Jeannie Jay Park dresses up to tell the world who she is
For New Yorker Jeannie Jay Park, dressing every morning isn’t all about trying on a trend or going back to a trusted uniform. Those priorities work for some, but for the Korean-American model and first-generation Asian rights activist, dressing is all about communicating your values. “It’s a pretty intuitive process for me, finding parts of myself in the clothes I put on my back,” says Park, who is also the founder of Sanitation Nation and co-organizer of Warriors in the Garden. “Because when you put on an outfit, you decide to tell the world a story about who you are and what you represent. “
Park enjoys experimenting with different silhouettes and looks, which gives her the most authentic form of self-expression. This is where denim – also known as the ‘oldest fashion relationship with any garment’ – and Levi’s® comes in. her. Wearing ’70s High jeans, Park honors her creativity, humanity, and authentic sense of self in outfits that might speak to you, too.
How do you define your personal style and what priorities inform it?
“If I could put a word on my personal style today, it’s authentic: authentic to who I am as a Korean-American woman, authentic to my heritage and my humanity, authentic to my values and intentions as a as an advocate and activist for racial sustainability, and ultimately genuine to my roots. And I have a lot of my relationship with fashion to thank for that. As Asian Americans, our roots are undoubtedly multifaceted and entangled in various fields, crossing cultural boundaries. On par with that, so is my style. Experimenting with my fashion sense has allowed me to independently accept and embrace my heritage.
“Beyond that, my style is extremely experimental and adaptive, shaped only with my imagination. It’s a way beyond mere fashion for me – as a way to free myself as a Korean-American woman and to convey an identity that I can independently shape as freely as I wish. In this regard, it is not only fashion that informs my style, but also my heritage, my comfort and above all my humanity. ”
Do you have an advanced style uniform or do you prefer to experiment with your look every day?
“My style has evolved largely based on my personal growth. There is no such thing as a perfect style uniform, at least not one that will stay with me forever. And I think that is a testament to the evolution of our industry, towards a sustainable era, for people and the planet, an era in which I believe that sustainability-oriented brands, such as Levi’s®, are largely pioneering and in which they participate. ”
70s flared high waist
Jeans are a personal preference. What qualities make a pair absolutely perfect for you?
“Sustainability and humanity with jeans are essential, as denim is one of the least environmentally friendly fabrics to make. That’s why durable jeans like those from Levi’s® are the best in my eyes. We all have a role to play, and jeans, in particular, have functioned as emblems of youth and counterculture, symbolic of workers’ rebellion and the blurring of gender lines and norms in fashion.
“Above all, the comfort and practicality of a pair trumps everything. The way they make me feel. The elusive feeling of being able to ‘wear the pants’ as a woman in a man’s world. As an Asian woman, experimenting with jeans has been an integral part of deconstructing social gender norms and the pressures on me, especially with the rise of oversized silhouettes that give me the physical freedom to rebel against female norms built in from the male gaze, deliberately rejecting the artificial female body. ”
Tell us about the style of Levi’s® 70s High Jeans. How do you interpret classic flare and straight styles in your own way?
“Levi’s 70’s High jeans are arguably out of season, and that’s what makes them the perfect pair of fall jeans. Fall feels like that place stuck in between the two we’ve all been to. summer to fall, the weather varies so drastically throughout the day here in NYC, so I always like to layer and mix, like with the white cropped top and oversized denim shirt. This is my fit. quintessential fall casual, and I always like to add a personal touch, whether it’s loud jewelry, a trendy belt or a cowboy hat.
“On colder nights I’ll go for thicker layers, like the yellow quilted gilet. Straight black jeans are a must-have for me during most seasons, especially in the fall. with different styles, cuts and shapes is an extremely interpersonal and liberating process. It allows me to experiment and discover the identity and message that I will project to the outside world with the clothes on my back. ”
High-waisted slim straight fit from the 70s
When do you typically like to bring out your new fall denim every year?
“As a designer, activist and multi-hyphenated model, I never know where my days are going to take me: from last minute castings to meetings to demonstrations. It is always essential for me to feel myself comfortable for a whole day of the unknown Adventure Denim is all about versatility It can be worn casually but, when styled differently, it can be made formal. I like black jeans for this reason – it’s so easy to wear from day to night, especially with a pop of vibrant color like the yellow quilted vest. It’s the perfect day-to-night outfit for a fall day around town.
What’s your take on jeans styling this fall?
“Jeans are so versatile, crossing gender and class boundaries, allowing me to mix and match so many pieces that I wouldn’t be used to pairing, and to experience the different sides of who I am. I’m and my style. They open up a world of possibilities, of self-exploration, and I can’t wait to play with more unconventional unisex silhouettes and be more creative in exploring the versatility of style with my jeans. “
High-waisted straight cut from the 70s
Do you remember your very first pair of Levi’s®?
“Growing up in a school of uniforms with dress codes that perpetuated gender stereotypes, my obsession with fashion as a means of liberation only grew. I went to thrift stores and tried to find pieces. that no one else had, desperate to make me stand out. I bought my first pair of Levi’s® 501 when I was 13 and still have them.They got ripped so badly over the years that they are now shorts .
“Denim is my favorite material to recycle and reuse in that sense. Take old denim that I have worn that has represented me throughout various parts of my journey, deconstruct them and discover new life in them – and hopefully one day pass it on to the next generation to keep us connected. My oldest fashion relationship with any garment is with denim. Levi’s® has come to essentialize denim throughout culture due to of its timelessness. From seeing our parents wearing it, to collecting it ourselves, to reselling it and finding more value and beauty in vintage finds. There is something unmistakably timeless about Levi’s® denim that has kept us interconnected to each other and to our humanity across generations. ”
Ultimately, what role does personal style play in your life, every day and especially this fall?
“My style gives me every day a new outlet for human connection, with others and with my inner self. To tell a story. To ignite a feeling. Especially as we move forward into the fall and further into a post-pandemic world, I aspire to use my style as a portal for deeper change and social activation. To tell a story of intercultural solidarity, unity and love. Disrupting traditional trends with radical style brings together people of different backgrounds, generations, cultures, and worlds. It breaks down cultural, racial, gender and social barriers for that matter – to come together in peace and unity – on our ever-growing common love language that is fashion. ”
Head over to Levi’s® to shop for more fall looks.