Olivia Kim, VP of Creative, Opening Ceremony


“I love tattoos—I love the idea that it’s permanent, and I love the idea that it really marks where you are in your life at that time. I think people are scared of that permanence but I feel like, it’s ok, you can always move on, you can cover it, you can take it off if you don’t like it. I remember everything about each one. I got the first one when I was 14. My mom went out to dinner and my sister and I had a party, and as soon as all the people came, I left with a friend who was older and had a car—he was a senior and I was a freshman—and we went to a tattoo parlor in middle-of-nowhere New Jersey and I got a butterfly on my stomach. So then after that, I got a Jenny Holzer phrase along the bottom of my stomach, and then I just started going from there. I have, like, the gross tramp stamp…and then I started getting into this idea that I wanted things that were really pretty—I didn’t care if they matched or not, and I met Scott Campbell who’s one of my really good friends. We would just hang out and play. Another friend of mine, C-Jay, focuses on miniature tattoos—he puts on these gemologist goggles and looks up and his eyes are HUGE, and he uses really tiny needles. I have so many tattoos. They’re everywhere but my legs—my best friend Carol won’t let me do my legs. I also want some on my feet but I’m not allowed…so I think I’m going to sneak them. I always wear socks, even in the summertime. But I love pedicures—I go all the time with Jen [Brill]; we go once a week together at Spazio. My hands are really chipped right now—but it’s all OPI, and she just laid it on really thick.

I buy all my makeup at the duty-free shops in airports. They have the whole range of everything so it’s like one-stop shopping. The best one is in Hong Kong. First of all, that airport is insane because they have a Prada strore, they have a Gucci store, they have a Miu Miu store, Versace, Bottega…and then their cosmetic department is bigger than, like, the whole floor of Bergdorf. And they have things you can’t find in New York—like that Chanel Jade nail polish, it’s been sold out forever, but they had it there. Best discovery ever. I think the girls are super on trend over there, so when Chanel launches the new corals, they forget about the goth-y greens or the dark reds. My new thing is liquid eyeliner. I’ve always been a smudge girl—eyeliner: smudge it. Lip gloss: smudge. Lip pencil: get it on and smudge. But I recently discovered the Chanel liquid eyeliner and it’s so amazing—it’s like a felt-tip pen so it’s really manageable. And I’m a mascara crazoid—I’ve tried everything, and I always come back to the Chanel ones...Inimitable and Exceptionnel de Chanel. And I’ve always loved fragrance; I’ve always worn perfume. I used to steal my mom’s Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs, in a white jar with flowers around it. She would keep it in her glove compartment, so when she’d pop into a store and I stayed in the car I’d spray it. Now I love masculine scents. I’ve been wearing the same perfume for maybe six years—Comme des Garcons Kyoto. It’s a super woodsy, incense-y smell. I always go back to it; I’m a creature of habit. I also buy things three at time, like a lipstick. One to keep in my purse, one to keep at home, and another because I’ll lose it—I lose them all the time.

I wash my face in the morning—I don’t wash it at night. I’m so lazy with that. Plus I love the way you look when you wake up in the morning and you have a little eyeliner under your eyes, kind of sexy, bed-head seductress. I use Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel which is amazing, then I spritz it with a toner, and finish with Kiehl’s Daily Facial Moisturizer. And I use a sunblock every day—SPF 45 in the winter, 60 in the summer. I really like Dermalogica’s, it doesn’t have that SPF smell to it. And I always wear eye cream, year round. I use Chanel Sublimage—it’s to die for. Then once I week I run into the Dermalogica store in SoHo and go to the pod—I’m obsessed with the pod. They do a 20-minute-facial. I see Colleen, and I’m like, “Colleen, forget the mask, forget the Vitamin D, just extract my pores.” And that’s all she does for 20 minutes. And I’m lying there in the middle of the room with my feet up, with a zillion windows facing Grand Street.

