I don't know when or how I stumbled upon Damon Kim's Flickr page. But as soon as I did, I was hooked. The beautiful photos he takes evoke nostalgia and at the same time, contain a certain otherworldly quality. Perhaps it's how he composes them? Maybe it's the muted colours? Or maybe it's the occasional use of odd props? I really can't say.
Then there's his wardrobe. It's extremely simple and never really draws attention to itself. But it is this extreme simplicity that drew me in. Just like his photos, his clothing choices are quite commonplace yet he manages to transform them into something all his own. Read on and learn more about this style stalwart from Seoul.
What do you do?
I'm a journalist working for a Korean film magazine, Cine21. I also write columns for various Korean magazines like GQ Korea, W Korea and Harpers Bazaar Korea. I write, write, write for a living.
At the Prada Transformer in Seoul
Describe your personal style.
Simple, minimal and natural. But occasionally daring.
Eating a toy horse
About to lick a shoe
Who or what inspires your personal style?
Jean Paul Belmondo has always been my style guru after watching A Bout De Souffle when I was 22. And I love everything Tim Hamilton (Not the porn star! The designer!) does.
What is the piece of clothing in your wardrobe that best represents you?
Simple white t-shirts and black cardigans. I have plenty of them in my closet.
Martin Margiela sneakers
If your wardrobe could only have one brand, what would it be?
Definitely Tim Hamilton. But it would cost me hell of a lot of money. In that case, I would say MUJI. They produce really chic items at unbelievably cheap prices.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Two Thom Browne shirts. I really don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a shirt anymore. He really needs to collaborate with Uniqlo. Also, I can't control my wallet in front of beautiful eyeglasses.
What are the five things you don't leave home without?
Mobile phone, eyeglasses, Leica Minilux camera, Eau Thermale Avenue spray and my iPod.
Five daily essentials
Where would you like to live?
London. I lived in the UK six years ago and I loved every second of it. The weather can be bit gloomy sometimes, but you get brilliant (but not so pretentious) music and nightlife over there.
What's the best thing about living in Seoul?
Living in Seoul is like living in a bullet train. You hardly get bored because everything changes and moves so fast. The city is somewhere between Tokyo and Shanghai geographically, also culturally. You always feel like you're 16 when you live in Seoul.
And the worst?
Too fast to chill out. And the weather. Summers are viciously hot and humid while winters are brutally cold and dry. Maybe that's why Korean people are very short tempered.
Braving the cold in style
Braving the cold in style 2
How would you describe the style of your flat?
My flat is just another modern studio in the centre of the city. I've been trying to give it some personality with lots of colours and ornaments. As a result, it became something in between a young Andy Warhol's loft and a cat lady's mansion.
What inspired you to decorate it that way?
I would like to say I was inspired by mid-century modernism.
Damon and his quirky flat
Decor by the window
What are you thankful for at the end of the day?
I managed to finish another eight page article before the deadline and that my cat still loves me.
Han Solo, Damon's loving cat
Thank you, Damon!
You can see more of his beautiful photos here.
Click on the images above for a larger view.