At 18 years old, Chloe Kim is already a lot of things: The youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal, the first-ever North American ambassador for Korean beauty brand Laneige, and one of the most influential people in the world.
Naturally, that also means she's one of the busiest people around. But before she set off to train for another snowboarding season, Refinery29 sat down with Kim to discuss her partnership with Laneige, her post-Olympics life, and how she feels about being an Asian-American icon.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
What has your life been like since the Olympics?
"It’s been crazy, I don’t even know what I’ve been doing. I feel like I feel that way a lot, it’s just go, go, go. I just got back from New Zealand — I was there for a month snowboarding with some good friends."
What made you decide to partner with Laneige?
"When I was 14 or 15, I was at Target, and I was with my mom. I was like, 'mom. I kind of want to start wearing make-up,' and she was like, 'ok, instead of getting the heavy foundations you have and can’t use, you should try a BB cream.'
"And I was looking at all the BB creams in Target, because [Laneige was sold] at Target at the time, and my mom was like, 'oh my gosh Laneige, they’re pretty big in Korea. You should try that. Since they're a Korean brand, and you have Korean skin, maybe it’ll work a lot better.'
"I don’t even know if that makes sense, but it kind of does. So I got that, and I was hooked on it. And then a year or two later, they hit me up [for a partnership] and I was like, 'yo, yes. I spent a lot of money on your BB cushions, hook me up.'"
Is skincare a part of your self-care routine?
"Yes, I love taking care of my skin. I think it’s just fun trying different products, seeing what works for you, and having your own set-up."
For me, growing up, it was so amazing growing up with two different cultures and environments.
How else do you take care of yourself? How do you wind down from a big competition?
"I like to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. I love laying in bed and doing nothing and eating. So if I have my my computer with me, and food, and comfy pajamas, then I’m good. I can probably survive for years and years."
Let's talk about your status as an Asian-American icon. I feel like people hold up your success story as an example of immigrant exceptionalism. How do you feel about that?
"I love that people look up to me. I think that’s really amazing and something I never thought would happen to me. But honestly, I’ve always just been about spreading love and positivity, and for being a good person and having a good heart. And if you’re helping others out, that’s the best person you could be.
"I mean, my parents both came from South Korea in the 90s and they love it here, they’ve had so much fun here. For me, growing up, it was so amazing growing up with two different cultures and environments. When I went home, it was a very Korean environment, very Korean space, Korean food, speaking Korean. And when I walked out the front door, it was very American. And I think it was really good for me, a good space for me to grow up in, very open-minded, non-judgmental of other cultures and religions."
How do you keep in touch with your parents when you’re busy?
"Well, my parents actually travel with me all the time. But I don’t think they’re going to anymore. I think they’re going on vacation.
"So I’m actually going to Switzerland and they’re coming with me, and then I think they’re just going to travel while I’m there."
After Switzerland, what’s next for you?
"I’m going to be home for a month, doing some training, and then my season officially starts after Thanksgiving, so I’m going to be nice and well-fed [by then], feeling nice and ready and warm. Because then we’re going to Colorado, and it’s going to be freezing over there."