Se-ah Lim (provided by sincerity camp) as a pattern designer at Dior headquarters

‘You Quiz’ She dances to shave… The full story of the transformation from a Psy dancer to a Dior designer

Se-ah Lim (provided by sincerity camp) as a pattern designer at Dior headquarters

Shim Eun-jin, a former member of the girl group ‘Baby Vox’, is now active as an actress and space designer. She got a call from him. She said that there is a proud Korean who is doing a great job in Paris, France. When I asked how she got to know each other, she said that she was a dancer with whom she was working as a singer.

I asked him what kind of work he is doing in Paris now. Christian Dior is a pattern designer. It is also the ‘first Korean’. His background is amazing, and he is a designer of Dior, one of the world’s best luxury goods!

I met designer Lim Se-ah, who came to Korea on vacation. He said that he had also been interviewed for the popular variety show ‘You Quiz’. After watching related videos, I found out that she was active as a famous singer and dancer in the early 2000s, such as DJ DOC, Psy, and Shinhwa when she was a former dancer.

In particular, she is a master of ‘hair dancing’, and at the time, she also owned a fan club as a ‘puffy older sister’. She had a problem with injuries. She was at the height of her career, and when her ankle injury came, her dancer’s life was in jeopardy. He thought it was time to start a new life, so he flew to France. It was a result of considering the influence of his grandmother, who was a dressing room, regardless of origin. However, from the moment he got off at the Paris airport to the decision to go to a costume school without any acquaintances, it was a series of loneliness. There were also many fashion companies that did not want to give foreigners a work visa. In the end, I had no choice but to break through with my skills. And now after 17 years of living in Paris. He stood proudly in front of the Korean public again. The following is a one-to-one answer.

Q. How would you introduce yourself?

She is working as a pattern designer and modelist at Dior Haute Couture.

Se-ah Lim, who designed Jennifer Aniston's bespoke clothes (Courtesy of Dior's official Instagram)

Se-ah Lim, who designed Jennifer Aniston’s bespoke clothes (Courtesy of Dior’s official Instagram)

Q. You made a lot of clothes for great celebrities.

He has created haute couture clothes for various stars, including Charlize Theron, Dakota Fanning, Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Aniston, and Rachel Ziegler. It was more rewarding than ever when famous actors such as Sigourney Weaver mentioned the name ‘Seah’ directly in an interview and praised it as the best outfit.

When I worked with Baby Vox Shim Eun-jin as singers and dancers (provided by designer Im Se-ah)

When I worked with Baby Vox Shim Eun-jin as singers and dancers (provided by designer Im Se-ah)

Q. It must not have been easy to move from a dancer to fashion.

It takes time and hard work to get everything set up from the very beginning. As a dancer, I always struggled with a murderous schedule and amount of practice. After working hard, I got an injury when I said, ‘I’m doing well now’. I was so upset. On my way to France, I decided to get on a plane to relieve my broken heart. When I heard the word ‘Paris’, I was a little perplexed when I saw the atmosphere of the airport that was too simple rather than the glamor I expected. It was vague enough that I thought, ‘Really, why am I here?’

The pattern design itself was difficult, but the language was also very difficult. In particular, there are a lot of technical terms, so it was a series of meticulously writing down everything in class and going home and looking it up in the dictionary and checking it again. It was even more difficult to get into the company because there were not many people in Paris that I knew or could give information to.

When I was making Sigourney Weaver costumes (Courtesy of Dior's official Instagram)

When I was making Sigourney Weaver costumes (Courtesy of Dior’s official Instagram)

Q. How did you get started as a designer?

It was similar to the current job seeker. I submitted more than 50 resumes. At that time, applications were accepted only by mail. However, as an Asian, it was not easy. The thought that I was neglected and alone, I shed more than one tear as I looked at the Seine River (laughs). Then he got a call from a small fashion company. I was really happy. After that, he was able to gradually establish himself as he moved to Pakoraban, Celine, Saint Laurent, and Dior.

Q. The failures and difficulties you faced while working alone in Paris must have been different.

Since I am in a foreign country, all the systems are different, I had to do everything by myself, and I suffered a lot until I got a working visa. With a student visa, you can only work for 6 months a year. I had to find a full-time job and change my visa, but at that time, the company didn’t do it well because it was cumbersome and cost more money. In particular, there are still not many companies that even offer visas to junior designers and hire them as full-time employees. Getting a job is like picking stars in the sky, but it was really difficult to find a company that provides visas. So I missed out on many good opportunities and felt resentful, thinking that I would have settled in sooner if I was French.

Se-ah Im during her days as a dancer (provided by Se-ah Im, designer)

Se-ah Im during her days as a dancer (provided by Se-ah Im, designer)

Q. You barely joined the company, but when you were a junior, working in France must have been difficult.

I made a lot of mistakes while working as a pattern designer. Each fashion house or brand has different personalities, but I didn’t know that when I was young. A mistake many newbies make is to stick with what they learned in school at first. I also worked for a brand company in the early days, but I did too much ‘art’. In fact, the brand was a place where they had to quickly create and export several patterns. There were times when I ended up being fired because I was too slow because I was just meticulous and made a piece of art.

Q. Did you miss Korea?

miss every day Even now (laughs). But every time I failed or had a hard time in Paris, I had a thought. I quit dancing and came all the way here, but I thought that if I drew a knife, I would have to cut the radish at least once. And it really survived. Even when I was a dancer, I didn’t even sleep until I had to do something that didn’t work. The tendency to persevere until the end of doing something once worked here as well.

Q. What if it was different now compared to the freshman?

Now that I have experience and there is no problem with the language, I am able to actively propose rather than just follow the style of the house. Sometimes the company accepts the offer more positively.

Q. There is a lot of tendency in Korea these days to emphasize ‘work-life balance’. I yearn for France, a worker’s paradise.

Not necessarily. If it is a professional job, especially a job under one’s own name, a sense of duty and a sense of calling are no different from France. Sometimes I work overtime like I eat rice. Because there is a fixed date for the client to go to the big awards ceremony. The experience I had to keep practicing like a badass when I was a dancer and doing it until I became good is the same here. And what I felt was, ‘If you work hard, you will get it someday’.

Because I did that, I think those experiences helped me not to fall down when I was having a hard time. I think that someday, good results will come out if you have a little bit of luck to meet good people in the process of hard work and hard work that is really different from others. If you pursue work-life balance, you may miss the time of accumulation.

Q. What are your future plans?

If there is an opportunity later, I want to create a school specializing in haute couture or three-dimensional patterns in Korea. I want to create a stylish boutique hotel in Paris and a showroom there to create a space where fashion people can interact and plan exhibitions to create opportunities for young designers. If there is an opportunity, I want to create my own brand.

Q. Is there any advice you would like to give to juniors?

I hope you don’t aim for a house that is too big from the beginning. If you seize even a small opportunity and work hard to gain experience, you may one day have the opportunity to enter the desired place. So did I. An acquaintance who works for an agency said, ‘You have to go in anywhere to have other opportunities’, and you were right. The small company experience helped me a lot later on.

Q. Failure in one word.

what you have to overcome.

[박수호 기자]

[ⓒ 매일경제 &, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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