When I write I try to say something. I try to create characters who aren’t just lovable, but admirable. Of course, right? Almost all writers try to do that. But my heroines and characters are literally better than me. These are women I aspire to be. But they’re never going to be perfect. That’s not necessary. They revel in their imperfections because they have a vision, a grander desire. So, when love comes they question it: Is this gamble worth disrupting what i’ve built? It’s a fair question, one more women should ask themselves. Sinna has done that questioning. Now that her gamble paid off, she can flex a bit, and in this blog, which picks up where last week’s left off, she’s letting the people know who she is.
The picture is of my eternal bae South Korean actor Park Seo Joon. I can;’t wait until he makes the jump to Hollywood,.
“You know: no black and brown, no dangling accessories in male ears unless there’s a very special occasion, tailoring before anything, the basics, but with a little Chicago by way of New York flair. Honestly, I can’t take all the credit. I’ve had phenomenal support from the fashion community.
“Established brands like Dior and Balmain have embraced us, as have the more prominent streetwear and athleisure brands.” She named a few. “I’ve also been able to showcase innovative new designers from all over the world. I really enjoy working with fresh talent.” She named a few more. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
“What else is coming? Will we see you in front of the camera?”
“Well, the members have movies and dramas and commercials and photo shoots for some major magazines and such in the works, so there will be plenty of eye candy. I’ve been asked to style quite a few of them, but me?” Sinna shook her head, but Tommy jumped in, squeezing her friend’s thigh warningly under the table.
“Actually you will see her a little bit more. We’ve got a few things in the fire that you guys will love. As soon as we convince our Sinna to stop working so hard for other people, I think you’ll have another star to fangirl over.”
Sinna shook her head emphatically, but everyone laughed and nodded as though they couldn’t wait.
“Now, as an American, I know you’re used to more diversity. Has it been hard for you, being African-American in South Korea?”
“It was jarring, for sure, and sometimes it can be wearing. After spending time here I realized how important diversity is to me, how much I value it, how comfortable it is. But has it been hard for me? Not really.
“My clients and this one,” – she jerked her thumb at an innocent-looking Tommy – “Who brokered the deal, set it up that way. I have my own studio, my own house, and a ton of support. Because of the care I’ve received, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive here in Seoul.
“I also have a great team. My people from America and a clutch group of really talented, really professional, really open-minded South Koreans.” She rattled off the name of every seamstress, makeup artist, etc. “I’m protected, and I’m so busy, a lot of the silliness that I might ordinarily have to deal with is just not a thing.”
Sinna waved a dismissive hand. “Stereotypes about Black people, that relentless staring, stupid questions, rude people trying to touch me like I’m some kind of zoo animal.”
“I saw that happen to a Black tourist on the street one day,” the host admitted, shaking her head. “I was so embarrassed for her.”
“Yeah. That’s wild to me. I mean, no. South Korea is not diverse at all, but it’s not like you don’t have the Internet. Wifi in Seoul is fabulous.” Everyone laughed.
“It’s not like huge groups of people in this part of the world have not adopted many elements of black culture and made it their own. I mean, hello rap music, hairstyles, etc. in K-pop. To me, any ignorance is a choice. Any clinging to irrelevant, inaccurate media portrayals is a choice. And it’s a choice I will not pander to.”
“You’ve used a lot of black designers for 501K,” said their male host.
She smiled sweetly, and replied, “Yes, I have.”
He stared, obviously waiting for her to continue. The pause stretched uncomfortably until he rushed in with. “Was that a deliberate choice?”
“Every choice I make is deliberate.” She waited just long enough for him to start fidgeting, then, with Tommy’s nails digging into her thigh said, “I choose the best fashion has to offer for my clients. They deserve that. I also want them to be different, to stand out. There’s a lot of beauty and talent in K-pop, and in fashion as well. It pays to keep your eye on anything fresh and new.”