Eunbi is a 19 year-old Korean street-fashion blogger, model and designer. She was recently casted as the face for Marc by Marc Jacobs through the international #castmemarc campaign. Eunbi flew into NYC to experience NYFW for the first time. She was also kind enough to meet up with MUTZINE on the coldest day of winter for a fun chat and shoot ❄ ❄ ❄
Interview Gissella Ramirez-Valle, Photography Sena Kim
We love your style! It's not a typical one found in South Korea. What influenced your unique style?
Eunbi: I got interested in Japanese street-fashion through online blogs at a young age. I liked looking at how people mixed and matched colors and layered clothing. I started experimenting with my own style after getting into all of that.
It's interesting because many people in Korea think that your kind of style is Hongdae Style.
Eunbi: My main influence is Japanese street-fashion although I'm also a fan of London street-style too! Hongdae is a cultural center, with many artists and boutiques that showcase unique styles. I think that Koreans who are unfamiliar with Japanese street-style believe that anyone with a unique and somewhat colorful style are 'Hongdae Style'. But you know, my current favorite neighborhood is Apgujeong in the Gangnam district.
Why Apgujeong? How is it different than Hongdae?
Eunbi: Apgujeong is full of high-end shops such as Hermes, Givenchy , and 10 Corso Como. Even if shopping there isn't easy, looking around is always fun. I also like it because it's not very noisy! Hongdae on the other hand is a grungy place overflowing with youth. It's always crowded! However, Hongdae is a good place to easily buy trendy and affordable accessories.
Your pink hair is wonderful and really stands out. You dyed it when you were still a high-school student right? Isn't that against the rules?
Eunbi: Initially, I got it done at a hair-salon. But after a while I learned to maintain it on my own. Actually, it was first dyed purple and over time it faded out to pink. The people around me told me that the pink really suited me and even though pink isn't my favorite color, I decided to keep it. I dropped out of high school and got my GED before I dyed my hair this color so I didn't really have an issue with school administration.
Did you receive opposition from your family for deciding to drop out of school?
Eunbi: I asked my parents to please believe in me. Since dropping out, I have shown them that I can manage well and they have become very supportive. I think I've somehow been very lucky. After obtaining my GED, I enrolled in a design school to study fashion design. After graduating last year, I started my own brand called YOUFUN.
Ah really? What is YOUFUN's concept?
Eunbi: Since childhood I've thought of starting a brand with the identity of "IF YOUR CRAZY FUN IN TOUR LIFE". That motto is what people who wear my clothes would live by. I guess the brand would be suited for fashionable teenagers and young adults.
Eunbi, so how did the #castmemarc thing come about?
Eunbi: I heard about last year's competition and decided to apply this year when it came around again. There were 70,000 entries and I was shortlisted! In October about 30 to 40 people from around the world were flown into NYC for a test shoot. We were photographed wearing our own clothing and then finalists were selected and styled with Marc by Marc Jacobs clothing and then photographed again. After flying back to Korea, I found out that I was selected for the campaign in January!
How did it feel to be chosen for the campaign?
Eunbi: Being chosen for #castmemarc makes me feel as though my unique style is becoming accepted. It's a good feeling. When I saw my photo in Teen Vogue for the first time I was so surprised! I had this feeling like is this real? Is this actually happening? I don't think I have completely processed everything yet to be honest!
After #castmemarc have you noticed any significant changes in your life? Have you been recognized in the streets because of the campaign feature?
Eunbi: Since I have been blogging for some time, people in Korea sometimes recognize me in the streets because of my memorable hair. The #castmemarc campaign has not gotten much media attention in Korea so people haven't recognized me because of that yet. If I do get contacted by publications who are curious about me, they're usually from overseas.
NYFW street fashion portraits by Kim Byungjun
What was the objective for this trip to New York?
Eunbi: This is my second time visiting New York. The first time was when I was flown in for the #castmemarc finals and photoshoot. I received Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs New York Fashion Week invitations as a reward. I financed this second trip myself in order to experience NYFW for the first time!
I was fortunate to also obtain invitations to the Jeremy Scott, KTZ, Vfiles, and Nicholas Kane shows. On top of that, I went to all of the Korean designer shows like Concept Korea where Beyond Closet, Resurrection and Leyii presented. And I went to the KYE and Lie Sang Bong shows. It's been a very busy week!
What do you think about Korean brands becoming increasingly popular internationally?
Eunbi: It's a very good thing! Koreans tend to be interested in foreign brands since our selections are limited but I think it's good that good Korean designs are being recognized.
Who's your current style icon?
Eunbi: These days I'm interested in Sita Abellan.
Yes, she's great!
So what's your dream? You're really young, but what do you want to do more of in the future?
Eunbi: I've grown a lot through all of these amazing opportunities. I'd like to continue blogging and designing my own brand. In the future I'd love to study fashion overseas, maybe in NYC at Parsons or London at Central St. Martins!
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