Model Irene Kim Talks about her First Runway and New Home

The most unique and striking Korean model Irene Kim. She shares a glimpse of her beautiful room decorated with the most artsy handmade and self-picked items. Make sure to check out Irene’s room with Marie Claire Korea!

Irene’s Room

Irene Kim, a global model and a rising social media star of South Korea, U.S., and Europe makes everyone wonder about her day-to-day lifestyle.

Model Irene Kim Marie Claire Korea March 2016Striped top from Celine, striped pants from Tod’s, fur slipper from Gucci, and iron frame vase from Mudni.

Model Irene Kim Marie Claire Korea March 2016White knit top from Isabel Marant, denim overall from Tankus, and fur slipper from Gucci.

Irene Kim is a popular Instagram celeb with over 71 million followers and at least 10,000 likes on average. Her SNS (Social Networking Service) is sometimes more variegated than her vibrant rainbow-hued hair. She is known to be a blogger, model and street-style reporter who gives great inspirations to everyone. Irene might become the next Korean It-Girl with her love for fashion.

However, Irene is not just known for fashion alone. Her bright and unchanging personality is her greatest charm. Irene’s first Instagram post was from 4 years ago in New York, which was way before starting her model career in South Korea. Although there wasn’t anything fancy back then, she still shared some of her best and beautiful memories. Irene has always been that same Irene, and it’s great to know that she will remain as our forever fashion star.

Model Irene Kim Marie Claire Korea March 2016Oversize cardigan from Saint Laurent printed t-shirt from Dkny, denim shirt from Rag & Bone by Beaker, layered ring from the stylist, and beige blanket from Zara Home.

Model Irene Kim Marie Claire Korea March 2016Striped knit top from Prada, denim shorts from Alexander Wang, knit socks from Prada, monkey’s head candle from Zara Home, room spray from Jo Malone London, and iron frame vase from Mudni. Clothes on top of the bed: denim skirt from Calvin Klein Jeans, white sweatshirt from Steve J & Yoni P, striped shirt dress from Acne Studios, and stadium jacket from Adidas originals by Rita Ora.


I heard you just finished moving! What made you decide on this house?

My new neighborhood is very quiet, and there is an elevator! My previous house was four stories high with many many stairs. And moving my luggage back and forth was really hard, especially when I had to travel. But this new house makes everything easy. There are many rooms to use as my dresser (three), because I have so much clothes at home. I began furniture shopping and looking for house appliances too. I’ve been looking at many different online stores. Maybe buying a refrigerator and washing machine are my next target. I bought new curtains recently, though! I hope I can decorate my house and make it look pretty soon.

Is it your first time living alone?

I lived in Seattle until middle school and moved to Korea because of my father’s company. Then I had a chance to live alone at the school dormitory while attending an international high school in Daejeon for 4 years. I returned to New York thereafter when I became a college student at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). And now I’m back in Korea after graduating. It’s been a really long time since I lived alone, because the last time was in high school and I always had a roommate in college. But honestly, I’m not sure if I can handle living with my parents anymore. (Laughs)

You first started modeling in New York, right? Was it your dream career?

I began working as a college student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but it was a part-time position. After graduating, I began working at an online magazine company for about two years before coming out to Korea. The magazine was called ‘Style Like U’, but I had the opportunity to work with the most famous stylist Elisa Goodkind. We had many interviews from fashion, lifestyle, celebrities, and more. This was a small size company, so I had a variety of roles. Sometimes it ranged from casting celebrities and speaking to their managers, finding stylish people on the streets, and choosing the best pictures. There was one intern who worked with me. The most memorable moment was when the editor and I went over to Michele Lamy’s house, Designer Rick Owens’ wife, to record a photoshoot. She was a strong woman. It was a great opportunity and I had a really good time.

How did you start working as a model again in Korea?

Working for 2 years made me realize that I needed to take a break. I left my agency and traveled to Korea for a 3 month vacation. Then I had a part time position as a model which eventually became a full-time modeling job, with my first fashion show in 2012 for Jardin de Chouette and SJYP. I wasn’t aware of any Korean magazines nor did I have any modeling friends here, but that ultimately became my biggest turning point to my busy career. Two weeks ago I was in Shanghai while last week I was in Japan. And come to think of it, I turned 30 years old in Korean age. I’m just amazed and thankful of all that has happened to me.

What does the age 30 mean to Irene?

People tell me that I’m almost thirty in a half joking way. That just reminds me of how fast time flies. But I’m happy to be 30 years old. I worked really hard all throughout my twenties, and that result made me love my life more.

You are an Instagram star, but what kinds of posts do you often look at?

Well, I look at many pictures, but that doesn’t have to be from anyone famous. There are actually a lot of good photographers out there who inspire me a lot. Sometimes, I even look up ‘French bulldogs’, because I used to have one in New York. They are super cute! I would love to raise one again, but I’m so busy all the time that it’s impossible. So looking at pictures will do for now.

All your posts are receiving so many ‘likes’, but do you have a principal that you have for using SNS?

Openly sharing what I like in real-time with everyone. I’m just so thankful that people love me so much when I’m only posting what I want. So I just try to avoid posting too many pictures at once, because that could get annoying. (haha) That is something I try to keep in mind all the time.

Your hair color is very profound and mysterious. How did your hair turn out like that? I’ve had so many hair colors like blue and purple before, that it naturally turned my hair into rainbow colors. My hair change was done after working in Korea for one year. I just felt like changing it. Then my agency warned me that it could affect my work, which made me worry a little. But luckily, I was featured in more fashion collections than at any other times. I can probably say around 18~19. Normally models prefer keeping their natural hair and color, but everyone including myself thinks that I should maintain this new hairstyle.

Since you’ve been in New York for a long time, where would Irene’s favorite dining spot be?

I really like Japanese food, and ‘Sushi of Gari’ is really good. I always make sure to stop by whenever I’m in New York. Soho’s ‘Cafe Gitane’, which is a brunch café, is also very cozy and nice. Their avocado toast is really delicious.

I think from traveling around so much, you might feel lonely sometimes.

There are a lot of times like that. But because I meet a lot of people for work, I consider my alone times to be important too. And music is essential when I’m alone. I play songs when I’m in the shower and inside my hotel room when I travel.

What is your favorite song these days?

Justin Bieber! He has fallen off track for a while, but his new comeback album is a hit. The melody and the lyrics are so good. I listen to ‘Frank Ocean’ and ‘Weekend’ very often. ‘The xx’ band is good, too. On most days though, I listen to songs on Soundcloud.

What are your future plans?

Actually, I haven’t had the chance to plan long-term yet. It was always a challenge finding a little bit of direction in the work I do. Right now, my goal is to upgrade my social media. Find a new platform and diverse content. I want to become a content creator in fashion, not just a popular celebrity. It’s finally fashion week, so I’m going to be in New York and Paris for about a month. I’m going to post a lot of fun happenings there.

You just moved into your new house, but you are leaving for a long business trip already.

Yeah I know. But if I have some spare time during my traveling between New York and Paris, I want to look at new furniture and house appliances. I might have to come back home on a boat. (Laughs)

What’s Irene’s motto?

I believe that you need to stay positive in order to have good things happen to you. I’m trying my best to apply this to my life, and I’ve already met a lot of good people. I am very thankful for all of the things that happened to me so far.

Make sure to follow Irene Kim on her Instagram @ireneisgood


Original Source: Marie Claire Korea

  • Editor: Kim Ji Eun
  • Photography: Shin Sun Hye
  • Hair: Kim Sun Woo
  • Makeup: Jung Deok
  • Styling: Si Joo Hee
  • Reference: March 2016