WHAT DO YOU DO?
Styling + social media and brand management are the two main components of what I do. There is nothing I love more than connecting with clients and helping them tell their stories in a visual way.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I've known what I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember, so every decision I've made in my life was with that in mind. My parents were traditional Korean parents so they initially wanted me to follow a very specific path. To keep a long story short, I ended up doing what I wanted to anyway and bought a one way ticket to Tokyo to pursue a career in fashion. The first few months were definitely difficult, but I ended up getting hired at an international fashion television network where I started as a freelance blogger and ended up working my way up to the creative director of their newest channel. That was my first "real" job.
Three years later, I decided it was time for another change and moved to Los Angeles. My experience abroad has become a valuable asset to the clients and companies I've come to work with. Over the last two years I've worked with some of my favorite names in the industry doing everything from styling shoots to building websites to creating brand books. Because of that leap of faith I took years ago, I now have the flexibility in my career to do all of the things that I love.
How do you stand out in your field?
I'm really like the swiss army knife of my field. I've bounced around and had so many different roles throughout my career that I can confidently say that I am ready for anything and everything. While traditionalists may find hopping around to be a negative, I think that this is ultimately what's allowed me to be successful in my career. I may be brought on to a project for a specific role, but I'm also the person that can fill in any gaps on the job. Flexibility and being able to think on your feet is everything.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Where to begin! I'm managing several e-commerce platforms and social media accounts. I usually style 2-3 projects a month, with my most recent projects being a music video and a Fall/Winter campaign for a local skate brand. I also have my own brand EFEMMERE, which is on my mind 24/7.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My style is always evolving and heavily influenced by my mood and surroundings. If I had to generalize it, I would say it's the sweet spot between Tokyo’s fearless approach to design and style and LA’s effortless, casual cool.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I'd really like to get better at Photoshop and photography this year. I also have my eyes set on a yoga teacher certification.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Full-time security vs. freelance flexibility.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I'm a terrible driver and always joke about how I need a chauffeur, so that's probably what I would have that person do.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I'm not a huge fan of being retroactive. I guess I would just tell myself the same thing that I tell myself now. Live a little, always trust your gut, shit happens and yes, you absolutely need that extra coffee.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I love hearing about how people ended up where they are now, expert or not.
If I had to name drop a few people I'd love to share even just an elevator ride with, this is who immediately comes to mind: stylist Ann Marie Hoang, photographer Charlotte Rutherford, all around creative genius Nadia Lee Cohen, the brilliant design duo behind Ottolinger, self proclaimed cream queen Sable Yong...the list goes on. Basically anyone that is pushing the boundaries of their field and is not afraid to stand for something.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Definitely more freelance projects! I'm looking for more elevated, editorial styling opportunities. I'd also love to take on more large scale branding work.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
My ideal client is a tastemaker and thought leader in their industry. They have a clear cut vision of their brand identity, but is also willing to tell their story in new ways and push the envelope.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
My rates vary depending on the project. I am happy to answer all questions and give a detailed breakdown via email.
Who is a creative that has helped you elevate your work? What's the tea? Tell us why!
I'm blessed with so much creative energy in my life, it's hard to know where to start.
My mother is an artist and I've looked up to her my entire life. Growing up and watching your young immigrant mother that never gave up on her creative passions is the fire that pushes me everyday.
My brother is also on his way up and fearlessly pursuing product design. It's extremely humbling to see someone younger than you and think, "Wow. He's already doing better than me." Ha.
I also have to give a huge shoutout to my friend Julian. His work and process never ceases to amaze me. We bounce ideas off of each other 24/7 and he really pushes me to dream bigger and take my work to the next level.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
I love a good dog meme! Otherwise, email is the best way to reach me.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
I actively seek out creative energy, be it people, experiences or places. Nothing drains my soul more than repetition, so switching up my day to day also helps to keep my gears turning.
This member profile was originally published in January 2019.