Accessorise like a Korean it-girl

Model and TV host Soyoung Sim adds a little glamour to her everyday look.

A self-confessed shoe junkie, Seoul it-girl Soyoung Sim’s collection spans from sneakers to thigh-high boots and spectacular heels. So when we asked her to choose and style her H&M favourites from the Seoul showroom, we weren’t surprised when she opted for some of this season’s most eye-catching shoewear – a pair of chunky, super-high platform boots, and a pair of delicate, fluffy sandals. ”I spend more time choosing shoes than clothes,” Soyoung Sim admits.

This globetrotter grew up in Australia, went to high school in New York, dreamt of becoming a news presenter but went to Boston to study psychology, and is now back in Korea, juggling modelling with a career in TV. And yes, her style is as eclectic as her background.


WHO IS YOUR STYLE ICON?
”Olivia Palermo. She is a fashion icon, known as the ”real-life Blair Waldorf”; main character of TV show Gossip Girl. Olivia’s simple yet chic styling always inspires me. Especially, her shoe game is so cool. Like her, I also love shoes!”

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNER?
”[Industrial and furniture designer] Karim Rashid. His rule-breaking, marvellous artwork gives me so much inspiration.”

WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE?
”Athleisure, in an unexpected mix-and-match style. Most of the time I’m in leggings or jogger trousers, since I’m always working out! And then sometimes, I switch it up with high heels or thigh-high boots.”

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH?
”Definitely New York. Whatever happens, I go to New York at least once every year. It means a lot to me. I lived there when I was in high school, and when I was at university in Boston, I went to New York every weekend. New York helps me breathe. The energy and glamour there always overwhelm me, make me dream bigger. Now, as a model, I really like going back to New York for work. It’s my favourite city.”


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD?
”Home cooked Korean food. Since I was little, I have always moved a lot on my own, for studying. [The Australian] Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, New York, Boston and Seoul. Staying away from home for a long time made me miss home all the time. (Now I’ve been in Korea for three years, and I kind of miss moving around!) So, I usually eat Korean food. I’ll say ”Mum, I’m hungry”, and my mother will cook delicious Korean meals. That makes me so happy and thankful!”

IF YOU HAD TO LEAVE YOUR APARTMENT IN A HURRY, WHAT WOULD YOU GRAB?
”Lip tint, my iPhone and a credit card. I always wear lip tint, even when I’m otherwise makeup free. Without it, people keep worrying about me because my face is so pale.”

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO LOOK?
”Leggings, hoodie and Nike sneakers. Maybe it’s my guilty fashion pleasure.”

I spend much more time choosing shoes than clothes.


SOYOUNG SIM
 

WHY IS FASHION IMPORTANT?
”Fashion is part of our lives, not a luxury. With fashion, I can express my identity and inspire other people. It’s really amazing. Fashion can also change a lifestyle. Since I started collecting Nike sneakers, I spend more time walking and it helps me to think much healthier.”

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN HISTORY, WHAT FASHION ERA WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE IN?
”I am interested in Korean traditional costumes. Especially the era of the unified Shilla kingdom. I recently watched the Korean historical TV series called Hae Shin, which is based on the Shilla period. It was the most amazing period in fashion. For example, ladies wore gold- and silver thread-embroidered wide shawls on lavish sleeve blouses. Personally, I prefer Shilla’s glamorous costumes over Rococo dresses.”

WHAT ITEM WOULD YOU NEVER PART FROM?
”Shoes are what make an outfit. I love to wear a pair of fabulous shoes with an otherwise simple look. I spend much more time choosing shoes than clothes.”


WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?
”To be honest, I can’t remember. Life is interesting because it never works out as planned. When I entered Wellesley College, I never thought I would be a model. Not knowing what will happen next in life is a little scary, but also exciting.”

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO MEET?
”Hillary Clinton, one of the world’s most famous female leaders and also a Wellesley alumna. I’ve read her memoir Hard Choices from 2015 several times, and reading What Happened had me even more fascinated with her. If I ever had the chance to meet her, I would ask for her advice on how to be a confident, beautiful woman.”

WHAT DO YOU NEED RIGHT NOW?
”A good film, the people I love and some delicious food to wrap up this week and enjoy a lovely weekend!”

WHAT IS YOUR LATEST BEAUTY DISCOVERY?
”1. Quitting chocolate makes a huge difference for your skin. 2. Applying lotion when your face is still wet will help your skin stay moisturised.” 

 

Adam Katz Sinding is the photographer behind Le 21ème. Follow his work on @le21eme.

 

SOYOUNG SIM

WHERE: Seoul, South Korea

WHAT: TV host, actress and model

INSTAGRAM: @feelssoyoung

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