Kim has been both a fashion AND personal inspiration to me. Born just weeks after the Tet Offensive in 1968, Kim barely escaped death in Vietnam. In the aftermath of the war, Saigon was transformed into a hell on earth. Fleeing the dictates of the cruel new government, Kim’s family left everything behind and risked their lives to escape in a frail river boat, crossing the wide deep waters of the China Sea. They eventually found their way to Malaysia, then a refugee camp outside Kuala Lumpur, and finally to San Diego. There they were met with helping hands and open hearts, but also were sometimes labeled as Gooks … and worse. Kim recounts the journey in her book, The Girl from Vietnam: One Girl’s Journey to Freedom. Once I sat down to read it, I simply couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend it!
“In the face of the compassion-blunting political skirmishes which surround immigration today, here is a story straight from the heart of a wide-eyed ten-year-old girl, written by the wise hand of the woman that little girl became.”
Today, Kim is a powerful voice for the local artisans and designers that make South East Asian fashion so compelling, as well as a beacon for the best of international style. Her reputation as one of the most influential fashion voices in creative media productions within South East Asia has been embraced with a series of partnerships that include creative consultancy, art directing, styling, writing, modelling and ambassadorship roles. Tailored to a global audience, her work and achievements have been recognized with a series of magazine covers, features and awards. She counts Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Net-A-Porter, Farfetch and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts as clients; her work and style being featured in the likes of Tatler, L’Officiel, The Coveteur, Who What Wear and The Sartorialist.