Su Kim: an unexpected path to fashion
Su Kim , Co-founder and former designer of Father’s Daughter in Los Angeles, shares her story in fashion, trusting her intuition, and how opportunity found her.
What did you want to be when you were younger? Please tell us about how those dreams transformed into your present/ future dreams and achievements.
I didn’t have a lot of dreams for myself. I actually didn’t really think too far into the future as a child. It was only in college in my 4th year when I was pressed to choose my occupation, I had a conversation with my father who suggested going to fashion school in Paris. The right path or paths always has a way of presenting itself. For me, it came as an unexpected conversation that became the turning point of my life.
What barriers or hurdles did you overcome in trying to follow your dreams?
Going into a creative field, there’s a lot of personalities. I ended up winning the boss lottery and was able to train under one of the best designers in the denim world. He was a quiet Japanese man who had difficulty expressing himself so I became his right hand and mouthpiece and was able to glean off his knowledge. I ended up doing the same for my father when doing Father’s Daughter.
Being a woman and working with male superiors, it presented a few barriers. One, others assumption that I am more of an assistant/secretary which meant I had to forfeit a lot of the work credit. Even as my responsibilities grew, the gender roles was hard to break, especially in the traditional Korean owned companies that I worked for.
What advice would you give someone following in your footsteps?
To look for companies that align with their personality. How fast paced do you want it to be? Personally, I think going to a fast paced place when younger is great bootcamp experience, and more corporate as you get older for the stability and benefits. I would also plan in some wild years, like starting a project or side hustle just to experiment with your skills. Just know that whatever happens, don’t let your feelings/emotions get in the way. Listen to your intuition, and don’t be swayed by what looks appealing to everyone else. Think about what you want and how to get there. Also be flexible, and authentic with everyone you encounter, you really never know who is going to be key to your next step.
If you have any questions for Su, please type them in the comments below. Su will answer questions about her story and her work. So feel free to ask away!