My hair is a saga. Obviously I’m not a blonde, but I’ve been wanting to go blond since I was 18. I’ve never dyed it all—never Manic Panicked it, never Kool-Aided, always just kept the color natural. And then last year I said, ‘I’m just going to do it.’ I asked Jimmy Paul and he said, 'You have to go to Maya at Bumble & Bumble, she’s an amazing Japanese colorist and she used to do her hair white.' So I set up a consultation with her and when I got there she said, 'Please don’t do it. You’re going to ruin your hair.' And I was like, 'I don’t care.' You know how it is when you’re so set on something? I’m such a Virgo. So I leave the consultation and run right up to the appointment desk and say, 'I need to book a triple-process.' It took nine hours. It goes from black to orange, to orange, to orange, to white. Then I let it grow out for a really long time because I love having my roots dark. I go for touch-ups at Momotaro in midtown, it’s right next to Burger Heaven so I’ll grab a burger while the color changes. Before I changed the color I was really no-fuss about haircare—shampoo, conditioner maybe, whatever. Now I do a couple new things—there’s this amazing shampoo called Shimmer Lights for people with silver hair—its purple shampoo. You can buy it at Ricky’s or Eve’s Beauty Supply, where I always go because it’s close to the store. Or I’ll use Kiehl’s. I really like their leave-in conditioner. And I’ll just use a Japanese hair cream, to lay down some of my frizzoids and baby hairs. But I never brush it—I don’t even own a brush.”

—as told to ITG

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Jen

    Olivia is my ultimate style and beauty icon!

    • http://www.heartsandlogic.com Lisa Joss

      My heart sipped a beat. I love the tatoos and I don't even tatoo. Love. And the nail polish. She is walking art.

  • http://alexisonzombieisland.blogspot.com alexis

    i just loved everything i read, her style, mannerisms, and personality are just wonderful!

    • Luckyd

      Completely agree!
      Also, damn you again, Into The Gloss! Now I have to get that Chanel liquid eyeliner. I've been a Chanel crayon/kohl girl for over 10 years, but she just made it sound so good!

      • http://www.facebook.com/peachjello Nicole Friend

        You really should! I have it and it's amazing! You can poke it into your lash line for a black lash line or do a super perfect Marilyn Monroe cat eye. Worth the $32. Lasts forever!

  • Elena

    If I was more fearless, I would look like her. Tatoos, bleach blond hair, strong lip color, Delfina ring , her choice of perfumes - love it all! AND she works for OC...How much cooler can you get?! Amazing post, thanks!

  • Katie

    She is insanely cool. Love that little skeleton.

  • Kat

    Love her style! I don't usually like tattoos, but hers actually look really pretty.

  • jenn

    dang! she's so beautiful love her. so special!

  • Rochy

    LOVE xx

  • debbie

    great post!

  • http://theantiquepearl.blogspot.com Sarah

    I envy the style freedom she has! She inspires me to break the mold!

    <3 Sarah

  • http://www.hairromance.com Hair Romance

    wow, no wonder I love Opening Ceremony so much. Their Shibuya store is so amazing. I can also attest to greatness of the Chanel liquid eyeliner, it is a genius product.

  • http://thelo-down.com Lauren

    Love this! The notes about tattoos are so true. Thank you for this!

    xo Lo

  • http://www.nadiabailey.com Nadia – The Animal Orchestra

    I love the way her personality comes through so strongly in the interview - it's so engaging.

  • Via

    Hello! I'd just like to say that the Top Shelf is one of my favorite features in your website ( or, most websites for that matter ) . It's great that you get women from various fields of work too, women who are very much admirable. I hope they keep coming. Thank You for the posts .:)

  • http://theformergirlatbar.blogspot.com/ Alexis

    Oh my goodness - I think I have to add Olivia to my girl crush list. She is awesome and makes me appreciate the tattoos I have. I am a fellow Virgo so I know how she feels. When I have an idea or obsession in my head - it takes a force of nature to get me to change my mind!!

  • http://twitter.com/LiliMonette Lili MC

    I love her tattoos so much and it makes me want to get more ( I am actually getting one next weekend in Berlin woo-hoo!). I think she explains well why she loves them and the fact that they are permanent is definitely a mark on one's self, a way of transforming the body forever as it doesn't come off with makeup remover... I think she is badass and has an innate sense of style. Thank you Emily Weiss for showcasing more alternative chicks to Into The Gloss!


OPI Classics Collection Nail Lacquer
Chanel Ligne Graphique de Chanel
CHANEL Inimitable Intense Mascara
Anais Anais by Cacharel for Women
dermalogica special cleansing gel
Chanel Sublimage Cream
Clairol Professional
Shimmer Lights Original Conditioning Shampoo