A Day With Model Irene Kim in the 24 Hour City of Seoul


During Seoul Fashion Week, we tapped Korean-American It-model Irene Kim to share her favorite things about the city she calls home. (She spent her formative years in Seattle before moving to Seoul while still in middle school.) Once situated, she quickly became one of the biggest personalities on the city’s fashion scene, scoring on-going beauty contracts with major name brands like Estée Lauder in 2015. Add to that an Instagram following just shy of one million, and her role as a co-host on hit Korean television series K-Style, and it’s easy to see why she gets followed by adoring fans and paparazzi everywhere she goes.

Here, Kim shares her favorite spots in Seoul to rest, recharge, refuel, and beat jet-lag, the South Korean way.

What’s the best thing about living in Seoul?
“24-hour everything: shopping, food, delivery, marts, and massages.”

Describe a perfect day out in the city?
“A morning walk at the Bongeunsa Buddhist temple Bongeunsa in Samseong-dong, followed by brunch and shopping in Cheongdam-dong. After that, a visit to the Leeum Museum of Art and a leisurely amble around that neighborhood to find some cool new shops.”

Which Seoul shops and restaurants can’t you live without?
“Boon The Shop for cool Korean fashion, Rare Market and Corso Como for international brands, and Doota Mall for cheaper, trendy pieces. For food, my go-to spots are Sushi Koji and Dadam in Cheongdam-dong.”

Who’s your favorite Korean designer right now and why?
“KYE, because she has her own signature look and has kept with it.”

What do you always pack for a day out in the city?
“A phone charger, gummy bears, hand sanitizer, sunglasses, and ginseng shots to help with my jet-lag.”

What are your beauty rituals?
“The first thing I do every day is drink water and stretch. Beauty-wise, I don’t do much in the morning, but I always make sure I put on SPF before I leave the house. In the evening, I follow a strict five-step program: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize, and extra moisturize!”

How long does it typically take you to get dressed in the morning?
“No more than ten minutes. I like to be a bit more dressed down during Seoul Fashion Week as I have to run between so many shows.”

What do you enjoy most about Seoul Fashion Week?
“I love walking in shows like Fleamadonna and supporting young Korean designers.”

What advice would you give anyone traveling to the city for the first time?
“Take advantage of Seoul’s amazing beauty scene and get a facial!”


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