Celebrity Stylist Chris Kim on Pride and How to Break Fashion Norms
It’s a pretty fabulous time to be Chris Kim. The former fashion editor turned A-list celebrity stylist is fresh off the heels of a slew of memorable work events, like the Met Gala and celebrating client Travis Barker’s nuptials to Kourtney Kardashian in Portofino, Italy. Since leaving New York for Los Angeles to pursue a freelance career, Kim has picked up a handful of tricks along the way—like how to be your own tailor, how to fit your entire look into a selfie, how to wear vintage jeans for every occasion, and more.
His best advice, though, comes from within: “All rules are meant to be broken—even the styling ones.” Kim, a minimalist at heart, insists that fashion is built on confidence. In other words: If it makes you feel good, it probably looks good, too. It’s a biblical type of style wisdom that may not seem like a new piece of information to anyone who knows their way around the endless cycle of trends. But for Kim, and his clients, it’s a way of being that is ever-present and obvious throughout his body of work—from his Instagram to the influential people he dresses.
Below, we chat to the stylist on Pride month, his jewelry-for-all philosophy, and the Mejuri piece he can’t live without.
How would you describe your personal style? Who or what has influenced you over the years?
I’ve always been drawn to minimalist style, but with a hint of the unexpected. Whether that’s adding a pop of color with a sweater or a sneaker. A good pair of vintage Levi’s and white shirt or tee is a personal wardrobe staple of mine. I’m always on the hunt for the best vintage jeans. You can never have enough—whether that’s nineties Calvin Klein, a person walking down the street or even my friends, my style is influenced in many different ways.
Tell us a time where you used fashion and/or accessories to break the rules or do things your own way.
I remember the time when skinny jeans were still trending and everyone was wearing them, including myself. One day, I was just over how I felt in them, especially during the summers and I decided to find myself some wider pants. It honestly felt weird at first, since everyone was still wearing tight jeans, but it felt amazing to not have sweaty thighs anymore. Look at it now, everyone is back on it.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride means loving myself authentically and embracing all of my imperfections. Don’t get me wrong, there are many days I still question and doubt myself, but I know that’s part of the journey of life. Also, growing up as a first generation Korean-American, there were times growing up where I felt I wasn’t good enough, good-looking enough, interesting enough since I never saw myself represented in the media so just embracing my culture and being proud of my upcoming is something that I’m really proud of. I’m always trying to uplift and support other Asian-Americans.
When it comes to gender and jewelry—what has always been your approach? And what do you think it will take to even further de-gender jewelry?
Jewelry to me has always never had gender. I mean yes, society has created these binary ideas of jewelry, but it’s up to the person to break those norms. If you like how it looks, just wear it unapologetically; that is how trends and styles are created.
What are you listening to right now?
My current playlist consists of Dua Lipa, Maggie Rogers, Harry Styles and Haim.
Bucket list item for summer?
A good summer suit for the upcoming weddings.
Favorite Mejuri piece and why?
The Single Diamonds Line Mini Hoops. I can’t live without them.
What is your superpower?
My laugh. Some people find it awful and some people find it hilarious, but it seems to always come up in conversations.
SHOP CHRIS’ PICKS
Birthstone Sphere Charm
14k Yellow Gold, Ruby
Charlotte Bold Ring
Baguette Emerald Stud Earrings
14k Yellow Gold, Emerald
Boyfriend Bold Chain Necklace
14k Yellow Gold
Slim Rectangular Signet Ring
Curb Chain Bracelet
Beaded Huggie Hoops
14k Yellow Gold
Dot Chain Bracelet
14k Yellow Gold