Sandra Oh attracted much attention online for wearing a jacket with Black Lives Matter written on it in Korean during the virtual 2020 Emmy Awards.
The purple jacket was a collaboration between the Korean American “Killing Eve” actress and the Los Angeles brand KORELIMITED, according to BuzzFeed.
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This #EMMYS2020 project with @iamsandraohinsta , her stylist @elizabethsaltzman , and their team was very exciting for us. As a streetwear brand that celebrates Korean culture, we had a lot of fun fusing traditional and modern fashion. Here are some fun facts behind our inspiration: Fun fact #1: Shown on the sleeve is the norigae, a colorful hanging accessory that is usually tied to the waistband of hanboks (traditional Korean costumes). Fun Fact #2: Inspired by the hanbok, the neck is lined with dongjeong, a white thin collar that folds above the main collar. Dongjeongs are only white and a part of all traditional hanbok tops. Fun fact #3: These bomber jackets are reversible with a special inner lining printed in hunminjeongeum, the original form of the Korean alphabet. Fun Fact #4: Hunminjeongeum was invented by a king in Korea – King Sejong the Great. The lining is printed with this message from him: (translated to modern Korean) 나라의 말이 중국과 달라 한문·한자와 서로 통하지 아니하므로 이런 까닭으로 어리석은 백성들이 말하고자 하는 바가 있어도 끝내 제 뜻을 펴지 못하는 사람이 많다. 내가 이를 불쌍히 여겨 새로 스물여덟 글자를 만드니 사람마다 하여금 쉽게 익혀 날마다 씀에 편하게 하고자 할 따름이다. (translated to English) “Our country’s language is different from China’s that the people can’t communicate with each other through Chinese characters. For this reason, even though the naïve people have something to say, many cannot fully express their meaning. I took pity on this and created 28 new characters so that every person can easily learn and comfortably use daily.”
“After George Floyd’s death and the protests that followed, I felt that as an Asian-American, a Korean-American person, I wanted to express my support for the Black community in a way that felt personal to my community,” Oh told Vogue.
Oh said she had her stylist, Elizabeth Saltzman, contact KORELIMITED designer Matthew Kim, asking to collaborate for the project that supports the Black Lives Matter movement and to honor the actress’ Korean heritage.
In the interview, Oh explained the color of the jacket and the Korean characters written on it, which is not a direct translation of Black Lives Matter.
“It’s in a royal purple colour – which is a super Korean colour and brings a certain mindset for me – and it says ‘Black Lives Are Precious’ in Korean writing, because the literal translation of Black Lives Matter is impossible in Korean,” she said. “The characters have to be read top to bottom, right to left, [a traditional way of writing Korean script] and there are dashes, or taegukgi, lifted from the Korean flag, which represent celestial bodies and the natural elements and all of that good stuff. And then on the right there’s a mugunghwa [hibiscus], the national flower of Korea.”
The jacket comes with a norigae on the sleeve, which is usually “tied to the waistband of hanboks,” the traditional costume of Korea, as explained by KORELIMITED on Instagram.
“Inspired by the hanbok, the neck is lined with dongjeong, a white thin collar that folds above the main collar,” KORELIMITED added. “Dongjeongs are only white and a part of all traditional hanbok tops.”
Oh also partnered her Black Lives Matter jacket with a purple face mask.
The limited-edition reversible cropped bomber jacket is available at KORELIMITED’s store for $375 in four different sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large.
Oh was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in “Killing Eve.”
Images via KORELIMITED