Kevin from Netflix's Bling Empire doesn't really have US$10 million — and other things to know about the hunky reality star

PHOTO: Instagram/kevin.kreider

By now, almost anyone who has a pulse, scans social media, or owns a Netflix account, would have heard of the reality show Bling Empire. It follows the real crazy rich Asians of Los Angeles as they go through life with trust funds and millions of dollars while navigating personal issues.

While the cast has very colourful characters, a breakout star (well, arguably) is hunky model Kevin Kreider, who is Korean but was adopted by a German-Irish family when he was three.

Not only is he the best looking one of the bunch, he also serves as the audience's voice in navigating the world of the rich and famous, simply because he is not used to the extravagant lifestyle.

But who is Kevin Kreider exactly? Apart from being the show's Asian Adonis with chiseled abs and a killer smile? Oh, and possibly the only reason to watch Bling Empire? Well, here are a few more things you should know about this devastatingly handsome man.

1. He has a TEDx Talk about redefining Asian masculinity

If you think Kevin is just a pretty face, you should be ashamed of yourself. While he may certainly fit that stereotype as a model and a fitness guru, the 37-year-old isn't all brawn and no brains. In his 15-minute 2018 TEDx Talk, Kevin spoke about how he struggled with his racial identity as well as what it means to be an attractive male growing up when girls told him they didn't like Asians.

His shocking admission about how he once stripped away his Asian identity because he "wanted to be white" also provides much food for thought about how we view racial preferences.

2. He is not as rich as his friends

It's easy to assume that Kevin is rich (even if he isn't crazy rich) considering the show he is on and the company he keeps. These are people who can plan a trip to Paris at the drop of a hat just to dine at their favourite restaurant.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kevin said he only got acquainted with the group when Kelly reached out to him after watching one of his videos. And though he admitted to his good friend (and fellow cast mate) Kane Lim that he isn't rich, they still wanted him to join the show.

He also isn't living the high life as he expressed surprise at co-star Jamie Xie for spending US$19,000 (S$25,200) a month on rent. He only pays US$1,000 a month in rental for his own room and shares the apartment with other flatmates. In the second episode of the show, he also remarked that he doesn't think he has US$1,100 "in my bank right now".

Though media reports have claimed that the bachelor has a net worth of US$10 million, Kevin clarified to E! News that it's not true. He called it a "future prediction" instead of a "current prediction", and thinks he'll be worth that amount eventually.

3. He is not just a model

There's a reason why Kevin thinks he'll be worth US$10 million eventually, and that's because this ambitious go-getter isn't just using his looks to pay his way through life. On his website, you can see that Kevin has a fitness business and he sells workout programmes along with his own blend of matcha supplement (which is currently sold out).

Additionally, he is also a motivational speaker for Asian-American mental health and model minority, and has been featured on HuffPost and Men's Health.

Kevin is also the CEO of his own entertainment company Taejin Entertainment, and according to his website, he is "only taking on roles that are leading men material and will settle for nothing less". He was also the subject of the 2019 documentary The Ugly Model.

ALSO READ: Crazy rich Singaporean: Things to know about Kane Lim, star of Netflix's Bling Empire

4. He is single (and probably straight)

We get it, Kevin is a really good-looking dude and everyone wants a bite of that beefcake. On the show, Kevin has been open about his attraction to co-star Kelly Mi Li, who is in this weird and seemingly toxic relationship with Power Rangers actor Andrew Gray. Talk about drama!

He also spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the spark he felt with DJ Kim Lee at a party — someone he actually "hated" in the beginning — and admitted to "a physical attraction" but said they're still figuring things out.

Officially, he's still on the market and it wouldn't hurt to slide into his DMs.

5. He was diagnosed with alopecia areata

Kevin's Instagram feed is serving us all sorts of Abercrombie & Fitch looks (read: many, many topless shots) and he looks like absolute perfection. But, he was once diagnosed with alopecia areata in 2014, he said in his TEDx Talk. It's an autoimmune disease that is stress-induced and causes hair loss. It happened when he hit "rock bottom" and it wasn't "a good look for a model, especially for an Asian guy".

He decided to embark on a crazy journey of soul-searching and skateboarded across the country. "I figured if I can survive this journey, then I'll get the confidence, the self-esteem that maybe I was looking for," he said.

ALSO READ: Netflix's Bling Empire star Jaime Xie: Fashion influencer, champion equestrian, and reality-TV newbie

bryanlim@asiaone.com