up with them, so that’s a lot of pressure for us.”
Qwon and Qjin have come a long way since they launched Q2Han while living in Los Angeles. After moving to South Korea in 2017, they convinced their parents to give them one year to prove they can make something for themselves on Youtube. “We always wanted to do something together, and we didn’t want to work under someone else,” Qwon explains. They joined Etude House’s Beautizen training programme for budding beauty vloggers, pushed themselves to produce and publish three videos a week, and they’ve not looked back since. “Thankfully, during that time in South Korea, Youtube wasn’t a red ocean like it was in LA,” Qwon adds.
Being sisters and twins helps Qwon and Qjin exude familial endearment through Q2HAN vlogs. “We get a lot of comments from Qtees saying that they really love our sisterly bond and chemistry, and they can relate to it, and I think that’s what draws a lot of people to our channel,” Qwon says. “The best thing [about being both family and partners at work] is that we never have to sugarcoat anything. We’re very direct, we don’t have to consider each other’s feelings. And I really like it because it speeds up the process, rather than [sharing our opinions] in a [more polite but slower] way.”
Nearly 800 Youtube videos in, the prolific duo say they have less personal life, no weekends off and not even a clock-out time, but they’re loving every minute of vlogging and content creation.
“I don’t think we even have an off-camera life,” Qjin says with a laugh. “Off camera, we’re sleeping.” Adds Qwon: “We don’t complain, because it’s so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work to us.” But asked whether they’ve ever reached the point of millennial malaise and questioned the meaning of what they do, they reply emphatically in the negative. “It’s a very fulfilling job,” Qjin declares. “I always feel fortunate that this is my job, because it’s so much fun and very rewarding too,” continues Qwon.
“We get a lot of comments from Qtees who say when they are sad and they watch our videos they instantly feel happy and relaxed, and I really love those kinds of comments,” shares Qjin. “When Qtees are happy, we want them to feel happier by watching our videos. When they’re sad, we want them to feel comfort and ease while watching.
“I think our purpose is to create this sanctuary where Qtees can feel safe and understood and welcomed every time.”
Photography Zantz Han
Styling Gregory Woo
Hair Sha Shamsi, using Keune Haircosmetics
Make-up Wee Ming, using Dior Beauty
Photography assistant Sin Yean Yam
Styling assistant Yulia See