BTS are the stars of their show, but for that show to run smoothly, dozens of staff members must work hard behind the scenes. One of these staff members is Kim Young Jin, the Seoul-based stylist behind some of BTS’s most iconic looks in recent years. Here are 7 things you might not know about him.
1. He developed a love for fashion at a young age.
As a child, Kim Young Jin was “obsessed” with fashion and would use his pocket money to purchase fashion magazines. At the time, however, he didn’t know what kind of role he would like to play in the fashion world. That clarity didn’t come to him until college.
2. Originally, he planned to become a photographer.
In college, Kim majored in photography, but he realized that although he loved photographer, he was also keenly interested in aesthetics. When someone suggested styling as a career option, Kim went for it and never looked back.
3. His first client as a stylist was actor Jeon Jin Oh.
Most recently, Jeon Jin Oh appeared in Crime Puzzle, Secret Royal Inspector & Joy, and Vincenzo.
I worked as an assistant to Jeon Oh Jin’s stylist for about five years and came to understand the overall system of the Korean fashion scene. Looking back, that time was so precious; time that brought me to this moment, I guess.
— Kim Young Jin
4. He has styled several top K-Pop artists.
In addition to BTS, Kim has styled NCT 127, Super M, and Kang Daniel for advertisements, album art, and more.
5. He styled BTS for their “My Universe” collaboration with Coldplay.
How does Kim craft iconic looks like this? He blends inspiration with his own style aesthetic.
Whenever I style an idol group, I think of a designer creating a collection. I mix and match clothes from different Japanese brands such as Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto, and I express my own aesthetic with styling to fit each concept.
I also style various editorials for fashion magazines. I consider myself a fashion stylist, and when I first took on the role of an idol stylist, I was proud of demonstrating what kind of visuals could be created if a fashion stylist takes on an idol.
— Kim Young Jin
6. His favorite designer?
“I’ve always loved Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci,” he said. “which has had a huge impact on me as a stylist. I have such respect for a person who has accomplished what they’ve wanted to do for a long time — I think Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons are both great in that regard too.”
7. What is the most important aspect of styling?
Keeping it classic. “I try to combine the latest fashion trends with classic items,” Kim said. “For instance, I like pairing Levi’s denim and casual sneakers with a Saint Laurent blazer. As details are crucial for men’s clothes, the overall outfit is often impacted by details such as perfect length and sleeves.”
Read more about K-Pop’s top stylists here.