Translated by: john @ Onehallyu.com
A long time ago, Jessica stood in front of Marie Claire’s cameras for a photoshoot. Unlike before, when she would show up surrounded by a chaotic group of managers and staff, this time, she came to the studio all by herself. It was the day before her birthday, and fans who were close enough with her to just call her ‘Sica’ also showed up with a bundle of cupcakes and drinks for Jessica and the magazine staff. She seems to have gained a bit of weight recently and has been busy preparing a new collection for her own fashion brand, ‘Blanc & Eclare’.
This was her first interview after everything that went down, so she seemed more cautious with her answers, but you could tell by her gaze that she was now letting a lot of the past go and chasing a new dream.
“There is going to be a denim line this season for Blanc & Eclare. Denim is actually a very difficult field. I thought a lot about the perspective of the ones who will be wearing the product. I had to think about what specific length fits Asians better when designing the skinny denim pants. In Hong Kong and China, you can find Blanc & Eclare products at the Lane Crawford stores. In Korea, we are opening up popup stores, and I think we’ll soon start opening up actual stores in malls.”
Jessica has gone through a lot of changes lately. And with these changes, she has been at the end of many harsh words. Rather than spending the time to confirm what was truth and what were misunderstandings, she quietly spent her time expanding her fashion line to new fields, and began to face a world away from the stage. “To be honest, I’m very nervous doing interviews. There are times articles get released of things I didn’t mean, which leads to many misunderstandings. And it’s not like I can explain myself every single time that happens. When I look at the bigger picture, I think it’s better to be more picky with what you clear up than clearing everything up.”
“There are times when I feel like I’m receiving all the hate in the world. It would be a lie if I said that it wasn’t hard for me during those times. But I think my skin’s gotten thicker lately. I try a lot to become stronger. I kind of look a bit wicked. I think that’s why people hate me more.”
“Everything is fascinating to me. The drawings I sketch come to life as products, and it’s really interesting to see those products in display at stores and then get purchased by people. But some people are under this misconception that I am the only one in charge of this brand. The truth is that to get one product completed, the members who make up my team all have to come together with their ideas. I’m a bit embarrassed and burdened to hold the titles of ‘representative’ and ‘CEO’. There are times when I also feel sorry that because my name, other people’s efforts get ignored.”
The biggest strength for Jessica during her hard times has been her family. She recently went on vacation with her sister, mother, and father. It was the first time her entire family was able to go on vacation since her debut.
“Things are a lot different now compared to how it was when I was with SNSD. I really enjoyed the time I spent with the other members, but now that I’m by myself, I have a lot more time now. I am planning on going to school to seriously learn more about fashion design, but I haven’t decided on the exact timing for that yet. I’m just actively studying on my own for now. I realized that no matter what I go through, a more comfortable time soon comes. Even if I go through something very difficult, as more time passes, the happier I become.”
She’s also gotten a lot more freedom over her decisions. “If I was still a SNSD member, I wouldn’t have been able to do this shoot. Idol groups have to always be happy. They have to be kind, and pure, and bright. But I’m already 27 years old. I can’t forever remain a happy little girl. Someone might think after seeing these pictures, ‘Now that she’s out of SNSD, she’s taking off her clothes.’ But I’m not a little girl anymore. I think it’s okay for me to portray Jessica as a woman. Since I debuted when I was 19 years old, there are times all the restrictions and limitations can get irritating. Now, I can make all my own decisions. It wasn’t so bad deciding to come to this photoshoot all by myself.”
Jessica has decided to let go of all of her regrets in the past and all her frustrations of not being able to clear up the public’s misunderstandings about her. She’s instead spending each day to build up and anticipate for the road ahead of her. She wants to formally learn about fashion, and she wants to put out music that captures her voice’s charms.
“I have been thinking about myself a lot more lately. In a few years, I’ll be 30, and there are times that makes me anxious. I’m not sure why. But I think now, I have to live life for myself and not for anyone else. And now I’m alone, so my flaws that the other members used to fill up for me, I have to fill them up myself now. I have to be able to approach people I’ve met for the first time, and I have to try to make people feel more comfortable around me. I think when people see me, they think I’m like a wall. It’s hard for me to approach someone first if I’m not close with them. So it’s hard for me when I have to attend events all by myself. I have to be able to approach someone first before they can feel that they can approach me. I’m currently trying to tear that wall down.”
Come to think of it, the Jessica we know is an ‘ice princess’. She isn’t lively, she tends to hide away more. She also doesn’t like beating around the bush, she prefers to tell it to you in a way that’s easy to understand. So you can see how people can feel that she’s like a wall, and how people may misunderstand her. She’s overcome a lot of obstacles, and now, she’s focusing on the road ahead, and she’s living the dreams she’s had to push back all this time, and she’s living a joyful life continuously dreaming new dreams.