My Style: Hoon Kim

Portrait of Hoon Kim of Shopcade

Photo: Nikola Borissov for Fashion We Like // Make up: Stani Kireva

Do you believe in role models?

I respect people who rise above the BS. There’s a lot of finger-pointing in this world. Hating is easy. So, I’m inspired by people who stay classy while dealing with public scrutiny, like Barack for obvious reasons, and Tablo — a Korean hip hop artist who was wrongfully accused of having fraudulent academic records of attending Stanford.

Please describe your style in three words.

Modern. Sartorial. Rock 'n' Roll.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Not thinking about when, where and with whom you would get undressed.

What are your favourite fabrics?

I like fine materials that age with you over time. Raw salvage denim and leather — they are tight and even painfully rigid in the beginning, but over time they will adjust to your body and feel and look better than anything else.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

I personally wouldn’t wear a baseball cap with a two-button suit.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

I remember going to Rome during the World Cup and dining at a hole-in-the-wall pizza restaurant in Trastevere, and diners were so finely dressed while eating €3 slices. That’s not couture — it’s culture.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Bold by nature. Conservative by necessity.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

I wear what fits my body shape — if I could tailor all my clothes I would.

Celebrities and style...

Is a way of putting their personality as a brand out there. It’s often less about looking good, but more about how they want to be portrayed, which isn’t a problem to me.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

In the winter, I wear my vintage black brogue boots all the time. It’s so often to the point that I don’t even think about it.

A man should always look like...

They’re not afraid of Armageddon.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I can’t say there’s one person who taught me about style — nobody grabbed me off the streets and said "Son, you must dress like this." I just get inspired by anybody I see both online and on the streets. Recently I’ve been using Shopcade and Instagram to see what other people are into as my daily source of inspiration.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

My life is pretty busy these days so I save time by thinking about that while taking a shower. Basically I bump a tune as soon as I wake up (right now it’s Kendrick Lamar), and when I’m done washing up, I’ll have thought of something. It’s pretty spontaneous.

What is your biggest regret?

Thinking that shopping online is not trustworthy and that I would hate what I ordered. These days I do nearly my all shopping online, because there are way more choices and access to stuff which is unavailable in your local shops.

The three essential things a man should know about style are...

Having your own iconic look. Karl Lagerfield, Steve Jobs, Napoleon: it’s easy to picture them because what they wore was definitive. Don’t be a cheapo. Invest in the type of outfits that will age well with you, instead of something cheap you can’t wear next year. Pay attention to your shoes. I heard this from women, so it’s legit.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I usually shop for a complete outfit rather than individual pieces. This is because I noticed that when I shopped for just one item, I defaulted to wondering whether it would match my current wardrobe too much. I prefer to be more open-minded.

We will never see you wearing...

Something that I would be worried to spill some drinks on.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

My grandma was a celebrity fashion designer in Korea during the 60-70s, operating out of a small boutique in Inchon. Unfortunately, she passed away when I was a child, but judging by the photos she’s a stunner and had an eye for class. I’m sad to see that the shop closed down, as I’m sure she would have been a household name by now. Her name is Kim Ok-Choon, she was true class.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

Same with a woman — the hair.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

I grew up watching Bond being played on TV back to back to the point where I was reciting all the punch lines even as a kid. Watching 007 dressed classy while stunt-diving from one explosion to another may have had something to do with it.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

For jewellery: Ambush Design — a colourful and unique Japanese brand by Verbal from M-Flo. They had a series of jewellery with Beethoven on it in the past that’s been discontinued, they were amazing. For shades: Super — I just find them to be a modern classic.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...

It all starts with them snug pants.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

A Burberry cashmere snood which is on my neck at the sign of a first cold breeze.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

I feel more comfortable wearing something that looks nice.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Givenchy, Balmain, and Jeremy Scott.

Who would you like to see next in My Style€?

Someone from a different era — a grandpa with swag, a five year old with class…

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Haters gonna hate.

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