Q&A With Jihye, Founder of BYOM
Q: First and foremost, tell us the meaning behind BYOM?
A: BYOM is the abbreviation of 'BE YOUR OWN MUSE'. We often find people following fashion trends formed by famous celebrities or influencers, rather than having their own style. I wanted people to be able to express their own charms/personalities by having their own style and identity. In that meaning, I wanted those beautiful ladies to be their own muse themselves.
Q: How do you think COVID will affect the fashion industry?
A: For the design point, there will be more colors used in fashion in the ways of relieving stress from long time restriction and anxiety due to COVID. In terms of the fashion industry, it is not hard to predict that the online market will be accelerated. It is, for sure, that this is the time you have to really work on online marketing to boost your total sales.
Q: As a handbag connoisseur, have you always been a lover of bags?
A: I am more of a practical bag lover. My emphasis in the bag is simplicity in design and practicality. The most essential thing is, a bag should not stand out itself, but should make harmony with one's outfit. For instance, A good cabernet sauvignon paired with medium rare beef steak complement each other and will make the dish twice or even three times tastier. I believe a good designer handbag should do the same role as the good wine in the meal.
Q: Where do you find most of your inspiration? both pre and mid-pandemic?
A: I find my inspiration for the design from beautiful women. I am not talking about their appearances, but their inner strength and passion, of those who endeavor to develop themselves and make their lives more beautiful inside and out. My goal is to make our bags dignified enough for those respectable women. This pandemic did not make any impact on the inspiration of my design.
Q: Our founder has mentioned your brand's prominence in Korea & China, how would you describe the difference in fashion trends between Korea, China, and the US?
A: As I look back at my past years of NY life, New yorker's fashion is definitely something different from other places. That may be one of the very major reasons I love about NY. That unrestricted-ness and that confidence of New yorkers excites me. They refuse to follow the pre-set trend. They are not hesitant to make their own styles and not afraid to be different from others. I hope Korean and Chinese women to get more used to expressing their own styles with confidence.
Q: In your opinion, describe what a good, everyday handbag consists of?
A: Definitely practicality. Sufficient compartments are essential. Secondly, it should consist of high quality leather which can last over decades. As fresh vegetables make good salad, good leather material makes handbags worthy. Third, the most important everyday handbag should consist of good design. Minimal design applies to this. I want it to be simple, but chic enough for every occasion. I endeavor to make BYOM handbags suitable to be your everyday handbag.
Q: What have been some of your hobbies while staying at home during COVID?
A: I have been working just the same, so I don't have a good answer for this question :)
Q: How would you describe the personality of your brand?
A: We strive to carry the spirit and true meaning of our motto 'be your own muse' in each of our handbags. BYOM eliminates all the exaggerations and commits to the basics. With high quality leather, minimal design is chic and polished enough. We endeavor to be acknowledged for our quality and minimal design with little bit of fun.