The Power Duo Behind The Armory Show on “Show & Tell”
‎Communications Manager and Director of VIP Relations, The Armory Show, NYC

As one of New York’s most important art fairs, The Armory Show has managed to galvanize its very own week chock-full of adjacent fairs, parties, and openings — but nothing glitters quite as bright as the main event. So it’s obvious that the fair would have two gorgeous, impeccably-dressed ladies running the show behind the scenes. Meet Irene Kim, director of VIP relations, and Audrey Rose Smith, communications manager.

My ideal working outfit looks like…
A: Phoebe Philo and Marlene Dietrich’s love child.
I: Simple, modern, and sharp looking. I enjoy black pants with blazers with an accent like leather, or knee-length pencil skirts with a silk blouse. I like a clean and classy look with subtle accents – either on a silk scarf, jewelry or shoes.

Heels or flats… Which brand or style…
A: Heels and flats! I’m an avid supporter of the under-the-desk heel. But I love and wear flats often – brogues, oxfords, and sneakers, anything but flip-flops. I recently bought a pair of Acne Studios sling backs with an incredible metallic heel and I’ve got a pair of Saint Laurent patent slippers that are simple and perfect.  I swear by Common Projects (worth the price in my opinion) and I’ve got more than one pair of Zara shoe, because who can resist those knock-offs!
I: Classic & elegant heels. I personally love Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo.

Irene Kim

My favourite art-related blog/app is…
A: I’m not sure if this counts but the whole New York Times Virtual Reality app is incredible and I put on that cardboard goggle thing at list once a week.
I: Instagram. I browse through it and get so much information on what is going on in the art world globally by following galleries, museums, collectors, and other art world professionals. I also get to build better understanding or familiarity with people. I’ve made comments before to people whom I met the first time by saying “oh, we are Instagram friends!” and then we start chatting off. I love it!

The last thing I bought and loved was…
A: I’m actually not allowed to shop this month – a personal objective. But I had to purchase a neck gator for a ski trip I’m taking in March and I found this very cool new French brand called Black Crows. They have really fun patterns and colors, so there’s that. Not exactly office wear.
I: Givenchy high heels covered with black lace. It is my obsession at the moment. I have much love for shoes…

Most ridiculous thing I ever bought…
A: A Comme des Garçons denim/lace hooded jacket with three or four fabric bags that hung off looking like detached pouches… I wore it once or twice to public dismay and then sold it on Ebay. A reminder not to buy something just because it’s 80% off.
I: A short black crop top from Tibi. It’s a bit out of my comfort zone style and I don’t know what struck me at the moment but I made a very bold purchase that day. I wore it twice and not sure when I will wear it again!


My necessary extravagance is…
A: Necessary extravagance, isn’t that antithetical statement?! I would actually say good framing. I have a lot of artworks in my apartment and I can’t stand when something is poorly framed.
I: Shoes. I grew up in Seoul, and as a very tall Asian girl (5’ 9”) I have big feet and they don’t have my shoe size! Now that I’m New York, they have plenty of my shoe size (9.5) and I feel very justified splurging on nice shoes because I wasn’t able to in my early twenties.

Three things/products I always need to have in my purse…
A: Solid perfume, hand crème (any kind, just something that works) and at least one black pen!
I: iPhone, credit card, and lip gloss.

My ultimate beauty secret after long working hours…
A: I have yet to discover anything more effective than a cold-water face washing and a good night’s sleep.
I: Thorough cleansing and always apply the right products the right way before going to bed so your skin rests well overnight. It’s ideal to apply skin care products around 10pm since that’s the time when your skin starts recovering from the day. Also, I always, always use special cotton pads from Shiseido. Highly recommend!
Audrey Rose Smith

My favourite collision of the art-and-fashion world…
A: Viviane Sassen’s work for Acne Studios.
I: Someone like Sarah Morris, artist. She is one of those fabulous artists who are incredibly fashionable (and wears nice shoes) and chic.

My most admired art world influencer is…
A: Gisela Capitain.
I: Agnes Gund. She is a world renowned philanthropist who has been incredibly generous and supportive to countless museums, exhibitions, curators, and artists. She is simply amazing.

In the art world currently I find most exciting that…
A: Things which is not cynical.
I: We are living in what seems to be the golden era of art fairs. There is such a boom of art fairs due to much interest, active participation from galleries, and ever growing number of international art fair-goers around the world. It’s very exciting to be in the midst of this new type of art movement by working at a leading international art fair. It wasn’t like this even just 10 years ago with art fairs when I first started my art career at museums.

Irene Kim

Art makes me…
A: Energized, happy, disturbed, angry… ultimately stimulated.
I: Inspired, humbled, and puzzled. All at the same time.

My next art trip/travel will be…
A: Ecuador for my husband’s first solo show!
I: After The Armory Show in New York it’s off to Art Basel Hong Kong at the end of March.

The most arty city is…
A: I have to say New York. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered more artists than in this city. For better or worse!
I: New York!

The perfect artworld gentlemen is…
A: Nonexistent – they’ve all got problems!
I: One who is smart and savvy about the art world yet modest with classy manners.  Also someone who genuinely cares about the artist and art work, not just about being “show & tell.”

Artist(s) we should have on our watchlist is/are…
A: Recently I’ve really come to love the work of Yves Scherer, a Swiss artist who can be described as ‘post-internet’ in the best sense possible. Photographer Namsa Leuba is showing with Echo Art from Lagos in this year’s Armory Focus. Her photographs are clever and vibrant and I can’t wait to see it in person. Another photographer I love is John Houck, I recently bought a piece of his work from his series ‘A History of Graph Paper’. And I recently discovered the world of Toyin Ojih Odutola from a story my husband shot for Interview. She creates these incredible pen and ink drawings that I’d love to own.
I: Toyin Ojih Odutola, Kapwani Kiwanga, Namsa Leuba, Agnieszka Kurant, Kyungah Ham, Sean Duffy, Hassan Hajjaj, Valeska Soares, Hugo McCloud…it’s endless. So many great artists!

Instagram: @noncesense and @irenekimirene

Website: audreyrosesmith.com

Photos: by Vicente Munoz and Sam Deitch BFA