TikTok-Viral Jewelry Brand OHTNYC Is Charming K-pop Idols and More

If you haven’t come across OHTNYC on TikTok, you’ve probably seen American musicians like Keshi and Olivia Rodrigo and Korean superstars like Felix of Stray Kids and Hyoyeon of Girls Generation wearing the brand’s pieces. And when a K-pop star wears something, the world wants to wear it too. 

The aesthetics of South Korean idols have been breaking through to the mainstream for years now, and with the help of massive fan-run social media accounts that exist entirely to identify brands and products that artists are wearing, it’s easier than ever to emulate their style. A key part of these looks is, of course, killer jewels, which OHTNYC has plenty of.

OHTNYC founder Jinsol Woo left South Korea to study fashion in New York City, and after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, worked as an assistant designer at Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang. 

Following a few years of training in the industry, he decided to establish his own design house, with a focus on jewelry. While the brand is notably on the rise right now, the journey to get here has not been an easy one. “I started with like 20 dollars, basically,” Woo tells Teen Vogue in his NYC studio. “I had many sleepless nights working as a bartender during the nighttime, getting off at 5 a.m. and pouring my heart and blood back into my brand during the daytime.”

Like many businesses, OHTNYC took a hit at the start of the pandemic. Woo lost his bartending job, and started to feel like he was losing direction with his company as well. “It was at that moment that I decided to take the situation as an opportunity, and I started my social media,” he says. It’s safe to say that social platforms actually changed the course of Woo’s brand — the product was there, the content was ready, all he needed was for people to know it existed. So he took advantage of the momentum in the best ways he knew how. “My brand was being recognized by a lot of K-pop stars and stylists, so I was able to share those exposures on TikTok, too,” he says. Woo inevitably went viral on TikTok, amassing over 200 thousand followers and 5 million likes. 

Korean idols and Western celebrities have both helped OHTNYC skyrocket to global recognizability, and it has seen growing demand over the last year. Sometimes, it all still feels like a dream to the designer himself. “Honestly, I always hoped that I would see celebrities wearing my jewelry, but once I really reach them with my work, it feels almost unbelievable,” Woo shares. 

The most invigorating moment for Woo was seeing Karina of the K-pop group aespa wearing his work on multiple occasions. As a fervent fan of her style and performance, she was the exact star that he wanted to be seen in his designs. “I was manifesting that,” he admits. The famed girl group continues to love his work — three members were also wearing OHTNYC pieces during their recent Coachella set.

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