Many times, the people that work behind the scenes making the scene rarely get recognized for their work. SociaLifeChicago will spotlight the amazing people that make you, your organization and your event look great.
JIN Soon Choi is best known for the amazing, trendsetting creations she has created for editiorial spreads and runway shows. Her work ‘Behind The Scene’ is very integral to fashion and we are very excited and honored to have been able to chat and get some inspiration from her. She’s worked on spreads for Vogue , Allure, ELLE, Details, fashion shows for Tibi, Tess Giberson, Marchesa, J. Mendel, Theyskens’ Theory, to name a few.
SociaLifeChicago (SLC): How did you get to partner with Space NK? Did they approach you or vice versa?
Jin Soon Choi (JSC): As a unique exclusive boutique establishment, I always thought that Space.NK would be the perfect retailer to launch my nail lacquer line with and when I discussed this with some of my editor and PR friends, they agreed wholeheartedly. An editor friend of mine gave me a PR contact at Space.NK who connected me with the buyer who decided immediately after our first meeting to take my brand. I really enjoy working with Space.NK; our visions align perfectly and it’s a very gratifying collaboration!
SLC: Who is one of your favorite fashion designer to work with?
JSC: I love working with Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. He’s very talented and extremely nice to everyone he works with.
SLC: What has been the strangest request for nail art that you’ve encountered?
JSC: During a photo shoot I was applying fur and leather on a model’s nails and the photographer decided that he wanted me to use real hair instead of fur. I wasn’t into the look at that moment but when I saw the editorial spread, it looked good – it was strange but the result was great.
SLC: How does it feel to have progressed from biking between clients’ homes to now being featured in Vogue & owning your own collection and the recognition that comes with it?
JSC: Fantastic! It is such a fulfilling accomplishment. I enjoy being totally involved in the process – from the smallest detail to the big picture.
SLC: Can you take us behind the process of starting a collection specifically for nails & perhaps how it might differ from a clothing collection?
JSC: As an editorial nail expert on photo shoots and an owner of three salons, I see firsthand what clients and people in the fashion industry want. I developed my line with an eye toward satisfying their needs. My polish was created with an emphasis on being eco-friendly, free of harsh chemicals, long lasting, and available in a unique array of shades and textures.
Developing a nail polish line differs from a clothing collection in that with nail polish, I am able to focus purely on the formula, shade, texture, and finish of the polish, whereas a clothing line addresses all of these concerns but in three dimensions, which is a much bigger undertaking.
SLC: What do you think of the recent rise in DIY nail art projects especially those shared via social media, like Pinterest, Instagram & Tumblr?
JSC: I think it’s terrific. It serves as an artistic outlet, especially with nail designs, and it is a nice way to have fun on your own or with friends.
SLC: What are the differences between prepping nails for a fashion show vs. a magazine shoot vs. a regular client?
Fashion shows are more about what’s showing so we mostly shape the nails and apply colors or nail designs under intense time constraints. Magazine shoots are more detail oriented. They require a perfect shape, well groomed cuticles, and immaculate nail polish application since the photos go into print. I strive to take care of my clients as though we were on a magazine shoot, except that clients recieve a relaxing spa treatment and the manicure has the added requirement of being long lasting.
SLC: What advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your footsteps and with aspirations of building their own brand?
A big plus is to be an expert in your field, have fresh creative ideas, have a business mind, and be willing to work hard.
SLC: When you do nails, do you think about an entire look or focus more on the beauty of the individual’s nails?
JSC: Both need to be taken into consideration. The overall look informs my decision regarding color, texture, and nail style. The inherent qualities of the person’s nails and skin tone dictate the nail shape and color selection.
SLC: Compared to other beauty gurus, you keep a “journal”on your site, documenting various clients and how-to videos; have you found these to help spread the JINsoon brand?
JSC: Yes, I think the most effective venue has been the how-to videos.
SLC: Give us your top 3 advice for maintaining one’s nails
1. Moisturize your cuticles, nails, and hands.
2. Don’t cut your cuticles! Just push them back thoroughly.
3. Drink a lot of water to keep hydrated.
SLC: Which is your favorite shade from your collection?
JSC: It’s hard to say which one is my favorite since they’re all my precious children and I created them. So for now, I will tell you which is the most popular color: JINsoon/Tibi Obsidian with Matte Maker or Top Gloss as a finish.
SLC: Being at the top and on demand do you feel you constantly have to be a trendsetter? How do you either stay on top of trends or determine which trends to launch so to speak?
JSC: I have never thought of myself as a trendsetter. Thankfully I just come up with good ideas and if they happen to become trends, I just consider myself pretty lucky.
*images: Jin Soon Choi