Saturday, February 9, 2013

Who is better fashionista?

Lee Boo-jin, left, president of Hotel Shilla, and Lee Seo-hyun, vice president of Cheil Industries, attend a ceremony at the Ho-am Art Hall in Seoul last June. The two daughters of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee have attracted attention from the public and the media due to their
outstanding fashion tastes.                                                            / Korea Times file

Samsung heiresses' wardrobes under scrutiny

Among the most famous figures in Korea’s chaebol world are the daughters of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, known for their exceptional fashion taste.

Perhaps due to the rising popularity of nationwide television dramas about affluent socialites and “royal” families, which have proliferated over the last year, the two daughters Lee Boo-jin and Lee Seo-hyun are once again grabbing the attention of the public and the media.

The two both appear draped in luxurious clothing, but they each have their own style that stems from their individual personalities.

For Lee Seo-hyun, the youngest daughter, the key fashion phrase is urban chic. The vice president of textile affiliate Cheil Industries is a graduate of Parsons New School for Design located in New York. As her educational background implies, the 39-year-old businesswoman is considered one of the country’s fashionistas, and is more open to accepting and trying many different styles.

Recently she garnered much praise again for her remarkable sense of style, evident at an event held last Saturday by Samsung. She was spotted wearing a striking red coat, considered one of the colors that most women find difficult to look good in.

According to Cheil Industries, the knee-length coat was made by Italian designer Giambattista Valli and costs several million won. Valli is former creative director of Emmanuel Ungaro’s Fever line. His collection of clothes is currently sold at 10 Corso Como, a fashion boutique run by Cheil Industries.

Local designers also pointed out her matching black leather boots and a black leather bag, which they think “made the overall look complete and chic.”

The vice president has also proved that she is a great lover of her company’s brands, which were worn on many formal occasions. At the Ho-am Prize ceremony in June last year, the loose fit white jacket she had on was made by Epitaph, Cheil Industries’ newly launched brand, and it immediately became a best seller that ran out of stock.

“For the owners of such big fashion companies, it is common to sport their creations in public,” a local designer said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “But her case seems rather different. Lee Seo-hyun has always come under the spotlight every time she wears clothes made by her company.”

According to an industry insider, Lee is “someone who doesn’t necessarily need a stylist because she knows exactly what she wants to wear every day,” adding that “she is never afraid of trying something new and even wearing some daring accessories.”

For Lee Boo-jin, the eldest daughter and the president of Hotel Shilla and Samsung Everland, it’s all about a feminine and elegant look while keeping things minimal.

The 42-year-old, just like her sister, likes to keep everything classic and simple, but the Korean-educated businesswoman, a graduate of Yonsei University, tends to be more conservative when it comes to choosing colors and designs. She is a big fan of classic black and white and occasionally navy outfits including a knee-length navy dress she wore at the ceremony with see-through sleeves.

“I think her overall look says something about her personality. She is gentle in appearance but has a tough spirit,” Kim, a Korean-based designer, said in an interview Tuesday. “Her sister Lee Seo-hyun definitely looks more active and confident than Boo-jin, who is just a classic example of femininity.”

Like her sister, Lee Boo-jin is also a big lover of expensive designer brands although some of them are lesser known and arouse curiosity not only among the public but even stylists and designers.

“She is often spotted wearing well-recognized labels, but sometimes nobody can guess whether she has her clothes custom-made,” Kim said.


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