Byron: We’re here with Kysung. First-year on campus. Very involved. Very stylish. Where did you get your style from?
K: I wanna say my mom mainly. That’s where I started at the basics. But then doing runway shows when I was younger and modeling when I got older, I started to develop my own sense of fashion.
B: Runway shows? Tell me about that.
K: I modeled for Essex County College in North New Jersey. I started modeling when I was in kindergarten. We did photo shoots with them. They had us in all types of crazy makeup. Clothes. As I got older, I stopped modeling a little bit. Cause you know, I had to go to college. I walked in New York. I did it in Delaware, Maryland, Atlanta.
B: What’s it like being in fast-paced New York, doing all this modeling and then coming to Greencastle?
K: It’s different. The people are different. The style is different. Everyone doesn’t dress like me. I think that’s one thing that makes me stand out a bit. But then when I see somebody else that dresses similar to me or have that certain swagger, I’m like “ooh I know you’re not from Greencastle.” I just be liking little tidbits of flavor that I see on campus.
B: So you take what you see on campus from other people and use that to develop your own style?
K: A little bit. If I see somebody wearing a certain color, I’ll be like “hm I need to get that color inside my wardrobe. I have lots of colors but if I see someone with a neon pink, I’m like, “hm I need that.” A hoodie, a shirt, some shoes. Something. I just saw someone with a lime green hoodie and I was like “hm, I already got one of those!” Now let me get some shoes to match the hoodie and that could be a fit.
B: Where do you usually shop?
K: I know I thrift a lot. I really like high-end fashion. I like Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton-- I only have a belt from them. As far as shirts and stuff-- shirts to me, I don’t really care about. I’m not about to spend fifty dollars on a shirt. So I go to Old Navy, Forever 21. That’s my favorite store. Jeans-- Levis. Old Navy jeans-- those are the ones that fit me. Hollister-- some of them. As far as shoes, I will spend money on shoes. If I want some Balenciagas, I’ll pay for them. But I don’t got the money right now. The most I ever spent on shoes was $550 and that was for my prom shoes. And I had to work to get all my money too. I just value shoes--shoes and coats I value. Anything else, psh, out the window.
B: Is part of the fulfillment you get from wearing your clothes standing out and being unique?
K: I think my clothes express my mood for that day. You can tell I’m really energetic or happy if I got something bright on. Or you could tell that I’m just cooling or I’m still like a little in my head if I got a plain outfit on. More muted colors.
B: Does being on campus represent freedom for you?
K: Yeah a little bit other than the race issues. I don’t care as long as they don’t bother me. I mean I care about my other black people on campus. But the day they come to me, it’s gonna be a whole issue. That’s gonna be a different topic. We’re not gonna say its vandalism. We’re not gonna say it’s an incident, no. My lawyer will be here. I’m lawyered up.
B: I’m sure you heard about the recent bias incidents.
K: Yeah that’s unfortunate that the school doesn’t react appropriately. They need to reinforce values. They say “we’re inclusive.” How inclusive are you really? You can’t be inclusive and you keep calling [racial] slurs and racist incidents vandalism. That’s not vandalism. That’s a racist attack. You’re directly coming at my culture and my race. A specific group is targeted. Obviously white people are not targeted. They’re not writing freedom on the building, they’re writing n*****. So fix it.