Known for his elegant, hand-drawn SusuGirls, internationally renowned Korean fashion illustrator and designer JaeSuk Kim has worked for major global luxury brands like Bvlgari, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. He has over 136K followers on his Instagram account and is beloved for his brilliantly colourful, but still supremely elegant work.
As part of a collaboration with UOB and Casio G-Shock, JaeSuk has designed two exclusive limited edition Casio G-Shock contactless watches for UOB cardmembers. Recently in Singapore to visit for the launch (he comes here quite a bit), we got the artist to talk to us about beauty, technology, and a bunch of other fashionable topics …
Do you think there are 'feminine' and 'masculine' colours anymore? Can boys wear pink?
Yes, of course boys can wear pink! Besides, gender-neutral looks are on-trend right now. I don’t think we can classify colours as masculine or feminine anymore. I heard that a lot of women opted for the blue camouflage UOB X JaeSuk Kim design too!
How do you feel about creating a tech product when you're known for your hand-created, illustrations? How have you incorporated technology into your work?
It's always exciting to go beyond the traditional form and have your designs incorporated into a tech product such as a Casio watch. I used to work with digital designs before I started exploring with watercolours in recent years. I draw my SusuGirls by hand and enhance them with digital software to create crisp and clean lines, then I print them and work on them with watercolours. Nowadays, you need to use technology whether it is to upload a photo on Instagram or send your final drawings for production. Technology has always been a part of my artistic process!
You're well-known for your beautiful illustrations of the elegant SusuGirls. What is your definition of 'beautiful' when it comes to fashion?
I love feminine, elegant and chic looks – they are ‘beautiful’ to me. In the fashion world, there is no one definition of what is considered ‘beautiful’. Fashion trends come and go, and the concept of beauty is versatile and fluid. I love fashion as it gives me room to explore different things with my SusuGirls.
One of the famous SusuGirls. Image: JaeSuk Kim instagram
What's the one thing that defines 'beauty' in a woman?
Being confident and comfortable in one’s own skin! My SusuGirls don’t have many facial features as they look more chic that way. I try to portray their beauty and confidence through different poses and styles.
JaeSuk created two designs for the UOB X JaeSuk Kim Casio G-Shock contactless watches – one with a black metal case and blue camouflage print band, or a white case with a black metal face and an abstract white, red and pink band with illustrations featuring his signature SusuGirls. Both designs feature a large, bold case, a mineral glass face with a diameter measuring 35mm, and a resin band. UOB cardmembers who spend a minimum of S$2,500 within six charge slips on local and/or overseas retail purchases can redeem the watch at Mojito Redemption, Plaza Singapura between until January 15, 2017, while stocks last.
Want some more fashionable inspiration? Read our stories 4 important rules of party dressing all stylish women should follow and Pastel pink is the new black – and here’s how to wear it