Jenny Kang’s Inspiring Pop-Prep Style

Jenny Kang is total camera fodder for street-style photographers. Her affinity for bright colors and playful, tomboy-esque silhouettes constantly land her on our radar. Most recently, the Chicago-bred fashion editor just switched over from her posts at Lucky to AOL/Huffington Post. And because things can move around pretty quickly in this biz, we were very happy indeed to get a peek at where Jenny gets to hang her hat and kick back with some Prosecco. Of course, her interior styling didn't disappoint either, as she shared stories of Wigwam socks and jorts (ah, to be 13 again!), the pieces that complete her signature look, and why she sometimes pines for suburban life.

Left: "I love the graphic pattern on the rug. We turned the TV on during the shoot because it was happening during Oprah's final show. So, duh. I live in a rental so don't judge the ceiling fan hardware. At the same time, feel free to be jealous that I have a ceiling fan." Right: Jenny wears a Rag & Bone blazer, Lands' End shirt, J.Crew belt, Madewell pants, Chloé shoes.

Hail From: Chicago burbs
Live Now: Chinatown

Who are your style inspirations? 
"Everything from the ladies of Chinatown and their expert print-on-print layering and the Crewcuts catalog to TV and film (notably from the '90s)."

Jenny wears an Alexander Wang dress, Norma Kamali shades.

Describe your style in six words or less. 
"Preppy sportswear with punches of fun (that's exactly six words!)"

"I learned that mixing colors/print with interiors is similar to that in dressing. Sometimes more is more."

You recently made the move from Lucky Magazine to AOL/Huffington Post. Welcome to the dark side! How's it working in online? 
"Thank you! I'm really enjoying it—I'm learning so much about the digital world and it's an exciting time to be at AOL/Huffington Post right now because we're in a phase where we can create all new ideas and plan a full re-launch later this summer. We've built a brand-new team and the energy everyone has is incredible! I'm still getting used to the pace though. There's a lot less lead time than when I worked in print ,but the great thing is you can bring your ideas to life almost immediately."


Jenny wears a J.Crew cardigan, Karen Walker dress, Acne wedges.

What are your favorite online shopping sites?
"I love ASOS... whatever you're looking for, it's probably there. I also like Net-a-Porter and Matches for their selection of designer duds online. In particular, Net-a-Porter is literally kicking a$$. They are taking over the world. "

What's are your daily must-reads?
"I try to read WWD online and several other sites first thing in the morning, but when I'm pressed for time, Twitter is the best way to find out what's happening."

"Chinatown knickknacks."

What are your most-cherished accessories?
"A pair of vintage YSL copper/stone earrings I found in a second-hand store in Urbana, IL—they were completely oxidized & coated. It took me days to polish them down until they were clean." 

Jenny scoping out some Bubble Tea.

Your friendship bracelets are infamous! How long does it take you to craft one? Where do you pick up your supplies?
"It varies on the style—anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. I once tried to enlist help by throwing a prosecco-fueled get-together, but most of that day's work went into the trash. For supplies, I pick things up here and there from Pearl Paint, M&J, Daytona trimmings, and those bead stores on Sixth Ave."

Left: Jenny wears a United Bamboo top, 7 For All Mankind jeans, J.Crew wedges. Right: "These are my parents. I love this picture. They like to go on trips with a group of their friends every year and I'm trying to figure out which one of them insisted every couple pose like this in their pictures..."

Is there anything you never leave home without? 
"Besides all my technology, I normally always carry some gum. If you ask me and I say I don't have any.. I'm probably lying."

Jenny working on her friendship bracelets in a 3.1 Phillip Lim jacket, MiH blouse, 7 For All Mankind jeans.

What was growing up in Chicago like? 
"My youth consisted of a lot of bike riding (in Junior High, this became roller blading), hanging out in people's basements, the Wendy's late night window.. really glamorous stuff. Our claim to fame was that we went to the Ferris Bueller High School, so when everyone got their driver's license, the first thing you did was go speeding down 'school drive' (the path Ferris and Cameron drove down after picking up Sloane). But honestly, it was great. I go back to visit now and think, "Carpet? Cars? Birds chirping?" These are luxuries I never fully appreciated until I moved to NYC, so now I fantasize of living the suburban life. Weird."

"Some supplies and stuff that's half-made.. just some things I'm tinkering with. "

You're a big foodie. What are your secret chow spots in the city?
"I wouldn't really consider myself a foodie. I just really like food! Some of my go-tos are Barrio Chino, Lovely Day, and Asiadog (try the Sidney!). Also just about anything in K-Town."

What's your go-to outfit when you've got five minutes to dress?
"A button-down shirt, cropped cuffed skinny jeans/pants, a mishmash of bracelets, and something neon. Go."

Left: "The day I rediscovered the cross-body bag was a revelation. Hands-free! How can you beat that?" Right: Jenny wears a J.Crew top, Kate Spade bag, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Norma Kamali shades.

What's your summer jam that you've got on repeat on your iPod?
"Wiz Khalifa "No Sleep" is a great summer song. That said, I also usually play Will Smith's 'Summertime' right around this time of year."

Left: Jenny wears an Alexander Wang dress, Chloé shoes, Norma Kamali shades. Right: Enjoying an ice cream cone on a hot day.

Have you ever had a big fashion faux pas moment? 
"For my 7th grade dance, I bought a brand-new tie-dyed Grateful Dead tee. I paired it with some head-turning knee length jorts, Birkenstocks, and scrunched Wigwam socks. I used to only wear Wigwam socks. With Birkenstocks. Looking back, I can only shake my head. On the upside, I've always had a pretty strong opinion on what I like/dislike. Up until about 4th grade, I refused to wear any pants that weren't stretchy spandex. I did a lot of gymnastics and figure skating, which is how I rationalize my fashion choices from that time of my life (it also consisted of many a tone-on-tone outfit from The Limited, Too)."

Left: "Jeans and sweaters on top. Switching all my hangers to those super thin velvet ones changed my life." Right: "This is on the desk in our crafts/computer room. It's always good to have some inspiration nearby and a notebook to jot down ideas. I actually found this photograph on the giveaway table at Lucky."


What was your favorite cheap score of late? 
"A pair of Keds. They're the comfiest sneakers. So much cushion!"

"My roommate and I are at the ends. Our friend Ali's(center) boyfriend is really good at making these creepy sketches. It's really the piece de resistance of our home."

Your hair looks so healthy and fresh! What's your secret? Where do you get it cut?
"I generally let it air dry and don't use any heat products like straighteners, etc. I go to Hayato Salon—it's the best. Pretty much everyone who works there is a really cool young Japanese stylist who understand how to work with Asian hair, but I'm sure they can also cut other types of hair excellently. It also gives me a chance to flip through Japanese fashion magazines, which is part of the fun."

Left: Smile! Right: Fruits and veggies from Jenny's 'hood.

Any other beauty secrets you care to share?
"Don't get addicted to Carmex."

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