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Interview with Girls’ Generation’s Award-winning Stylist Seo Sookyung
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Girls’ Generation’s stylist, Seo Sookyung, is renowned for her talent, even winning the Style Award at the 2012 Gaon Awards. She took part in an interview with MK Fashion, talking about her life, style, and working with Girls’ Generation.

“It’s been exactly 10 years this year.”

She became a student under stylist Han Hyeyeon when she was barely in her 20s. She said she felt like crying, walking along the streets where her first photoshoot, which she shot carrying around a pack of clothes larger than herself, was plastered in Myeongdong. And after 10 years, she has become an “executive director”, with six assistants. Also, the celebrity she fastens buttons for with her own hands is Girls’ Generation.

“People usually work as an assistant for three to four years, or there are some who don’t go independent becoming an executive director, and become a team leader. Compared to others, I went independent really early. I was lucky.” The opportunity she had to go from a trainee to a stylist, making a full-fledged business card and making her name known, was while she worked on the advertising shoot for the makeup brand, “Etude”. At that time, the official model was being changed from Song Hyegyo to Go Ara, and that was when she got her chance. She showed off all the skills she learned through various brand advertisements to her heart’s content. Even after the model was changed to Park Shinye, she was in charge of the brand’s face for three years.

“Good things happened all at once. Jung Hyeyoung, who I was in charge of at the time, was becoming known as a charity angel, causing advertisements to burst in. And Shinhye’s management requested that I become an exclusive stylist, and I worked with them since ‘You’re Beautiful’.” Without measuring it with anything else, the seven years of time she spent only looking towards her job replied to her with the most valuable “Girls’ Generation”. After meeting the girls in 2011 through “The Boys”, she showed off her characteristic bright and happy-feeling styling skills, showing off a vintage, painting-like teaser, resulting in her receiving attention every day.

In particular, she also presented Girls’ Generation the “fashionista” look this year. She had the girls, who were the symbols of group outfits, wear vivid jerseys, denim, kitsch, custom jewelry, and other clothes that showed off their own, individual personalities freely. Each member was able to gain an image of a fashion icon. Sooyoung, Jessica, and Seohyun became models for a handbag brand and makeup brands, and their photos, which are released even when they aren’t promoting, gain interest every time.

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Along with causing a great ripple effect with her existence alone, being in charge of Girls’ Generation’s clothes, the director’s sense of responsibility in the “fashion business” is also unique.

“Like how people think, ‘neutral colors are classy’, you have to throw away fixed ideas on fashion. There aren’t styles but trends, so the fashion market can’t grow in various directions. And so that’s why I intentionally have Girls’ Generation dress in bright, beautiful clothes. I think that they need to wear it because they are Girls’ Generation.”

To her high school teacher’s instructions of “Find something you do the best, and are fastest at”, she took in clothes that she reformed. The 10 years she lived, only facing forward. She worries because she still wants to do this work for a long time.

“About 12 times a day, I think about how I can do this work longer. (laugh) Because there wasn’t a single time when I was sick of this work.” Also, as she began to gain juniors while working, she started thinking a lot about the treatment of stylists. As feelings of responsibility to take care of her family began to emerge, her thoughts regarding fundamental problems got deeper.

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“Unlike the West, our country’s entertainment industry doesn’t ‘find’ stars, but has a structure of ‘creating’ them, so expenses during this ‘creating’ process aren’t generated. If that celebrity becomes successful or ‘rises’, that is when earnings are generated. And so it doesn’t get calculated per piece. And so new stylists can’t earn money. Also, like how the majority of our country’s broadcasts are, the time to prepare outfits are unreasonably short. We always have to prepare several outfits in a week, causing us to stay up countless nights, sometimes resulting in many people quitting from exhaustion.” There are some people who quit in just one day after not being able to handle it physically. There are also times where she thinks of the other person, that they need to be able to do things alone as well, and nags. But they don’t realize her intentions and end up quitting, leaving her in an awkward position.

“Just like how there isn’t an easy job in the world, you need to start this work with thoughts of learning. This occupation is also a specialized job. The process of learning and studying on the scene is needed. But there are people who jump into this without any knowledge of these circumstances and are quick to quit after comparing it to friends who work in regular workspaces, so it breaks my heart. It’s not a system of increasing salaries as time goes by, and earning promotions, so I think people are uneasy about it.”

Source: MK Fashion via Daum
Translated by: ch0sshi@soshified
Edited by: MoonSoshi9@soshified

(Special thanks to the Soshified Writers and Subbers for their work on this article!)