This is the third installment in our “In My Backyard” series where we are interviewing the designers we work with! Up today is Susan Kim from Corinne, a company we love because of their incredibly soft, versatile pieces, made in LA.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I grew up in Southern California all my life and studied Business Administration in college and ended up owning a factory before launching my own line, Corinne.
What inspired you to start Corinne?
I always wanted my own clothing line since college but I wanted to learn everything about the industry before starting my own business. I initially didn’t know what direction I would take Corinne but after my second season, I started to really understand who my customer was which made designing and marketing for Corinne easier whilst always staying true to my aesthetic.
You used to run a factory in LA. Tell us a little bit about your experience with that.
Before I started Corinne, I owned a factory in Los Angeles for about 4 years. This is where I learned how to sew with industrial machines and the experience gave me an understanding of how to make a patterns that were easy to produce since I did mass production in my factory (thousands of pieces a week were coming out of my factory).
How did you decide to sew everything yourself for Corinne?
Starting any business has a lot of risk and more is invested than the return so it was not out of choice but just so that I could launch the brand. The good news is that I plan to hire someone in the near future to help with production.
What does ethical fashion mean to you, and how has that changed, if at all, since you launched Corinne?
It’s being aware of where everything is made even down to the thread. Corinne is currently produced in my studio but I don’t think being made overseas is necessarily unethical as long as you know the working conditions of the employees and how everything is made. I think people are becoming so much more conscious of where their purchases are made which is something independent designers like myself are thankful for.
How do the Corinne collection pieces make getting dressed easy in the morning?
Corinne silhouettes are very minimal and timeless which I think makes it easy for anyone to accessorize, dress up, or down.
How are you hoping to change the fashion industry?
I have never been one to be the type to want to “change the world” but rather, I personally invest in the people around me which is something very important to me. Thus, I don’t really want to “change the fashion industry” but to just use Corinne as a gateway for me to exhibit kindness and to love others which we need a little bit more of these days.
Tell us something about you we never would have guessed.
All my fingers are double jointed. Ha!
Thanks, Susan! Comment on our Instagram photo to ask Susan questions. Check out Corinne in the shop!