IT Girl, influencer and fashion icon, Irene Kim, recently swung by Singapore for the launch of M.U.S.T's Singapore edition and shares fashion advice, #ootd tips and wardrobe essentials
Meet the newest face of the fashion world: model, TV personality and street style sensation, Irene Kim. Dubbed “the new Alexa Chung”, the Seattle-born social media icon came under fire from her agency for her unorthodox rainbow-dye job. But she had them eating their words – her multi-coloured locks catapulted her to fame. Today, Irene slays the runways of major labels like Chanel and Calvin Klein, and is Estée Lauder’s Global Beauty Contributor.
In Singapore last week to promote her latest hosting gig in tvN’s travel series, M.U.S.T (My Unexpected Sweet Trip), Irene brought with her a wealth of sartorial advice. She shared with us her IT Girl style secrets, including upcoming trends and wardrobe staples to own, and we now share them with you.
Hey Irene! How do you find Singapore so far?
Oh it’s been wonderful! You know, I thought Singapore was just a concrete city, but there’s just so much breathtaking greenery here.
Any particular shopping haunts you love?
Hands down, Pedder on Scotts. I love shoes, and that massive store has got everything from designer heels to mid-priced sneakers! I think I must’ve tried at least five pairs of shoes there. Oh, and we were at Haji Lane the day before – I went to the cutest jewellery store there. The area reminds me a lot of Garosu-Gil in Seoul (a hip district with independent boutiques and cafes).
A lot of people see you as a trendsetter. What particular looks or trends have you been into this year?
There’s so much velvet going on now, from shoes and jackets to bags and little slip dresses. I love it so much; I recently bought three pairs of velvet boots, BUT they’re of different colours and from different designers! So they’re technically different, right? *laughs*
I’ve also been into big, bold earrings. You can see plenty of that on my Instagram. Oh, and I’m totally into the whole embroidery thing. I was so tempted to buy a denim embroidered jacket but I didn’t…’cause I’d bought three velvet boots. *laughs again*
What do you think will be big next year?
This ’90s trend is here to stay for a while. I think we can also expect to see a lot of denim and military jackets.
On a relaxed day, I wear…
T-shirt and jeans, and my beloved velvet boots, maybe? When I’m off-duty, I like to dress comfortably and sensibly.
You’re always jet-setting. Any travel fashion hacks to share?
Try and pack for every occasion. Personally, I always bring a dressy outfit when I travel. Start with basics like sneakers, a good pair of boots, jeans, then add fun things like accessories.
Has travelling influenced your style?
Oh yeah, for sure. I dress according to where I am. New York is a lot more professional – I’m always in a leather jacket there, but I can also afford to go crazy with colours and prints at Fashion Week. In Paris, women dress effortlessly with subtle makeup, so I keep my outfits there a little more subdued.
What about Asia?
In places like Singapore and Bangkok, I tend to go for summery looks – cute dresses, off-shoulder tops – or a more beachy, L.A. girl style. I have a question: It’s scorching here all-year long, but I see winterwear in stores. Who buys them? Who wears them?
We usually buy them on a whim and shove them in our closets ’til it’s time for a winter vacay.
*laughs* I do feel a little sad for you guys though, since you can’t wear all those layers and coats! But the bright side is you can wear all those cute shorts, maxi dresses and thin dresses as often as you want.
Your #ootds are to die for. Any tips for fab outfit shots?
Always have good lighting – natural is best. And a nice background that’s not too busy.
A lot of people look up to you for fashion inspo. How should someone dress to look like you?
Try as many looks as you can. I’ve always been experimental. Fashion’s about having fun and not taking it too seriously! Again, start with basics like a good t-shirt. Once you find a good one…
…buy it in bulk.
Yes, precisely! I love Zara’s t-shirts. They’re so comfortable and really affordable. You’ll also need good jeans, a motorcycle jacket and a nice, classic coat. I have a fun story to back me up on the coat!
We’re dying to hear it!
It was during Paris Fashion Week and before the Mugler show; I had 15 minutes to spare. I was walking by a cafe with my manager and saw Eva Chen (head of Instagram’s fashion partnerships) and Carine Roitfeld having breakfast! Thank God I was dressed in something Carine herself would wear: black and white Chanel knee-high boots, a silver Zara skirt and a really classic coat by Yves Saint Laurent. She complimented my outfit and said what she loved about it most was my coat! There you go – splurge on a nice coat if you’re planning on travelling to somewhere cold.
Catch Irene in M.U.S.T – Singapore, premiering exclusively on tvN in Asia-Pacific on 3 November at 10:30 pm (GMT+8). Channels: Singtel: Ch.518 / 619 and StarHub: Ch.824.