Move Over Kendall…Irene Kim Shakes Up Estée Lauder

Photo: Courtesy of Irene Kim / @ireneisgood

Influencer for Calvin Klein? 550,000 Instagram followers? Backstage at Chanel’s resort show collection? Most people don’t have one of those credentials, but Korean IT girl Irene Kim certainly can claim all three, alongside her newly announced role as Estée Lauder’s global beauty contributor.

Move over Miss Kendall Jenner, there is a new (and perhaps slightly cooler) IT girl taking over. After studying textile design at New York’s FIT, this 27-year-old Seattle native, is a familiar face on television, cohosting the popular show K-Style in English on Mnet America as well as Korea’s Style Live. Think Alexa Chung, but with a short film for Stella McCartney to her name.

UntitledIrene’s new Estee Lauder role  she’ll have an endless supply of the company’s makeup and skin care at her fingertips, including the Advanced Night Repair serum (which she snuck from her mom in high school and still uses) and Little Black Primer, her go-to off-duty mascara (“not too heavy—it’s perfect”).

While her plans to create content with the company—from instructional how-to videos and predicting the next big Korean beauty trend to potentially consulting on product development—are still in the works, you can expect a heavy dose of social media and in the moment spontaneity right now. “I want to show people that beauty is for everyone, and it’s all about experimenting,” she says. “I’m so excited just to play.” I bet.

Even more impressing is Kim’s stand out in the fashion world regardless of the fact she isn’t frequently employed as a model in the so-called “Big Four” fashion cities, yet still has exposure most models (and IT girls) would dream of. Who gets to go backstage at Chanel, and a do photo diary for Vogue.com while they are there?

Just one more notch on Irene’s size 6 belt, even with the lack of a runaway appearance, nothing stands in the way of Estee Lauders new darling. Except maybe a dream meeting with Karl Lagerfeld, who she was disappointed not to meet at the Chanel show.

And her hair? A mixture between rebellion (not telling her modelling agency), and the strive to be unique. Two years ago a night of boredom led to the self ombre, which was not yet a ‘thing’ in Korea. “Then some girl copied me and I was like, ‘Uh-uh we’re not going to have the same hair.'” She then dyed it blue. And we all thought it was the other Kardashian sister, Kylie, to put aqua tones firmly on the hair map. This is one IT girl, that does deserve the attention.

Annabel Bolton