Craft Source x Cherry Kim
Cherry Kim (New York)
Stylist / Producer
Cherry Kim, 22, Stylist, Producer and Designer.
Describe your background and how you came to find your passion?
I’m a first generation Korean-Kiwi. Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand.
I was raised by my amazing mother who placed great value on the arts and creating. She always planned weekends to museums, art galleries, weird holiday workshops, fabric stores, bookstores, pop ups for my sister and I. She also had great style - even from a young age I noticed she looked out of place among other women her age in the best way possible - she has a very refined, effortless, enduring aesthetic with subtle military references, wore a lot of black, boxy silhouettes…
So my interest in fashion seems organic in a way… I think it somewhat started from wanting to have my own style like my mother’s as well as my auntie’s. Also looking back, not having any rules regarding self-expression, dress codes, career paths ingrained in me by my parents was a blessing.
How did you establish your style and how would you describe it? Did you ever delve in other artistic mediums?
I definitely am yet to establish my own style. I know what I currently do like and don’t like but am still exploring my aesthetic, vision, what I want my work to say, what I want people to associate my brand with! It’s all trial and error. It’s interesting to hear how people describe my style though - my favourite so far is early 90s Delias catalogue model!
I’m always open to other artistic mediums - finding different projects in which I can apply my creativity to is what I thrive off. I started off with a strong interest in fashion design and strictly fashion design - being a fashion designer was the “end goal” but I started to dabble in graphic design, styling, e-commerce, production and realised styling and production was what excited me the most. I’m an impatient person so naturally having shorter-term projects, being very hands-on and having the ability to see progress, visuals in action, chopping and changing and collaborating seems more dynamic.
One day, I’d love to start a Production and Creative Consulting company.
Where are you finding ideas for your work these days?
Moving to New York and being immersed in such an open and diverse environment, it’s really difficult not to be inspired by the eclectic styling of both strangers and friends, galleries, pop up stores, new feelings and life experiences, new friends as well as the absence of all this and the intense appreciation of nature (I’ve come to gain) when you remove yourself from all this. I’m also realizing more and more that I’m intensely triggered and inspired by my immediate surroundings and relationships.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
My mother. She sets me right and my confidence in my work and self is rooted in her character.
Describe your process / Describe your studio set up or the ideal environment for making work / Do you have any odd rituals that get you in the zone ?
My process definitely has come to be more organic - in terms of styling gigs, usually myself or the photographer will come up with a concept, we’ll exchange moodboards relevant to the styling or photography/ framing and begin a dialogue. I usually have saved images or broad ideas noted on my phone which I’ll revisit and explore more in-depth. If I’m feeling uninspired, I love going to vintage stores and magazine shops, people-watching or talking to friends - literally currently surrounded by the best people!!!
Ideal environment would be a spacious, sun-lit room with cold brew on tap, my friends, fully charged laptop and phone, a steamer and mellow music. (what is the probability of all this???) But I’m satisfied with headphones, an empty home, and minimal clothing on to get in the zone!
What’s the most indispensable item used during your process ?
Call me a millennial but my phone - when I’m on the go, I’ll take notes if ideas come up, screenshots if I see any images or text which trigger me, I take photos of props, accessories or clothing when I’m just exploring in the city, add reminders, hit up other creatives over Instagram… it’s a tool which helps me to work more efficiently for sure.
And also my health!!!
What has been your most challenging or favourite work?
Most challenging work would be my current job as Stylist Assistant at La Garconne. At such an established, high-end luxury company as such, the level of discipline and meticulousness is unparalleled but I have learnt so much and am grateful to be learning directly under my CEO.
What does your work aim to say?
Still figuring this out for sure but I do dislike rules and established practices. Definitely important to understand and know what has been but I’m more inspired by what’s new and emerging. I think a greater appreciation for the arts is a dialogue that I want my work to be a part of - it’s the most inclusive yet cut-throat field and I respect and appreciate any creative whose hustling to work on their craft.
What project/s are you currently working on?
I recently styled an editorial for Wonderland magazine which is really exciting. The photographer is a young Australian guy based in New York called James Robinson who’s work I’ve followed for a while - I’m a huge fan!
I have a few editorials lined up which will be coming out towards the end of the year - I’m really excited about having worked with each team behind these projects - they’re all creatives who I respect and it means so much to have the opportunity to be able to grow, collaborate and release work on platforms I’ve followed since I was in my early teens.
Do you have aspirations to live overseas? How do you feel being from New Zealand influences your work?
I’m currently based in New York - I moved over last year in December on the J-1 Visa.
Being from New Zealand, I realised (too late) that being isolated from the rest of the world was a huge benefit. Having the option to escape and be in quiet to reflect and unwind really is so important to my well-being.
However in saying that, New York’s energy is truly amazing and inspiring - I thrive off the hustle and being immersed in an environment where there’s always something going on, always a project you can partake in, people to meet, things to see (and a cute place to get a drink on a weekday - v rare in Auckland)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received or what advice would you give to other aspiring artists?
Be patient. I’m always trying to improve on this. Naturally, I’m such an impatient person - an advantage occasionally but usually the root of my anxiety and stress. I think if you’re sincere, honest, engaging, work hard and patient, things will always and they have always panned out. And to live in the present and be present - the best way to build relationships.
What’s next for you?
Perhaps stay in New York longer, travel, move to Europe or Japan?… too many unknowns, couldn’t tell you!
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