The Hera Seoul Fashion Week (SFW), which is the largest fashion show in Korea, was held for five days and ended on October 20th, 2018. Every year, a lot of influential people in the fashion industry show their works there. Among them, there was one Kingo pursuing her dream with her own fashion style. Her name is Cheri, and she is a fashion influencer who makes and shares her own fashion style. The Sungkyun Times (SKT) met with her and listened to her life story and dream.
Dreaming of Working in Fashion
Q1. What made you decide your career path regarding fashion despite your major in English Language and Literature?
My name is Yun Che-rim, and I am working in the fashion industry now. When I was a freshman, I had the first turning point of my life. At that time, I had my first boyfriend and asked him what his plan was while he was looking for jobs. He answered that his only goal was to make money and that he would not care about what kind of fields he would work in. I was shocked to discover that he did not have any ambitions. Therefore, I eventually broke up with him and started to find jobs that fascinated me, in order not to become a person without any dreams. A friend of mine happened to recommend that I work as an editor for her fashion magazine. It was very interesting to recommend fashion style to others using clothes from various brands. Through this activity, I found out that writing about fashion is my interest, and it was the first step in getting interested in working in the fashion industry.
Q2. What difficulties have you encountered in becoming a fashion influencer as a student?
Since I decided to work in the fashion field, I thought I might have to try to wear unique clothes which I had never tried before. For example, I changed my hair color to pink, which surprised my family and my friends, especially my father. He was really shocked at my changes, because he thought that I would get a stable job with a regular income. So at first, it was hard for me to convince him that I could succeed in the fashion industry. Nevertheless, I tried to convince him in many ways, such as showing him how much I earned by my fashion works, and he eventually began to support my work in the field.
Q3. How have you operated your blog and which activities have you done through the blog?
At first, I started my blog named “Cheri’s Fashion Diary” just to record my daily life. I usually uploaded short stories with some photos of my daily fashion. Also, I worked as a style curator to use my blog more effectively. As a style curator, I advertised several fashion items by matching them on my daily fashion. For six months, I took pictures of the clothes with my team members and posted them on my blog, Instagram, and Youtube. Doing these activities, I recognized that I really loved to coordinate outfits and show my fashion to others. Afterward, I not only learned how to use many different types of social media in the fashion field but also met my best friend while working together.
Encountering the New World of Fashion
Q4. What made you start a new major in fashion design, and what have you learned while studying fashion design?
I needed more professional knowledge as my blog became more and more popular. Running a blog required me to provide visitors with more accurate information about fashion. Also, when I described particular clothes, I could not explain the details well because I had no experience making clothes. Therefore, I decided to double major in fashion design. After taking several courses in fashion design, I learned related theories about making actual clothes. From what I have learned, the most impressive thing is to utilize a sewing machine. The experience of making clothes helped me to explain my fashion style and details better than before. Also, I can figure out whether the design I have in mind is realizable or not and how it would turn out. I can understand more about clothes after learning professional information in fashion, such as where to start stitching on a seam.
Q5. What experience had the greatest impact on you at the London College of Fashion (LCF)?
I was the first Korean student studying fashion design at the LCF. The experience of studying at LCF was the second turning point of my life. Most students in Korea learn fashion by focusing on the theoretical parts, memorizing everything for their exams. I, however, really wanted to experience some practical works, which was why I went to London to study at LCF. In particular, I took a class about experiencing the tasks of a stylist there, which became a chance for me to break styling rules. During the class, I had to complete a project as a stylist, including casting models and doing a photoshoot. For the project, maximalism in the 1980s, an aesthetic seeking an extremely decorative and fancy style, was the concept. It was quite different from Korean fashion, which prefers simple and typical styles such as outfits for freshmen or for attending weddings. Since I thought that Korean style was one of the most refined forms of fashion, I got stuck in preparing the project to express maximalism.
|The experiences in London gave Cheri unforgettable memories regarding her career.|
Then the professor suggested that I combine zebra and stripe patterns together, which I had considered as “a terrible fashion style.” That combination, however, looked great and I realized that it was me who had stereotypes. Afterward, I could form my own philosophy of fashion to break the rules through mixing and matching.
Q6. Based on your professional knowledge in fashion, what do you focus on the most while working as a fashion influencer?
I am recently focusing on helping others understand the runway collections so that they can be spread to the daily fashion of many people. All fashion trends originate from the runway collections of each season. Most Koreans, however, do not pay much attention to those collections, considering that they are too difficult to understand. This tendency made me think about how the public could become more familiar with them. Thus, I started applying my interpretation about runway collections to daily fashion style. For instance, assuming that this season’s fashion trend is to wear vinyl clothing and accessories, most Koreans may be hesitant to use such items in their daily fashion. Given these situations, it is my role to suggest fashion styles with accessories such as vinyl clutches or hats with other daily fashion items. By referring to my suggestions, I hope people will become more familiar with runway collections than before.
Moving Forward to Be Better Herself
Q7. You were invited to SFW this year as you were last year. Why did you attend SFW, and what did you do there?
SFW is where the recent stream of Korean fashion is shown in great detail. Since it is the biggest fashion event in Korea, I can interact with various Korean people in fashion and become inspired by them. I mainly carried out two tasks there. First, I made content reviews using various platforms by writing or uploading videos about the fashion there. Second, I suggested how to match clothes and accessories well for the fashion figures there. I think that SFW is the best means to improve and globalize Korean fashion, and I hope that Korean fashion will become more worldwide in the future through it.
|Cheri in SFW 2018|
Q8. Do you have a goal as a fashion influencer?
I hope that I will grow to be a global fashion influencer. In particular, I want to extend my business to Europe, whose fashion industry is the largest and the most historic in the world. In fact, the English skills that I learned as a major have helped me accomplish this goal . Earlier this year, I was able to attend several fashion weeks in Europe as an interpreter. Even though there were many applicants for the interpreter position, I was fortunate to get the opportunity thanks to my English ability. I am sure that all the years I spent studying English, which I once considered unnecessary in my career, have become fertilizer for my dreams these days.
Q9. Any last words for Kingos dreaming of a new challenge?
Regardless of whether Kingos choose to attempt new things or not, they will have a degree of regret about their decisions. Although I mainly talked about my success in this interview, I also suffered from many failures as well. Despite many failures, I eventually got an opportunity as a fashion influencer through various attempts. I think that the very experience of failure gives clues to achieving success. So, I want Kingos not to spend time just dreaming. Just try anything.
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