The Fun and Flirty Frocks of Yumi Kim

Of all the amazing designers we saw at Lucky Shops LA, one room in particular just spoke to us — with floor to ceiling racks of aqua blue, it was love at first sight with Yumi Kim.

These fun and flirty frocks are perfect for Spring and have been seen on the likes of celebrities such as Lauren Conrad, Tinsley Mortimer, Paris Hilton and Khloe Kardashian.

HPNOTIQ got a chance to catch up with Kim Phan, the designer behind New York City’s bright and spunky line, about how bright colors and patterns are sure to turn heads, why blue looks great on everybody and how every Manhattan girl has her own Sex in the City crew.

What is the inspiration behind this collection?

The inspiration behind the collectio is really that I always work with a lot of bold colors and vibrant prints. And I think the reason why I really like working with those things is that I really believe that when people wear something such as florals and really vibrant colors, your mood is affected by it so with my pieces, even if it’s a gloomy day you can put on a nice bold shirt and walk out the door and be like, you know what, I feel pretty. Even though it’s ugly outside, you can still feel pretty and automatically set the tone for the day.

How would you describe the Yumi Kim girl? Who is she?

See, the thing that’s really cool about the Yumi Kim girl is that because we’re based in New York, she already has that Downtown cool, vintage-inspired look. She’ll rock a pair of vintage boots with one of my frocks, and then you can see an Uptown girl rocking it in a completely different way — but it works. That’s the thing about our brand, everything is very versatile where you can dress it up or dress it down, it’s more about your own personal style.

When it comes to fashion, do you think accessories are a big deal?

Honestly, I don’t think accessories are that big of a deal and the reason why is because my prints and styles and colors speak for themselves. A lot of times I see a girl in flip flops come into my store, or a girl in pumps, and ultimately it’s the girl who carries the dress and not what she pairs with it. I’ve always been a firm believer that you wear the dress, don’t let the dress wear you and with Yumi Kim, the dress will get you noticed.

Here at HPNOTIQ, we’re all about Living Louder — do you think that’s a phrase the Yumi Kim girl lives by?

Absolutely. For me, it’s very important to create something that will get people to look at the woman wearing my creations. The reality of the word is that we can only notice what we see, and when my girl walks in the room people will turn their heads because of the colors and vibrant prints. And furthermore, it makes you happy. Everyone who has walked into this room tonight automatically goes [gasps] and when I work with the line I always have to have that “wow” moment. We have a rule that whenever we bring out a new fabric, if we’re not wowed by it, it’s not going to go in the collection.

There’s a lot of blue in the collection, what is it about the color that you have such an affinity to it?

One of my main colors that I do work into every collection is blue and the reason why is because it’s the one color that looks great on everybody… it’s also the one color you can wear year round. Pink, green, all those colors, they go in and out of season but blue is one thing that you can never say goes out of style. There are different tones of it but, again, it looks great on everybody.

I spend a lot of time in my store on the Lower East Side because I really love seeing my work on real women, and one of the things I always notice is that they always flock to blue. Nobody ever asks, “is this too much for me?” or “does this wash me out?” because blue looks good on dark skin, light skin, olive skin, everything.

We were talking about the Yumi Kim girl Living Louder and I’d like to know how you, as a designer, Live Louder on a day-to-day basis.

I feel like when I leave the house, and this is something that I always tell my friends, is that I wanna know that I can walk out the door and put a smile on someone’s face. It’s very simple, as long as you smile at people, that’s your way of saying hello to the world. And I remember everyday that we’re blessed, especially living in New York and seeing what’s going on in the world, and that’s really a reason to smile. To have the opportunities, for me to be able to Live Louder, is really by following my dreams.

What’s your idea of the perfect Girls Night Out?

Just being able to go to a cool lounge, not necessarily a happening bar that’s scene-y and has a lot going on, but to be able to be close to people and spend time with my friends and have great drinks. [Raises her Roq Candy Martini and laughs] It’s true, every girl in Manhattan has her own Sex in the City crew — you sit and you have your martinis and you talk about life and you talk about love and work, we talk about everything.

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