Sang In Kim marches to the beat of her own drum. With her unique personal style, her honest and outspoken nature and a staunch advocate for self-love, she's an influencer with a difference. Here she chats to us about launching her own digital magazine, her tips for taking a great photo and why she’s so into punk style.
Hi, this is Sang In Kim from Seoul, Korea. I am currently working as a creative director, stylist, editor and I was a fashion model for eight years before I retired last year. I think the different and distinctive aspect of my style is the fact that I use a lot of jewellery and mix and match accessories.
When I wake up, first I check [instant messaging service] Kakaotalk, Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram. Then I drink coffee. If I don't have any meetings or shoots that day, I don't wear makeup. I just wear hoodies and jeans with a lot of jewellery.
I launched my very first web magazine on March 1. It’s called Post HyangDan and I actually write the articles and take the photos. The name came from [the character] HyangDan who is a servant in [the classic Korean folk tale] The Story of Chun Hyang who only has a name but no records of other personal information. We are using this name because we all sometimes feel like an outsider [like HyangDan].
[In the magazine] we talk about everything from fashion, beauty to social issues from HyangDan's point of view. We’re creating the view from the perspective of an outsider who will be a future insider.
I haven’t really given too much thought to how my posts look but as you said, if it looks artsy, bold and quirky, then It must be a really good compliment for me! I just post whatever I am into at that moment. For example, if I had a photoshoot, I’ll post a photo [from the shoot] even though I am not a featured model.
I am so into punk style. I’ve always worn chokers as my signature item and sometimes I wear a harness or leather pants. I just love them. I mix and match punk items with cute backpacks or hoodies as I don't want [my look] to be too much.
I think dark hair and natural hair will be popular soon because I feel people might got bored of [the trend of] having colourful hair. I hope punk style will become more popular!
I am a beginner [when it comes to] photography and styling so there's not much [in terms] of my techniques to tell but I always try to look at things differently. For example [in a shoot] I wanted to make the models wear the inner pieces out of jackets or wear clothes like jewellery. Thinking outside of the box always helps.
I've actually asked a few followers of mine and the answer was they like how I think and empower people. This is very important information [to me] because I always tell my followers and my friends that you need to love yourself. Love yourself, be yourself, embrace yourself are the key words that I've always talked about. I've been through mental illness including anxiety and depression and publicly spoke about it to hopefully empower the people who are going through the same problems. I think people see me not as a fashion model but as a role model who speaks out about mental health issues and get comfort from the fact that I am recovered, and they can do it too.
As I told you love yourself, be yourself, embrace yourself. You are the only person who can entirely understand yourself and love yourself—and loving yourself is not easy. I want everyone to find their three strengths and not focus on negative things. For example, instead of thinking 'I get too nervous' instead turn it into a positive and think 'I do what I have to do even though I get nervous'. You are what you believe you are.
Being mentally and physically healthy. And I want my magazine and brand (I am working on my own brand but it's still top secret) to grow big. And most of all, I want my readers to be happy reading my articles.