[March 2016 – Marie Claire] Irene Kim – Interview

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When did you move in? What did you like about this place that made you decide to move in?

The neighborhood is quiet. And there’s an elevator! The building I lived in before had 4 floors, but there were only stairs, so I was exhausted every time I came back from a set and I had to climb them up to go home. And this place has many rooms. There are 3 rooms. I have many clothes, so I think I’ll keep my bedroom, but all the other rooms will be turned into dressing rooms. I’ve been more interested into interior items or furniture than clothes these days. I’ve been checking SNS a lot. I haven’t gotten a fridge nor a washing machine yet. I found the right match for my curtains yesterday and I also bought a bed. My goal for this year is to make my house look pretty.

Is it the first time you live alone?

After living in Seattle until middle school, I came back to Korea with my father because of his company. I attended the foreigners high school in Daejun for 4 years. It was a boarding school, so I had a room for myself. And then I went back to the US when I enrolled in FIT college which is a fashion institute in New York. Once I graduated, I came back to Korea and here I am today. Except for when I was in high school, I had always lived with a roommate, so it’s been a while since I’ve been independent like this. Still, I wouldn’t have the confidence to go back living with my parents again if I were told to do so. (smiles)

When did you start modelling in New York? Was becoming a model your dream?

I started when I was attending FIT. It was a part-time job, it wasn’t a real job. To be honest, I worked for an online magazine for 2 years before graduating and coming back to Korea. The magazine is called “Style Like U”. Its editor is famous stylist Elisa Goodkind. And it’s not just about fashion, there are many interviews and articles about lifestyle contents and important figures. It’s a small-scale magazine, so I played various roles. I contacted managers to get in touch with celebrities. When I ran into people with a good style in the street, I would cast them too. I even did photo shoot styling and chose pictures. I even had an intern. I remember going to Michele Lamy’s house with the editor for a photo shoot. Michele Lamy is designer Rick Owens’ wife. She’s an intense person. It was really a good opportunity and I enjoyed it.

So how did you end up going back to modelling activities in Korea?

I had been working for 2 years and I felt some kind of a limit, so I needed a vacation. I quit the company and I came to Korea to have fun and travel for 3 months. Still, I thought it would be nice to work part-time, so I started modelling again. An agency offered me to work really as a model. My first shows were in 2012 for Jardin de Chouette and SJYP. Back then, I didn’t even know which kind of magazines were in Korea. I knew almost no Korean model and I’ve become very busy after that. Two weeks ago, I was in Shangai. I was in Japan a week ago. This is what I’ve been doing and here I am already 30 years-old (Korean age). I’m amazed and thankful.

Which meaning do you give to being 30 years-old?

People tease me by saying “Irene, you’re 30 now, how is that possible!”. As people usually say, time does fly by. However, now that I’m actually into my 30’s, I think it’s nice. I’ve worked really hard during my 20’s and I think the results made me like my life more and more.

You’re also an Instagram star. So which posts do you look for?

Hm… I check out many pictures. Even if they’re not famous, there are so many people who upload nice pictures. This is what inspire me. And the keyword I look up a lot is “frenchieblog”! It’s a dog like the puppy I had in New York and it’s so cute. I live alone and I’m very busy, so I can’t even think about having one now. I just look up pictures.

Every one of your posts receive a lot of likes. Do you have your own SNS principles?

To be sincere and to post something I like every time. I only post things that I enjoy. I’m thankful that people show this so much love. Ah, however I realized that people don’t like when you upload too many pictures too often. Haha. I’m a little bit careful about that.

Your hair color is mysterious. Which kind of color is it?

Blue, purple, I tried many different colors, so it turned almost into a rainbow color now. I changed my hair color about a year after I started working in Korea. To be honest, I just did it because I wanted to. My agency worried it would hinder my activities. However, it was the season I actually did more shows than ever. Like 18 or 19 shows. It’s common thinking to say that models must stick to their natural hair color, but I and the people around me think it’s nice to have this hair color.

You’ve lived a long time in New York and you go back often. Which restaurant would you recommend?

I like Japanese food and “Sushi of Gari” is a great restaurant. I go there every time I’m in New York. And there’s this nice and cozy brunch café called “Gitane” in Soho. Their avocado toasts are very delicious.

There are probably times when you really feel lonely as you travel around and work like crazy.

It happens a lot. However, my job is about meeting a lot of people, so I consider it’s also important to spend time on my own. Music is essential when I’m alone. I listen to some music when I’m taking a shower too. I play music very loud at the hotel when I work out of town.

Which song have you been into these days?

Justin Bieber! He kind of had this image for a while, but he completely changed with this album. The lyrics and the melodies are really great. I often listen to Frank Ocean and The Weeknd oo. I like the XX too. I mostly listen to Mix songs uploaded on Soundcloud.

Do you have future plans?

To be honest, I have never really planned anything. I think I find my direction in my current work step by step. Right now, I want to upgrade a little bit my social media activities. I want to create a new plateform, contents a bit more various. Because I’m more of a creator who creates fashion-related contents than a famous person. It’s the fashion week season, so I think I’ll spend a month in New York and in Paris. I will make interesting posts.

You just moved into your new home, but you’re already going on a long trip.

That’s why I’m saying! If I have some spare time in New York and Paris, I want to go shopping for furniture and items. I don’t know if I won’t have to come back by boat. (smiles)

What’s your motto?

I believe I must express good energy in order to get good energy. While living by this belief, I met a lot of good people. I’m always thankful to this truth.

Marie Claire
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com


One Comment Add yours

  1. maulidhappt says:

    IRENE!!!! thou not bae irene from rv XD
    Anyway she is so freaking pretty, I followed her snapchat and she is indeed so kind and lovely.
    Really like her hair.. its sooo colorful kyaaa
    uh and..
    “Ah, however I realized that people don’t like when you upload too many pictures too often. Haha. I’m a little bit careful about that.”
    me either XD

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