they seem cool

The Beauty Professional Who Trained to Be a K-Pop Star

Left: Stella Kim wears her own clothes; center: Stella Kim wears a Prabal Gurung sweater; right: Stella Kim wears a Prabal Gurung sweater.

Before working for L’Oréal as a marketer for Skinceuticals, Stella Kim was a high-school student training from 10 a.m. to midnight (or later) to audition for an all-girl Korean pop band. During the summer holidays, Kim sang and mastered difficult dance routines to prepare for a tryout for the K-pop group Girls’ Generation. In 2008, Kim decided to go to college at NYU and “just live my life normally.” She started working as a freelance writer and eventually broke into the beauty industry at Esteé Lauder, then L’Oréal.

“When you’re in entertainment, it’s a lot of people doing work on you,” Kim told the Cut. “When we’re living a ‘normal’ life, we do everything for ourselves. Living in New York adds to that independence.” When she looks back on her K-pop training, “it’s more of a bittersweet thing, rather than regretful.” Read on for her answers to our lightning-round questions.

Stella Kim wears a Prabal Gurung sweater. Photo: Lucas Michael. Photo Editor: Biel Parklee.

If you could be a magazine, what magazine would you be? Aspirationally, Cereal.

If you could speak to animals, which animals would you want to talk to? Dogs.

Sneakers or slippers? Sneakers for sure.

What’s something your social-media followers don’t know about you? That I’m definitely one of the most introverted people you’ll ever meet. But people will see my social-media following and be like, “You’re totally different from what I thought you’d be.” Everyone seems extroverted on social media.

What was the last website you looked at? Gmail.

If you could be outfitted by one designer for the rest of your life, whom would it be? Helmut Lang.

What time is your alarm set for in the morning? Anywhere from 6:50 to 7:30 a.m.

What do you eat for breakfast? I always get a soy latte and a banana or some other fruit.

If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be? Rice, kimchi, and Japanese curry.

Fuck/Marry/Kill? Marry Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’ Diary. The other ones, I can’t think of anything.

If you were a color? Definitely black.

If you could be trapped in an elevator with one person, who would it be? Eva Chen. She’s my favorite person in the world, ever.

If you could tell Donald Trump one thing and make sure he would listen, what would it be? Don’t mess with North Korea and China. He seems to think they’re toys or something.

Stella Kim wears her own clothes. Photo: Lucas Michael. Photo Editor: Biel Parklee.

Stella Kim wears a Prabal Gurung chunky crewneck sweater, $995 at Prabal Gurung.

The Beauty Professional Who Trained to Be a K-Pop Star