Style Star: Irene Kim’s Go-To Look & New Pup Biggie
It's not hard to spot Irene Kim at fashion week. The leggy Korean model has sported almost every hair colour imaginable and she's got a wardrobe to match. We caught up with Irene on a recent trip together to the Maldives, to learn more about all the new things going on for her this year.
Read more: #CHOOTRAVELS to the Maldives
Can you tell us about where you grew up and how you got your start in fashion?
I was born in Seattle and I spent most of my childhood and teenage years between Washington and Korea. My first fashion-related job was an internship with a freelance stylist when I was living in New York City. She was a regular contributor to Interview magazine. During my time at school, I also worked at an online start-up called StyleLikeU. I moved to Korea after school and began modelling.
Do you think you’re more influenced by fashion in the States or in Korea?
I’m influenced by both, and I think living in both places has given me the best of both worlds. I’ve had the opportunity to attend fashion weeks around the world, and I love bringing both styles together.
Who are your favourite Korean designers?
A lot of them are good friends of mine, and we’ve known each other for so long. Steve J and Yoni P is one of them, they’re one of the biggest shows at Seoul Fashion Week and you can find their pieces around the world and even on e-retailers like Net-a-Porter and FarFetch.
Kye is another brand that I have been following—the designer Kathleen Hanhee Kye has an eye for streetwear. Another brand that I love is J Koo, from husband and wife designer duo Jinwoo Choi and Yeonjoo Koo. Their designs are rooted in English men’s tailoring and there’s a part of me that loves menswear.
Anything new that caught your eye on your last trip to Hong Kong with I.T?
Rocket Lunch and Blindness. You should definitely check out Blindness. When I first saw the collection, I thought they were from a show in Paris—it translates so well globally, they were even one of the 21 brands shortlisted for the LMVH prize in 2017. They have a great eye for tailoring and detailing; my favourite piece is an oversized bomber jacket with pearl embellishments.
What’s your go-to look?
I love jackets and I tend to wear a lot of cropped jackets, leather jackets or blazers. I like to contrast feminine and masculine looks—I’ll mix a leather jacket with a dress, or cute cropped jackets with trousers. I also shop in menswear sometimes, and I’ve taken a few shirts from my brother over the years.
What about when you’re on holiday?
I haven’t had a beach holiday in a long time, so packing for this Jimmy Choo trip was a lot of fun. All the swimsuits, boater hats and floral print tops and dresses I had were finally put to good use. I’m definitely convinced that I could be an island girl.
What were some of your favourite pieces you used on this trip?
I always tend to go for smaller bags, something over the shoulder or cross-body. So bags like the Jimmy Choo Lockit are perfect. I really like that woven bucket bag from pre-Fall as well.
Can you tell us about one of your most memorable shoots?
One of my most recent shoots was with Rag & Bone and it was shot by Glen Luchford, one of my favorite photographers. He shot my portrait with a vintage 100-year-old large-format polaroid camera.
I was dressed in my look and was on my way to hair and make-up, when Glen just grabbed my arm and walked me to the set. He shot me without and hair and make-up, which never happens. As a model, you’re used to being always done up a certain way with hair and make-up, and you don’t feel like yourself, but I really felt like myself and it was something really special.
You just started a new business this year. Can you tell us a bit about it?
It’s my baby. Hi Studio is a digital content production company. It’s essentially a creative space for people to create their own photo or digital content. There aren’t a lot of places like that in Korea at the moment.
Other than sunning in the Maldives, what are your other favourite ways to unwind?
Truthfully, it’s probably just to be by myself. Treating myself to a massage or a facial is always nice. Unwinding for me is about doing normal things, like spending time with my family, going to the supermarket, doing my laundry and just getting back into a normal cycle.
And lastly, can you tell us about your newest family member?
My other baby—Biggie. He’s a black Frenchie and the latest addition to my family. He's adjusted nicely and my mom is spoiling him as much as I do. I even made an Instagram account for him.
See also: 5 Ways To Spot A Fake Handbag
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