Julie, a.k.a. @jkimdee on TikTok, often begins her videos the same way: “Come take a shit with me,” she says with the same upbeat lilt as any other day-in-the-life “come shop with me” vlogger. Rather than take her 45,000 followers along as she drops thousands of dollars at Rolex or Van Cleef & Arpels (which she can and might), she goes behind closed doors to reveal what happens when you’re out shopping and you’ve really gotta go. Over the past year, she’s has made it her mission to review a number of luxury-store bathrooms across Houston, where she lives, and provide reviews about the state of these highly exclusive and often uncharted spaces. In the Cartier bathroom, for example, she noted that there was thick Charmin toilet paper and branded disposable towels. The Hermès bathroom, however, was a “bit disappointing” (no nice smells or napkins).
As an avid shopper, Julie, who understandably just wants to go by her first name, has a good eye. But she’s also got a good sense of humor, which makes her videos stand out in a sea of often vapid-seeming luxury content. “When I used to watch some of the luxury content on YouTube, I was like, This shit is boring,” she told the Cut one afternoon this winter. “I don’t want to see you buy stuff. Like, who wants to watch that?” But after a fateful afternoon at a Louis Vuitton toilette in Paris, she realized she might be able to offer a different and more, well, relatable point of view. Below, we spoke about her bathroom series and her top No. 2’s.
How did this series come about?
In August, my husband and I went to Paris. We never had a honeymoon, so we left the kids and did it three years later. Anyway, we’re shopping in Paris, and the time difference is a lot, so I was so exhausted and running on coffee, but I wanted to stay awake. At every store we go to, they’re like, “Do you want coffee? Champagne?” I’m a cheap drunk, so I was like, “You’ll have to carry me out of here if I have Champagne, but I would love coffee.” French coffee is strong as shit, though — it’s like little shots — and I’m drinking them all day. Not a fantastic idea. So we’re shopping at Louis Vuitton, and our sales associate is so sweet, but he’s like, talking, talking, talking. And I’m like, I can’t focus. My stomach — like, I can’t do this. But I also don’t want to go back to the hotel because I know if I do I’ll just crash and then our shopping trip will be over. So I’m walking through the entire store trying to find a bathroom, and it’s so beautiful over there. It’s huge. I thought people on TikTok would like to see how the store looks, and who doesn’t want to see a cool bathroom, right? And then I saw the black toilet, and I was like, This is very strange, but I like this. I kept the video in my drafts for a while because it’s so strange. I figured it was weekend content — like, nobody’s going to see this. And then it went viral.
What were some of the reactions you got?
People loved it. It was so positive. They were maybe the most positive comments I’ve ever gotten. Usually with luxury content, it’s like, “Oh, she’s so pretentious; this is all she cares about.” But instead people were like, “This is the content I want to see. This is the content I never knew I needed.”
Have any bathrooms surprised you?
I thought Hermès would look better, but I’m not shocked it doesn’t. I was like, This literally resembles a gas-station bathroom. Well, maybe a notch up, but not far from it.
Why weren’t you surprised by that?
Hermès does things so unconventionally, and I think they have a reputation of not really trying to impress their clients because their clients are cult people like me.
Has anyone ever gotten upset with you for filming?
It depends on the store. At Fendi, they’re so pleasant. Same thing with Van Cleef. Most of the time, I’m not like, “Hey, can I go film your bathroom?” The first one was super-genuine. With another one, my son had to go, and I was like, We have no choice. Thankfully, it’s not like I have to explain the situation. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, and hopefully it won’t be awkward.
So you’ve been to bathrooms at Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Cartier, Hermès, and Van Cleef & Arpels. Rolex had an orchid in its bathroom. Van Cleef had Diptyque scent. Cartier had Charmin, which I thought was funny…
And their fuckin’ napkins! I acted like a crazy lady. I took the Cartier branded napkins because they were so nice.
What’s the nicest bathroom you’ve been in?
I would say the Louis Vuitton in Paris looks just overall different. Maybe it’s because of the color scheme and the aesthetics that they had. With the color of the toilet and the lighting in Louis Vuitton, it felt like, Wow, I’m taking a shit in somewhere luxurious. This is the life.
Are you going to keep the series going next year?
Honestly, probably. I’d like to film a few more like Fendi and Dior. But I recently booked a trip to Italy and Paris for June 2023, so I think that’s probably where I’m going to film a lot more content because I think the bathrooms over there just look so nice.
I’m really happy that it’s something people have enjoyed and that it makes you guys laugh. Luxury content can be very serious, but that’s just not my personality. I’m glad that people found it to be relatable. That’s something I’m trying to incorporate more into my content because it is hard with this kind of stuff. Most people are like, Fuck you, that’s my rent. How are you relatable to me? But even though it looks all luxurious and whatnot, I mean, people do the same shit.
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