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    Behind the Collab

    We first discovered OHT NYC after watching one of their viral fashion-meets-street-interview videos at Head in the Clouds NY. Immediately hooked into their style and products (which has been worn by many celebs in K-Pop and beyond), we knew we had to get in touch with Jinsol Woo, the designer and owner of OHT. In a series of online meetings, we brainstormed how we can actually create something together for our next festival… all within a month. Jinsol’s tenacious spirit and positive attitude largely contributed to the speed at which we finalized the collaboration, and is reflective of the 88rising belief to dream big and “Stay Rising”.

    We’ve been dying to share the collaboration with the world, so let’s get into it!

    Hi Jinsol! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into how you got into creating a jewelry label?

    I moved to New York from Korea to pursue fashion design at Fashion Institute of Technology. After graduating, I gained experience in the industry working as a designer at Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang. During my time in the corporate world though, I continuously had this desire to create something truly unique that would redefine societal norms. I became obsessed with chasing my dream and this idea to challenge what’s considered “appropriate” in societal standards and eventually left my job. 

    Since then, I've been crafting pieces inspired by what some may call unconventional sources, but mostly just things that I find interesting, such as adult stores, video game characters, and anime. My goal has always been to challenge societal norms while offering exceptional design and quality.

    What inspired you to get into jewelry and why accessories?

    Although I initially started the brand as a clothing and jewelry house, it naturally evolved to focus more on jewelry due to practical considerations. Managing and keeping track of jewelry inventory proved to be more accommodating to my hectic lifestyle – living in New York City, and our pieces started to grow rapidly in popularity.

    Speaking of popularity, a lot of K-Pop stars have worn OHT. How did their support affect your brand?

    Having grown up in Korea, and now living and working in New York City, I found myself juggling two distinct cultural heritages. I was able to blend my individuality and boldness – which I found in New York's cultures and subcultures, with the connections, insights, and traditional values I had coming from Korea. 

    My ability to communicate with Korean pop stars and stylists in my native language also eventually grew into a strong mutually beneficial partnership. The K-Pop industry was in search of distinct statement-making pieces that were not readily available in Korea, and we occupied a small niche as a Korean-owned brand based in New York. It's safe to say that K-Pop's support played a significant role in our business in numerous ways. We rode the wave of K-Pop culture together, and the continuous collaboration contributes significantly to our growth. 🦋☁️

    We love your content on social media – like most cool discoveries these days, social media is where we discovered your brand. What was your inspiration for taking this path to promote OHT NYC? Top 3 favorite videos and why?

    When COVID first started, I found that life got pretty lonely and uncertain. I ventured into the social media space as a way to connect with others since in person contact was limited. I've had a lot of fun creating content since then but these three hold a special place in my heart:

    • My NYC Designer Storytime: This video narrates my experiences as a designer in New York and highlights some defining moments in my journey.
    • Collaboration Videos with Influencer Friends: I cherish these collaborations with my fellow influencer friends, as they showcase the dynamic interactions and creativity that emerge from our partnerships.
    • K-Pop Star Exposure Videos: These videos capture my brand’s encounters with K-Pop stars, offering glimpses into a unique aspect of my life that I deeply appreciate.

    Each of these videos sheds light on different facets of my life, making them particularly meaningful to me.

    You run a business, make music and content all at once. Where did you get your drive and hustle?

    I started my journey in the United States completely alone, navigating the challenges of working tirelessly to sustain myself while starting my brand. There were a lot of ups and downs but the excitement of the journey only fueled my determination. I’ve always had a strong goal that I never lose sight of, which is to become creative director at a renowned fashion house such as Louis Vuitton or Balenciaga. I also want to establish myself as a personal figure, someone with a distinct personal brand and as an artist through and through, whether that is as a designer or musician. 🦋☁️

    Can you tell us about your most surreal moment at OHT so far and why?

    One of the most surreal moments for me was when Doja Cat expressed her support for OHT, referring to us as her friend and favorite jewelry brand. She has been a significant supporter for our brand, and as a Korean-born designer, witnessing global stars appreciate my creations felt truly unreal.

    You've been working with and styling 88rising artists and associated acts at our festivals for quite some time now. We love how your pieces are so suited for stage presence and everyday wear. How does your experience working with artists influence the design process and the final outcome?

    I aimed to capture the energy and essence of the artists in my creations, ensuring that they resonate with the right vibes on stage. I strongly believe that exceptional designs can maintain their impact, whether they are bold or subtle. Good design should seamlessly integrate into everyday fashion while enhancing an individual's wardrobe.

    The emotional experience of witnessing my creations on stage, where thousands of people form deep connections and attachments, was truly exceptional. It included everything from the process of preparing and delivering the piece to the artists and their teams to collaborating on their styling. It felt like I was co-creating these special moments with the artists, their fans, and all those working behind the scenes. 🦋☁️

    3 things you are currently inspired by?

    1. My emotions, both the positive and negative ones.
    2. Cultures that are often marginalized or considered "minor" in society.
    3. The people I hold dear to my heart

    How has being Asian shaped your outlook on life and your approach to your work? What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self today?

    My Asian heritage has undeniably influenced my life and business in every aspect. The way I think, the way I form relationships, and even how I run my business – it’s all been impacted by the way I grew up. I’m also lucky to witness a time where different cultures are appreciated and celebrated around the world, especially with the explosive popularity of K-pop, because growing up that wasn’t the case. However, I don't want my work and brand direction to be confined to a specific niche. I aim to create beauty that can be appreciated universally. 

    If I could speak to my 18-year-old self, I would emphasize the importance of self-love, wholeheartedly. 🦋☁️

    Credits - Lookbook shoot:  Model: Monako Adachi 🦋Photographer: Woojin Kim 🦋Stylists: Sophia Yoo, Monako Adachi

    Special thanks to the OHT Team: Jinsol Woo 🦋 Monako Adachi 🦋 Charlize Chiu 🦋Tyler Ha 🦋Hena Yang 🦋Nina Lin 🦋Woojin Kim 🦋Sophia Yoo