Grace Sooyoon Lee is the Founder and CEO of The Dallant – an online store curated for females seeking a fresh alternative to the mainstream fast-fashion retailers. The Dallant brings you pieces from local independent designers in South Korea, who provide trend conscious and affordable clothing with high quality.
We would like to express a big thank you to Ms. Lee for providing us with a great interview!
Hello, please introduce yourself to our readers please.
Hello! I’m Grace Sooyoon Lee and I’m the Founder & CEO of The Dallant, an online store for Korean Fashion trends. I’m a true city girl – was born in LA, grew up in Seoul, and now live in NYC. I graduated from New York University and worked at major fashion companies like Yoox Net-a-Porter Group and Macy’s before I founded The Dallant.
I’m a lover of all noodles, spicy food, & quirky jokes, and almost always wear black.
The Dallant was founded in NYC in 2019. “Dallant” is the phonetic spelling of the word “talent” in Korean and it comes from The Parable of the Talents in the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30). It refers to the “gifts or skills” that God has given us to use – like artistic abilities, personality traits, resources & more.
I came up with this name to remind myself to be thankful for the talents and opportunities that I’ve been given and to work hard at putting those to good use. I also wanted to connect with other like-minded creatives and to build a community of talented women.
Ever since I was little, I loved going shopping in Korea with my mom and was always interested in clothes. But my first internships at Esquire Magazine (after watching Devil Wears Prada) and Fendi really got me excited about working in the fashion industry.
Trendy, Affordable, Wearable, Quality & Inspirational.
What I like about fashion is that it’s constantly changing and evolving. Some people don’t like that trends come and go, but I like that there is always something new to try and to get you excited about dressing up every morning.
This is the whole idea behind The Dallant – providing contemporary women a way to update their closet with the latest fashion trends without having to break the bank. I see Korean Fashion as the perfect alternative and a middle ground between expensive luxury brands & low quality fast-fashion.
I like to try new restaurants, go to Pilates class, watch crime shows, read psychology books, & online shop.
I like going to local coffee shops to work, like every other startup entrepreneur or freelancer in NYC. I seem to focus better there – seeing other people hard at work inspires me and it’s always nice to be able to get up to grab a snack or coffee whenever I want!
My favorite outfit right now is a black oversized blazer or an oversized coat with jeans. All my friends know that this is my go-to uniform!
My favorite color to wear is definitely black because it just goes well with everything. But if I had to choose a real color out of the rainbow, it’d be yellow – I don’t know why but it just makes me happy, hence The Dallant’s yellow packaging!
My favorite fashion trend right now is oversized clothes. I’m all about comfort – oversized everything, from blazers & hoodies to wide leg, baggy pants are super comfortable! I really don’t know what I would wear when the “oversized” trend is over.
I honestly have no idea what I’ll be doing or where I will be living in 15 years, but I have faith that God will lead me in the right direction. Hopefully, I’ll still be working on The Dallant!
Please follow my journey on Instagram! @thedallant