Born in Seoul, raised in Warsaw, based in London; Shini Park is a global influencer with quite the eye for curation. Founder of Cube Collection and the creative vision behind the fashion and lifestyle blog Park & Cube, this Central Saint Martins’ graduate isn’t short of creative talents – a writer, photographer and graphic designer… just to name a few.
We catch up with the Londoner to get the low-down on her innate sense of utilitarian style, love for Jacquemus and why, when it comes styling, comfort is always key.
1. How would you describe your style in 3 words?
'Utilitarian and masculine (tailored, not sporty) with a dash of quirk!'
2. Before blogging, did you always love fashion and what made you want to start your site?
'I started Park & Cube in 2008 in my second year of uni, and back then none of us had any idea that our little online diaries would grow to become such a large part of the industry! As a teen, I’d always been online (on communities like LiveJournal) - long before the blog - logging my thoughts and sharing things I found interesting. I definitely loved experimenting with clothes, but I think the main reason why I started my site wasn’t to be a part of the industry, but simply to document my own style journey as a young adult who’d just left the nest and started living in a big city.'
3. What are your ‘go-to’ items for an effortless weekday look?
'My job requires me to be very hands-on, whether it’s photographing in a studio, being out-and-about in meetings, or designing at the computer for hours on end, so comfort is absolutely key. My go-to items are loose, high-waisted trousers with a boxy cashmere sweater tucked in, and a pair of sturdy flats. I’ve tried to convince myself to wear more silk and white shirts, but I’m realising I’m way too clumsy for white in general (also I’d rather sleep 10 more minutes than iron in the morning!) As for bags, I prefer ones with a strap for maximum flexibility, and naturally I have a big collection of medium-sized shoulder bags (and almost no clutches to speak of!) - the Loewe puzzle bag is currently a favourite.'
4. Do you think it’s important to complete your outfit with jewellery and accessories?
'I recently realised that I tend to overlook jewellery and accessories when I get dressed. Frankly, most of the times I forget! I suppose my job, again, is to blame, but I can’t stand jangly hardware on my hands and wrists. Hats, scarves, and sunglasses is another thing - those I just lose all over town! On an average day, I wear a sturdy watch on my left hand and opt either for earrings or a fine necklace depending on the neckline. These days I’m into wearing one statement earring in one ear - let it do all the work!'
5. How long did it take you to build your designer wardrobe, and how do you choose which designer pieces to invest in?
'It was definitely gradual and reflective of my income and age, which is exactly how I wanted it to be. I started with bits that I stole from my mother, then pre-owned goodies from vintage and charity stores, then dabbled on shoes and smaller leather pieces. My first ever designer purchase was a pair of Christian Louboutin heels when I was 22 - those I treasure and keep aside even now, simply for symbolic reasons! I’m very blessed in that my line of work involves a lot of generous gifting, so that’s helped grow my designer wardrobe much quicker than I’d thought, but when I’m investing my own hard-earned money on a piece, I always like to go for the ‘forever’ pieces, which are usually bags and outerwear.'
6. We admire your vast collection of designer bags and shoes. Where do you like to shop to find your most unique designer pieces, online or in store?
'I’m a sucker for the convenience of online shopping (even my groceries are delivered), but when it comes to designer purchases, I like to immerse myself in the experience. I visit the boutique, speak to the staff and inspect the item in question, and then make the purchase in my own comfort at home. Cheeky, I know!'
'When it comes to guaranteed great finds, Tom Greyhound in Paris is a great concept store with a great curation of unique pieces, The Apartment by the Line is a favourite when in LA and NY. Online, I love Farfetch.com for pieces that you generally won’t find anywhere else, and Vestiaire Collective for pre-loved treasures.'
7. The body of work on your site and Instagram is impeccable. Where does all of your creative inspiration come from to create all of your beautiful videos and shots?
'I like to think of my Instagram as a bit of a curation of what inspires me most at the moment, so it tends to go through little mood stories. I take inspiration from practically everything, and I do enjoy unplugging from time to time - so far my strongest stories have come from books I’ve been reading or an exhibition that I might have seen recently in London. I also have a handful of accounts that I visit regularly to keep inspired, accounts like @DiegoCabezas (Sculptor), @MariaVanNguyen, @EleonoraCarisi (fellow content creators), @CocoCapitan (photographer) never fail to inspire!'
8. What designer brands do you think are worth investing in at the moment?
'Aside from the eternal classics by Louis Vuitton and Chanel, some of my favourite designers at the moment are Jacquemus, Loewe and Balenciaga. Invest in a unique take on the classic shirt by Jacquemus, a handsome Loewe raffia-bag for summer getaways, or a pair of purple thigh-high boots by Balenciaga (or the silk gloves, if you’re unsure yet intrigued.)'
9. Do you like to restrict yourself from wearing your designer items for only special occasions, or do you like to work these items into your everyday wardrobe?
'I’m a firm believer of investing in a piece and then giving all the love it deserves, whether it’s wearing it every day and making sure to give it the right care. It seems unfair to spend so much and then have the item sit in the closet for that one ‘special occasion’! Care is everything: re-sole your shoes, spray your suede bits, store your bags in a dust-bag, don’t wear white heels to the club…etc! Plus, years later when you calculate use-per-wear, you’ll be doubly thankful.'
10. What is the most exciting designer purchase you’ve ever made and why?
'I recently purchased the Louis Vuitton Horizon carry-on luggage and I’ve been smitten with it ever since, almost to the point of wanting to travel again just so I can use it. It’s crazy how much well-designed and built products can do to enhance your journey. Another purchase I can’t wait to receive is my very first pair of Manolo Blahnik's: the Maysale mules in navy - it’s the perfect embodiment of the Manolo DNA in a sleek, modern shoe.'