Neckbreakin’ Style (n.) When you’re strutting down the concrete catwalk and the spectators break their necks.
Meet Lynn Kim Do, the blogger behind Neckbreakin’ Style and badass embodiment of street-style cool. She’s a travel junkie with a no-holds-barred attitude to life and the open road, and she curated a collection of her Fab travel faves just for us.
So what’s the Lynn Kim Do story?
My story probably began when I couldn’t answer the very common yet anxiety-inducing, panic-attack ensuing, and life-shattering question—“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I had no idea.
In fact, I still don’t. I would feel much better with a question like, “When did you last visit the gyno?” Luckily, I did know and still do know one thing: I am an artist. And what am I passionate about—life. Okay, HOLD! Those two answers alone would drive many people, generally older aunts, parents, grandmothers, and even strangers, to disgust, or a sympathetic look to my parents all while mouthing “Oh, dear!” All my life, I was told that life needed a clear path. Life needed a vision. A very clear vision, something I can see. Something I can thirst for. Otherwise, how would anyone, especially me, ever reach it?
I couldn’t see what my specific path was. But that’s because I didn’t want to write my story without life in it. Kinda like, I didn’t want to pick a boyfriend before I ever met a boy. That just seems silly.
So what’s my story? I can’t precisely say because it’s still actively unfolding. Right now, I’m a Brooklynite who came from an East Coast nomadic lifestyle. I went from welfare to Whole Foods. I create daily—write, shoot, produce, style, model, and act—to connect with people, whether it’s Neckbreakin’ Style or freelance gigs. And now, I get to say that I am a co-founder and entrepreneur as I just launched a Creative Agency with a partner called The ESC Agency.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I grew up around the time when many of the artists I flocked to were expressing, not only the beauty, but also the magic in everyday mundane things. Maybe it was the counterculture to the superficial world ruled by technology and fast food and consumerism. In retrospection, I took all of those initial ideologies that influenced me, like Paulo Coehlo and Bukowski, and, literally, took it to the streets. Today, I find inspiration by remaining absolutely open to all mediums and avenues. For instance, I love finding style inspiration from the Chinese lady pushing recycling carts in Chinatown. Often, you could fine me walking around Chelsea on any given Saturday, casually strolling in and out of galleries. I haven’t been able to get Richard Serra and James Turrell out of my mind, lately. I can easily get obsessed with an idea for a week or so. I prefer to find inspiration in the physical world but I also find inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. I would just take things from the world and combine, alter, take-out, and make it all my own.
Can you tell us how you think about style?
Style is another form of communication. Style has a way of telling people who you were, who you are, and who you want to be. It’s like threadwork sign language. I remember hearing a quote somewhere along the lines of “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” I believe in that. I believe that consciously carrying is just as important as creation, as your voice. The greatest thing about style is that it can change. It can evolve. Just like people. Play safe. Or don’t. Wear all black. Or all pink. Style is a physical communicative playground.
Tell us what drew you to your Fab picks, and how you curated your collection.
Travel has been aggressively on my mind. I’m actually amidst planning my next runaway, whoops, I mean getaway. It just happens to be the perfect opportunity to create a Neckbreakin’ Travel list. I wanted to create a travel list that isn’t filled with fluff and flowers and pretty little things (although, there’s nothing wrong with that). I always wanted to see a list for badass chicks that travel the world and return home equally or more badass. So, I decided to make one. This is a list for babes who rather have a metallic bronze grenade that seconds as a powerful rechargeable battery than a flower crown. Practical in foreign places like Thailand and at home, these pieces are things I would wear anywhere and anytime but find especially useful when I am abroad or crossing state lines. And all without sacrificing two very important things—sassiness and steez.
You’re a big believer in honesty. What’s it like to be so raw in such a public arena?
It is FREAKING scary! But I have always said “if it isn’t scary than it must not be right.” For me personally and, I think, for many others, fear happens when you really care about something. I’m always scared that something I write hits a weird trigger with someone or someone finally calls me out for talking shit about them on my blog. Haha. Other times, I struggle between revealing too much and not enough. In the end, I find it very rewarding. After all, it just takes practice to get used to being so open. I remind myself that I have nothing to hide, which is rewarding in itself. But when I get a message, a DM, a snapchat, or a comment from someone who relates or found any kind of escape or comfort from my post, it is worth it x192779249!
You’re a travel junkie. What are some of your favorite places to visit?
Each place I have traveled to has, as corny as this may sound, left a mark in me. One place I somehow find myself always traveling to is Puerto Rico. It is an island that ceases to surprise me. My last trip there, I did a long weekend and spent 36 sleepless hours on the island doing things like drinking until 6am, watching the sunrise, hiking in El Yunque Forest, snorkeling in Flamenco Beach, and eating Mofongo on top of Old San Juan. When I went to Paris, it was so visually stimulating that I went home and threw out half my closet. Go to Colombia, first Bogota for the street art phenomenon and then Cartagena for the Old City and endless street haggling. And Vietnam, my motherland, is a culture shock that will stimulate all your senses, especially your taste buds.
Do you have any under the radar/secret spots you’d like to share?
Honestly, I feel like home—Bushwick—is a secret spot. Every chance I get to just wander around my hood and I am bound to bump into a cool new café, a sick artpiece on a side of a building, or interesting people. We also have a ton of options fora “Shot & Beer” for $6. It’s everything a girl can ask for.
Describe your ideal travel itinerary.
Well for one, I hate resorts. Something about traveling to be mindless is silly to me. If I’m going to go somewhere, I want it to change a part of me. I want to absorb. My ideal travel itinerary is kinda like my life. There are main attractions and cultural hubs I must visit, but I give myself more than enough time to get into trouble, to walk on the wild side, to have spontaneity.
Right now, I am hooked on making a very specific Vietnam/Thailand itinerary happen including Hanoi, stay a night on a boat en route to Halong Bay, do a trekking tour of Sapa, go see the cultural hub of Hoi An, visit family in Saigon, and then go visit my friend in Bangkok. After that, Europe will be on my mind.
Where would you build your dream house, and why? Who would you invite to join you there, and what would you wear?
My dream house would exist in NYC. Home is home, you know? I would like to live with a dog, my partner, and I’d like to always have visitors. I actually envision housing many artist friends so we can create together. And what would I wear? Hmm, probably nothing too far off from what I wear now. More black, more cultural influences, lots of leather, and a comfy robe here and there.
What are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of everything I create. From a photoshoot or a piece that I write to a friendship. I believe that everything takes work and I am so blessed. I can’t honestly choose one that stands out more than another. I know that tomorrow will bring something I can add to my “Proud Shelf.”