October 25, 2023
Reaching the 25-year mark as an independent New York City-based designer takes some muscle, and even more so if your specialty is hats.
Kim wrote front-of-the-book material for Allure after an editor went on maternity leave. “Not very good at working for someone else,” she didn’t show up on time and would duck out to sample sales, but she was a good writer and quick with a pun. (So much so that friends in publishing would routinely call her asking for headline suggestions.) “Then my boss at the time Larry Karol and Linda Wells had an intervention with me to say, ‘You’re wearing lingerie to work.
The black peacock feather mohawk headband that is part of the “Icon” assortment is similar to one Kim recreated for Drew Barrymore to wear to host the MTV Movie & TV Awards — before she stepped aside in solidarity with the striking Hollywood writers. The designer first crafted the mohawk in 1998 by spray-painting the feathers in her apartment. And the ashtray fascinator was first made in 2004, when Kim won the CFDA Perry Ellis award.
“I just moved slowly. I’m actually a fast mover, but I didn’t overbuy or overextend myself,” she said. “What I love about millinery is that you can create these really amazing pieces and then create something really commercial. I can see what I can make for Celebrity ‘A’ to The Met. That’s the beauty of what I do because I have an atelier here and overseas factories that can produce 1,000 units of something.