Bo knows

Beverly Hills’ loss is Greenwich’s gain as the sunny Bo Kim, a West Coast transplant, now installed as vice president and general manager of The Saks Shops at Greenwich.

Beverly Hills’ loss is Greenwich’s gain as the sunny Bo Kim, a West Coast transplant, now installed as vice president and general manager of The Saks Shops at Greenwich.

“Torrential rain,” she recalls. “The rain came down sideways, and I was not quite as prepared for the cold as I should’ve been, having relocated from the Beverly Hills store.”

Here we pause for the reaction that we know the reader shares with us: Why? Why, oh why would you leave “Beverlee — Hills, that is. Swimming pools. Movie stars,” as “The Beverly Hillbillies” theme song says. 

Kim gets that a lot. Along with “Sorry,” (for the weather here), she says.

But hey, Greenwich — no slouch, right?  Isn’t Greenwich Avenue often referred to as the Rodeo Drive of the East? And the winters, though a challenge, do have their pleasures — quietude, a spare, spectral beauty and sherbet sunsets.

Besides, “the offer to come to the store presented itself,” says Kim, who was one of the assistant GMs in Beverly Hills.

East or West, Kim is going to continue to do what she says Saks does best — personalized service.

“It’s really tailoring it to each and every client.”

That includes spa treatments from the skincare lines Clé de Peau, La Prairie, Sisley Paris and Valmont as well as Saks at Your Service, which offers style advice and personal shopping. No need to tote your bags among the four Saks Shops at Greenwich. Saks will be happy to deliver them to your home.

Kim is equally excited about items in Saks’ collection that reflect spring trends. They include “long dresses, free and flowing,” a bright 1970s update represented by Valentino’s Panther Jungle-Print Silk Flare Dress and Oscar de la Renta’s Floral Chiffon Midi Dress; sunset shades, seen in Akris’ Orizzonte Pleated Silk Gown; natural materials, crystallized by Valentino’s Medium Rockstud Spike Raffia Shoulder bag; the pouch (Bottega Veneta’s Pouch Leather Clutch); and embellished ankle wrap sandals, including Alexandre Birman’s Clarita Bow Snakeskin Sandals, Valentino’s Rockstud Torchon Espadrille Ankle-Wrap Sandals and Aquazzura’s Mae Faux Pearl-Embellished Lace-Up Leather Sandals. They’re all part of Saks’ It List.

Kim is also big on polka dots. (She’s loving Carolina Herrera’s Polka Dot Dress.) Told that there will be lots of polka dots in the New York Botanical Garden’s “Kusama: Cosmic Nature” show and especially for its Polka Dot Picnics — see story on page 36 — she laughs with the same delight she brings to our conversation. She is so there.

Like the Japanese Kusama, Kim began her life in Asia, South Korea specifically. When she was 5, her family moved to northern California. She grew up there and in Maryland, where her sister lives. 

Kim’s family would’ve preferred that she become a doctor or lawyer. But ultimately they came to understand that “my passion was fashion,” she says, and she earned a degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. A stint with Nordstrom eventually led to luxury retail and Saks. 

A lifelong clotheshorse who would often change outfits several times a day, Kim says that now depends on how much time she has. Mornings, she dresses to her upbeat mood rather than the weather, which means lots of colors, little black.  Among those getting dressed with her at their Fairfield County apartment are her “fur babies” — rescues Drake, a Cheagle, and Penny, a Chihuahua. “They are my children,” she adds, and while they don’t always coordinate with mom, they do with each other.

Kim is looking to volunteer in the community — helping animals, the young and the elderly, vulnerable populations being a specialty. All we can say is Beverly Hills’ loss is Greenwich’s gain. For this is a woman who defines style as “being confident in who you are,” one who knows that the clothes don’t make the woman.

Rather, it’s the other way around.

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