Today we have as protagonist a Spanish designer with Korean roots and based in Stockholm. Passionate about drawing and painting and if anything characterizes her is her creative and innovative thinking. She is Georgina Kim, currently working as a concept developer at H&M in Sweden.
She has also developed her professional career at Oysho as an accessories designer and has been art director and creative director of the sportswear line at Inditex for 11 years.
We are so grateful to be able to count on her to showcase our new Eloise blouses on her and her daughter.
Read on to find out more about her!
We love the synergy between the almost three nationalities you have. Especially your Korean roots. Tell us a little more about it.
I was born and raised in a small town near Barcelona, my father is from South Korea and my mother is Catalan. The truth is that when I was little I didn't think much about the cultural mix I have and how it is to grow up and live between two very different cultures. Although my siblings and I grew up in Spain, in my family was always very present the Korean culture, its celebrations, food, ways of living.. So I remember that the first time I traveled to Seoul I didn't feel anything strange or different, on the contrary, I felt as if a part of me was at home.
Growing up I have realized how fortunate I am to have lived between these two cultures, to be able to appreciate the little things about them and to understand that diversity makes us rich and makes us more understanding and more open-minded.
4 years ago I moved to Stockholm, I remember the first time I visited the city I was 18 years old and I fell in love with it, I felt like when I went to Seoul the first time, at home. For me Sweden is like the European version of Seoul, because of the people and obviously I fell in love with their concept of aesthetics. It gives me the feeling that here is like having the two countries together, but without the sun of Barcelona.
In your blog you have a very interesting project. When you worked at Oysho, you developed the creative campaign for OYSHO FW12 - ADIDAS GYMWEAR. A campaign that also gave rise to Oysho's Urban Yoga Movement, right? Tell us a little bit about how this whole process went.
The Oysho x Adidas collaboration was the perfect start to develop a solid base for what is now one of Oysho's main business lines. It was one of the first collections where along with our sportswear and accessories we had two models of Adidas footwear integrated into the collection. From there it was a success, I think the launch of the sports collection happened at the right time and was key for the line.
We wanted women to feel "cool" as well as feminine and strong, that when they put on our clothes they felt they were capable of anything and not just clothes to sweat or do sports, I think our love in each design was stronger than other brands and in a few years we were a reference in the sector.
Many people got involved and that was noticeable in the first Yoga event we did, thousands of people attended and it was beautiful to see how a vision can generate so much movement and community.
But you are also a product designer, aren't you? How did you make it compatible?
Yes, at that time apart from the creative direction of the line I also designed product together with other designers of the team and pattern designer. The truth is that working with such a good team was a pleasure and for me to manage the line along with the product was quite easy, I was always looking for the perfect lines for the woman's body, simple but powerful. Everything you draw or add to a garment, especially in sport, has an impact on the body, so we tried to make those lines perfect so that the person wearing them would feel good and confident.
We have taken a look at your work and you have a very clean, minimalist and sophisticated style as a designer. Where does your inspiration come from?
I think my style perfectly reflects my two cultural backgrounds, I have always liked the minimalist, but I appreciate the risky combinations that in the end are clean and sophisticated. My father's style is elegant and clean, while my mother's style is ambitious and risky. I like to combine these two worlds which is what makes a design, styling, photography cool.
When I graduated in fashion design, one of my Korean uncles who worked for many years in the big brands in Paris told me: "don't try to add things in the designs just because, they have an essence and that essence is beautiful, you have to understand it".
At that time I didn't understand what he was referring to but with time I always kept that advice in mind and it remained engraved in my mind. I think that what I am looking for now, apart from understanding the essence of things, is the perfect harmonic combination, the one that you don't know why but you like it and it makes you feel a certain inner pleasure.
All the trips I have made around the world have nurtured me as a designer and creative. The trips to Hong Kong, Seoul, LA, NY, Moscow and many more made me understand more about people, cultures, fashion, movements and I think it is very important to be informed of what is going on around me, to be able to understand certain things in the fashion world, why they happen and why some things have more impact than others.
What is your role at H&M right now? Are you happy with the change? New challenges?
My position right now is called Concept Developer, it is a position within the women's line facing the future, where above all I look for new trends, movements, I do a lot of research in sustainability and nurture the teams with these ideas that are then reflected in the collections.
Working in Stockholm is a very enriching experience, the balance between personal life and work is the biggest culture shock I have ever had, here the professional career of a person's professional growth is linked to the family. I am a single working mother and for me it is a privilege to be able to take care of my daughter and to be able to advance in my professional career and I think that also the fact that my daughter can see this is something that has a lot of value.
Your daughter appears a lot in your instagram photos, is she another kind of inspiration?
My daughter is not only my inspiration, she is also a kind of guide. She reminds me of how amazing things can be, especially the smallest things, the smallest details, seeing the wonder and sparkle in her eyes awakens a world of forgotten sensations. She reminds me what curiosity is and how important it is for personal and professional development, she reminds me of the purity and simplicity of things and of being present, which working in fashion is sometimes complicated.
With her, more than ever, she makes me aware of the world we live in and how our decisions as individuals have consequences for their future and for the future of new generations.