Thanks to our photographer Hye Mi Joe I met the blogger Jinsik Moon at the Stormy Monday Party organized by Filmhouse Germany. The smart Korean was attracting my attention with his cool look and his charming personality. After a great evening I knew: Jinsik is not just a interesting guy but also a real insider when it comes to fashion and lifestyle.
In our interview he tells us how he landed in Germany, what he thinks about the „Berlin Style“ and which names we should keep in mind, if we talk about Korean fashion.
In Korea you work successfully as a blogger, art director and space branding–specialist. The first two are easily explained. But tell a little more about the space branding. What have been your last projects and who hires you?
worked as a fashion marketer and space branding planner and also with the fashion designer Lie Sang Bong who is also called „The Korean Karl Lagerfeld“ as a fashion marketer.
Space branding is basically everything that happens in place. We provide and create space for users to experience cultures. For example, it can be similar to product branding and fashion brand’s branding. We have expressed ideas into space rather than products or fashion.
I worked at a company called URBANTAINER, their projects include PLATOON KUNSTHALLE, CLUB OCTAGON and in 2013 Pyung Chang Special Olympic’s stage design. URBANTAINER pursues creative projects, which are hard to find in the Korean corporate culture. The last project I‘ve participated in with URBANTAINER was 2013 Pyung Chang. Special Olympic’s stage design. The project was fun, exciting but also difficult, because it was my first experience with an international event.
You are visiting Germany. How long have you been here and what are you doing here?
It’s been almost eight months since I first came to Berlin. Basically, I didn’t do anything here. I just lived here.
I decided to go to Berlin when I was tired of my life in Korea and I wanted to find my talents. In the beginning I felt uncomfortable taking things easy and slow, so I tried to do something that was meaningful. But that actually became another stress factor and I lost the point why I came to Berlin.
So I lived like a Berliner, watched performances, exhibitions and met friends. I also took time to think about my future.
What About Style
You have a special style, funny hair, cool glasses etc.. Is that a typical style for Korea?
I would say my fashion style is normal in Korea. Compared to my friends my hair and accessories are very normal. I am sure it’s different than the corporate office style.
I think people who work in design/cultural fields are more stylish and trendy. I think Koreans are very sensitive towards trends. It can be normal style in Korea, but you might think of them as hipsters.
How do you experience the German “Style”?
When I first came to Berlin, I didn’t realize any typical Berlin style. I had a big fantasy about German’s architecture, design products and fashion. My expectations shattered.
I started to ask myself: „She/he has a perfect body and face, but why they don’t care about their styles?“ One of my friends answered my question. It was really simple, “Because they don’t care. They don’t have time to think about what they wear. They would rather spend their time on doing something they like.”
So, I find German’s fashion keyword is practical style.
What are the biggest differences between the way Koreans and Germans dress? Are Germans simpler and not so adventurous if it comes to fashion?
I think the greatest difference is that Koreans dress to show off. Not everyone is like that, but their trends change very quickly through celebrities and media. It’s not about expressing one’s style.
Like you have mentioned, German style is very simple and practical. It might not be adventurous because the Germans don’t think about what others think of them. If the Germans do concern about what others think of them and create their own style, Germany can be another Paris, London, Milan and New York.
The Asian style is always a little to colorful and crazy for European eyes. Do you think your own style fits this cliché? Or is this “Asian Style” just a small view of what Asian and in your case Korean style really defines?
Hahaha. I am sure it can look that way in European eyes. Asians have a huge interest in fashion and beauty including Korea, Japan and China. I sometimes got misunderstandings from the guys. I was asked out more from boys than girls. I am thankful that I look good in their eyes, but since I am straight I couldn’t offer anything. Lol.
After all, it’s hard to say colorful and crazy is Asian style. I think many Asians were going after trends through media at the beginning. I think that many people felt skeptical about it and nowadays I see that people are finding characteristics from one’s unique style. I want to say Asian‘s, especially Korean’s fashion style has a wide spectrum.
What labels are very popular right now in Korea? And what kind of style/ trend-themes are worn right now?
The most popular labels are Acne, Maison Martin Margiela and IRO. These are the brands I like, so it might be catching my eyes. Many people encompass great interest in fashion, we talk about woodwood, Silent Daimir Doma and street brands. You can find Korea’s trend-themes from the biggest hipster, G-Dragon. Street styles and mix and match casuals were trendy when I was in Korea.
You as a insider: What name (designer, blogger, model, label etc.) should we remember? Do you have any secret tips or tendencies about upcoming “fashion-stars” that we will definitely hear more in the future?
I have biggest attentions towards designer Ko Tae Yong’s ‘Beyond Closet’ and the designer Choi Jong Kyu’s ‘This is never that’. You might want to remember the models Kim Jin Kyung and Kim Won Joong. They are the current fashion-stars. You might also want to keep your eyes on Kim Sang Woo, he works in London.
Home, Sweet Home
You leave Germany in a few days. What will you miss the most? And what are you taking with you?
I am probably gonna miss the people in Berlin. The time I’ve spent with them is so valuable. If I could take something from Germany I would take over German’s self-confidence.
And when I´m back in Korea I’m going to work as brand manager of „Lapiz sensible„, an eye-wear brand in Korea. We are trying to advance to the European market next year. I hope we can meet again that time in Europe.
8 Quick Questions
Name 3 characteristics that describe you the best.
Geek, metro-sexual, kind
Where is your personal „place to be“?
Voo Store in Kotti
Name 3 things you would never leave the house without.
Glass, Wallet, iPhone
Name 3 things you cannot live without.
iPhone, Drinks, Friends
Name 3 things you could easily live without.
Cigarettes, Aspirin, Coke
What would make you happier: a designer-piece, you saved a lot of money for, or a great catch in sale?
My favorite designer-piece would make me happier. It would be awesome if I could get it cheaper, but just looking at it makes me happy too.
And what about originals: Are expensive original pieces the only option for you or are good copies also ok?
Even though it’s a good quality, I don’t like copies. When we buy design products, we are also buying the designer’s philosophy.
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