A Kim Shui Show during NYFW is one of the highlights you must see in person to experience; from her front-row attendees to the jaw-dropping clothes the models wear down the runway, there’s never a dull moment. Mother Dragon Energy inspired Kim’s Fall 2024 Collection, using colors like red and greens throughout her collection, reminiscent of the dragon costumes worn during the Lunar New Year. We’ve got a backstage pass to Kim’s latest collection held at iconic Irving Plaza. I chat exclusively with Kim Shui about her latest collection, business, and what’s next for the promising fashion designer.

Backstage at Kim Shui, Photographed by Jiraurd Key @Vitaminctho
Model/DJ Memphy photographed backstage.


Hi Kim! We’re so excited to speak with you; we’re huge fans of you and your brand. What does the week ahead of your show look like?
Thank you! I’m surprisingly very zen this season. I have gamma ray frequency sounds running in the background. We’re working every day until late before the show. We’re doing style-outs again on Sunday, and on Monday, we start casting.

What was your inspiration behind your F/W 24 Collection?
I was initially inspired by Kazuo Shiraga’s Gutai action paintings, where his interest in martial arts informed his foot painting techniques. He used a lot of Oxblood, fiery reds, and liquid blues, which reflected many of the color choices in the collection. Then, of course, the year of the dragon is approaching, and we’re showing the night before Lunar New Year, so we’re also paying homage to the strength and resilience of this mythical creature. I wanted the KS woman to embody that tenacity, courage, and command.

What’s a staple piece you recreate each season for your Customer?
Over time, we’ve developed core staple pieces like our V-neck Qi Pao and Halter Brocade dress. Staples are always mixed print dresses, statement coats, and bodysuits.

I’ve attended your shows alongside Jodie Woods and Ming Lee Simmons (who adores your clothes, btw); what catches my eye is your ability to mix prints and make them look chic; how is that process for you? I love how you create a dress and matching set in the same pattern, allowing customers to mix and match it themselves – essentially, allowing them to create consistency in their wardrobe with prints.

Thank you – it was so fun to have you there. Mixing prints usually starts with mixing and matching different fabrics that appear jarring at first and then finding one that grows on me. I like wearing a full set. Sometimes, that’s all one print, shades of one color, or mixed prints, depending on how I feel.

In your early career you were lucky to work for brands until creating your own label as well as having the backing and support from VFiles in 2016, do you think that’s important for a designer to seek mentorship/Internships?

I think seeking mentorship and internships is very valuable, and sometimes, a lot of the things you do that you might think are useless end up helping you in unexpected ways, and doing things from the ground up makes you understand the process. At my first job, I ran around the garment district carrying fabric rolls everywhere. Still, I became familiar with where everything was and what factories were better at doing what, which helped me later. But I think that, more importantly, external support systems like VFILES are needed – having some form of backing and support from those who have resources can help direct you in the right way and give you a chance.

You’ve dressed a handful of Powerful Women In Hollywood, JT, Latto, Taraji P Henson, and Kylie Jenner- what have been some major moments in 2023 for you?

Being a part of the CFDA Fashion Fund and being selected as one of Time Magazine’s Next Gen Leaders was a highlight.

How has the process of selling to other retailers worked for you? I’m sure there is a lot of trial and error; you’re designing for another audience – does your thought process change? Do you use those opportunities to create different or exclusives?

For retailers, we’ve done a lot of exclusives. But also, we are close with our buyers, and working with them to create or highlight certain silhouettes that perform well makes it a lot easier to develop.

Lastly, 2024 is the year of…..

gratitude and positivity. 


Editor-in-chief: Prince Chenoa @princechenoastudio

Galore Features Editor: Perrin Johnson @editsbyperry

Photography: Jiraurd Key @Vitaminctho

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