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Featured on Dec 31, 2010

Esther S. Kim

"I'm adorable."


I designed and coded my first website in high school: a list of funny/stupid things people overheard and submitted, so in a way you could say I was the original Gossip Girl. I spent a lot of time in college and post-college in non-Interwebz-related jobs because I thought I wanted my MBA or a Masters in Art History (silly Esther). Now I'm a senior designer at a digital advertising agency, write a lingerie blog on the side, and love living in NYC.

Do you listen to music while you’re designing or do you prefer to work in silence?  Either way, please list off a few artists that top your playlist.

I prefer to listen to music. Our office has an open layout so it's nice to drown everything out sometimes. I tend to tailor my playlists to match the accounts I'm working on, but my standbys are usually Phoenix, Lykke Li, Friendly Fires, Kings of Leon, Passion Pit, Delorean and lately, Nicki Minaj.

Your lingerie blog has gained a good deal of traction since initially you’ve launched it.  What advice do you have for someone who may be interested in starting up a niche blog as well?

Don't be afraid to talk about your project. I worked on my blog for almost a month without telling many of my friends about it, and the only people I mentioned it to were a few friends and a couple of designers I had met. I was a bit afraid of what my family would say, because they're pretty conservative. But the more I talked about it, I found that people were super-supportive and willing to help. Even my managers at work are psyched about how things have progressed since the launch! I'm really thankful for how much the lingerie community has embraced my blog, and it's been a really incredible experience so far. My mom actually reads it now—Google translates it into Korean so she understands what I write.

You work full-time as a senior designer at Publicis Modem and also do freelance work as a design consultant, so the work you do spans a variety of client types.  Is there any particular type of client or field that you prefer to design for (i.e.: fashion, food, medical, etc.) and why?

I love luxury fashion and beauty the most. I have a personal passion for those areas so they're the most interesting to me. I've had the opportunity to pitch and work on a few different clients in those two fields, and they're really challenging. You have to be sure to maintain their age-old brand identity yet try to offer something fresh for a digital experience. Most of the clients have been in the business for a long time, but don't understand digital and I think sometimes they're just afraid of what they don't know. I'd love to continue working in those fields and help other luxury brands think outside the print piece and grow their digital presence in a smart way.

We see that you love traveling and are working on trying to hit 30 countries by the age of 30.  How many countries have you been to so far, which has been your favorite, and what’s the next one that you plan to visit?

I've been to 15 so far. I can't pick a favorite, I love them all for different reasons and for the different memories I have, like when I fell asleep on a train from Brussels to Amsterdam and ended up in the train stockyard the night before a 7am flight back to France. Luckily there was one train going back to Amsterdam Centraal that night and the conductors let me sit up front with them.

France is definitely near and dear to my heart and I would love to spend an extended time there again in the future. For my next trip, I want to either venture through a number of countries in Central America and end the trip with surf camp in Costa Rica, or travel around Southeast Asia. If anyone has tips on either one, please let me know!

Web Designer