Irene Kim wears H&M Studio S/S 17 to NYFW
Slush-covered streets and sub-zero temps don’t stop model and TV host Irene Kim from looking flawless at New York Fashion Week. We caught up with her in-between shows, wearing her favourite items from the upcoming H&M Studio collection.
Spend a few minutes with Irene Kim, and it’s obvious: Her Instagram, beloved by almost 850,000 followers, is an understatement. On social media, she’s @IreneIsGood. But the truth is Irene Kim is even better. Gracious, kind, a stunner, of course, she peppers our conversation with restaurant recommendations and compliments. Like human sunshine, she oozes warmth.
And so if Irene Kim is exhausted when we meet, she doesn’t let on. Despite her back-to-back shoot schedule in the middle of fashion week and the vicious time difference between Seoul and New York, Kim is fresh-faced and relaxed. The model and TV host is dressed in a slinky black dress and a pinky-orange bomber jacket, which nicely complements her latest dye job—a muted peach. “This is minimal for me!” she exclaims. Here, Kim spills her suitcase secrets, tracks the latest trends, and tips us off to the newest Instagram up-and-comers we need to know.
WHEN YOU’RE IN NEW YORK, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SPOTS YOU ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO VISIT?
“I used to live in New York! I lived here for six years, studying textiles at FIT and working. When I moved to Korea, I was only planning on staying for the summer. But I got hooked! Whenever I come back, I have this checklist. I have to go to all my favourite restaurants—Sushi of Gari, Soba-Ya, Rubirosa for pizza, obviously. I tried to go to Clinton Street for brunch, but the wait was over an hour. And I love Bergdorf’s [for the shopping and] for the restaurant at the top. It’s so much fun, very “ladies who lunch.” The rule is to always have a bellini.”
SINCE YOU TRAVEL SO MUCH, HAVE YOU BECOME AN EXPERT PACKER? WHAT ARE YOUR SUITCASE STRATEGIES?
“Suitcase packing, it’s just always going to be a problem! I try to edit down and then I always get worried because I’m shooting a lot of content and I style a lot of my own stuff, so I want to make sure I have enough to wear!”
WHAT’S THE MOST FRIVOLOUS PIECE YOU PACKED THAT YOU JUST COULDN’T BEAR TO LEAVE BEHIND?
“These ridiculous earrings from Miu Miu that I have. They’re huge, and I don’t know where I’m going to wear them or when, but it’s just nice to have them with me. They’re so cute; they make me smile. When I look at them, it just puts me in the best mood.”
HOW DO YOU PREP FOR A FULL DAY OF SHOWS? WHAT ARE YOUR EARLY MORNING RITUALS?
“I’ve been getting over jet lag, and this morning, I finally felt okay to work out. It makes the biggest difference, even just 30 minutes. After that, I have to make sure to eat a good breakfast. Sometimes, when you’re running around later you just don’t have time, so I try to always eat a good breakfast, even if it’s just a croissant and coffee.”
The aesthetic is super minimal, super chic. I love how some of the pieces are done in these different fabrics.
HAVE YOU SEEN ANY TRENDS ON THE RUNWAY THAT YOU’RE EXCITED TO TRY OUT?
“I just saw Victoria Beckham this morning; it was beautiful. I think she gets stronger every season. She put these gloves over her sleeves, which I think is super chic. I’ve seen a lot of toned-down colours—not super bright, more muted. I love it. I love the dark purples, the maroons, the dusty roses. Self Portrait had these really beautiful liquid velvet dresses, perfect for events. Actually, I’ve seen a lot of velvet. Even Lacoste had this sporty, almost colour-blocked oversized velvet dress. Everything is very ladylike, very pretty.”
AND BECAUSE WE KNOW YOU’RE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT, WHAT’S YOUR LATEST HAIR INSPIRATION?
“I recently dyed my hair this one-tone pink. It was super colourful before. And I like this for now. But I’m always watching what Rihanna and people like Kylie [Jenner] are trying. They’re always changing it up.”
YOU’RE ALWAYS CHANGING IT UP, TOO! HOW DO YOU KEEP IT HEALTHY?
“I have to thank my hairstylist. He’s, like, my best friend. He’s really good at timing the different bleaches and adding the right amount of colour. He does it super carefully, which keeps it healthy. I trim it regularly. And I do treatments in between. I’ll duck into the salon for touch-ups. When I’m at home, I use my moisturiser to condition it. I don’t really like hair product! It’s heavy; it gets on my face. It makes me feel like I’m going to break out. So, that’s my secret.”
People always comment on Instagram, “Eonni, which means older sister, your hair is going to fall out. You need to stop dying your hair.” People care a lot. But I’m fine! I swear! And I’ve met a lot of people that have been inspired to dye their hair or do something different, which is super nice. I’m very flattered. It’s what I love to do—get inspiration, give inspiration.
WHO ARE YOU FOLLOWING ON INSTAGRAM NOW THAT WE SHOULD ALL BE WATCHING?
“I love @aureta. Her Instagram is amazing. I don’t know what she does, but she travels all over and she takes these pictures with tigers or on safari and then all of a sudden she’s in Morocco on a camel. In one photo, she’s wrapped in this gold foil. It looked so cool. She’s just always 100 percent put together. I love it.”
“And she curates a second account, @watts.on. It’s her kind of mood board, so weird, but super cool inspiration. And I love all the 90s supermodel accounts—@90ssupermodelsdaily and @theninetiesmodels. Sometimes, the best inspiration is throwback inspiration.”
KOREAN SKINCARE IS BASICALLY AN ART FORM. WHAT’S YOUR PREFERRED INDULGENCE?
“Korean facials, definitely. They can go for an hour to two hours. One of the reasons I won’t move back to the States is because of my dermatologist in Korea. Korea has the best skincare products, skincare professionals, skincare everything. I’m so spoiled.”
HAVE YOU PICKED OUT YOUR LOOKS FOR THE H&M STUDIO SHOW?
“Well, I’ve at least picked out my looks for the shoot. The aesthetic is super minimal, super chic. I love how some of the pieces are done in these different fabrics; one of the mini-dresses I picked out for the shoot is a windbreaker material. Just super unexpected, done in a baby doll dress. It’s really cute. And I set aside this little pyjama-ish outfit, which I obviously love.”
WHEN YOU’RE GETTING DRESSED FOR A SHOW OR AN EVENT, WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD?
“I love hip hop—a lot of throwback stuff like Tupac, Biggie, TLC. I love newer music, too. I’m a huge fan of A$AP. I was shooting at a show this week, and he was there. I said to my videographer, ‘Go get a shot of A$AP.’ He said, ‘I already did.’ I was like, ‘Go get another one!’ I have the biggest crush on A$AP. I think he’s the coolest person in the world. And like everyone else, right now, I have Bad and Boujee on repeat.”
TRUE CONFESSIONS: DO YOU ALWAYS TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP AT THE END OF THE NIGHT?
“I’m really good about that. I don’t have to brush my teeth as much as I have to remove my makeup, honestly. It’s really bad to sleep in makeup. It’s the worst, especially if you go out for a drink and then just fall asleep. I don’t really like to use harsh facial washes. I usually remove my makeup with a moisturiser, just because it’s the same consistency as a cleansing milk. I’ll do that and then I’ll use a foam cleanser and then I’ll tone, and I do sheet masks all the time. I always have a few on me.”
Read more about the upcoming H&M Studio S/S 17 collection here.