I was fortunate enough to get on a call with designer Nam Cho recently. I was excited to learn about this designer’s approach to life, health and jewelry and to learn some of her…um…rather…unusual beauty routines, all of which I plan on incorporating as my own. Sure, they might sound weird, but have you seen Nam lately? Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe this talented and hilarious woman! See a little snippet of our conversation below and get some tips you can bring with you to Las Vegas.
So tell me how you got into jewelry design.
NC: Before I got into jewelry design I did a whole bunch of things. I was a violinist a long time ago, I fell in love with classical music and I did that for my teenage years. To be a good violinist you need to have perfect pitch because the instrument doesn’t come with set tuning…I didn’t have it! So I got out of it, which is a good thing. I studied fine art and I was always a painter, and then I went to Parsons to study fashion. I worked in fashion for a while before I switched to fine jewelry. I’m a pisces so I’m flexible!
What’s appealing about jewelry design for you?
NC: I’m really in love with jewelry design! I find fine jewelry to be art, but you still need to be analytical and mathematical about it, you need to have a mathematical brain. I tend to sort of combine both sides of my personality because all of the materials we work with count! I totally enjoy designing and I love, love, love gemstones. I’m happiest when I’m looking at stones, and then I start to design things around stones, they just really sing to me!
So I’m told you have some unusual beauty routines, tell me about them!
NC: At one point I was just working working working. I realized if I didn’t take care of myself I was going to lose who I am. I love beauty and all things that make you feel feminine. It’s so easy to get sidetracked and just work, but then I start to feel like a man trapped in a woman’s body! So first of all, the Korean scrub. Every single Korean woman does it, it’s a ritual. In Korea you can go to local places or to hoity toity places, in the states you only have the one kind. So during the Korean scrub, you alternate between soaking in hot and cold water. Then you go to the massage bed and the scrub lady, usually pretty hefty and wearing a black rubber suit, really scrubs you down everywhere with that special Korean mitten. You feel like you’re being marinated and baked, like you’re undergoing some sort of cooking experiment. After they scrub you, they massage you with oil while you have cucumber on your face. Then they wash you again and then they shampoo your hair. Afterwards your skin feels like a baby’s tush!
Any other health or beauty tips?
I’ve always been into quirky stuff, I will borrow anything from east to west. I need energy because I’m running around all the time! I was a raw vegan for a year, I’ve done macrobiotic, I’ve done paleo diet, I’ve done everything to get more energy, more clarity and more brain power. Right now I’m drinking coffee with butter and coconut oil. It raises your energy and helps burn energy, and you’re never hungry when you drink it!
Excuse me, butter in your coffee?
NC: I use bullet proof coffee, which is a process of roasting coffee without toxins, add two tablespoons of grass fed butter and coconut oil. I also add vanilla and stevia and then blend it up, it tastes like candy!
So what is the weirdest thing you’ll be bringing to Vegas? I may be able to guess…
NC: I’ll bring a personal mini blender, my coffee, coconut oil and stevia.
What’s your signature candy?
NC: I’m addicted to chocolate, of course dark chocolate, I have chocolate everywhere! In my office in my purse, I have it stashed everywhere!
Do you have any other tricks you want to share with people for staying sane in Vegas?
NC: For women, it’s really important to nurture yourself, it’s so easy to get carried away and run run run. I was listening to some study recently that said women don’t have testosterone like men. We tend to do the same things in the work force, but because we don’t have as much testosterone, we borrow stress hormones to get through it and take charge. Couture can be extremely stressful, so women really have to make sure we do things that nurture ourselves, take baths, get a manicure and pedicure, it’s not vain to do, it replenishes our energy. Men just have a steak and they’re ok with it.
NC: “You Only Live Once” by The Strokes
NC: Pink Champagne, Vintage pink champagne! I’m very picky! And I’ll impose it on other people, “You’ve gotta drink pink champagne!”
We’ll definitely be stopping by YOUR booth at Couture!