Min Song, 23, works at Hejfina, paints commissioned animal portraits, and was recently asked to design a T-shirt for Brighton Park Press.

Your outfit is kind of opulent–the velveteen minidress and pumps are both trimmed in gold. Is feeling luxe when you get dressed important to you?

It’s kind of funny . . . honestly these things come from secondhand stores. It’s more about working with what you have monetarily and not looking like everyone else.

How do you feel when something you love becomes the current trend and everybody’s wearing it?

I feel cheated. It’s really mind-boggling to realize people aren’t aware of things until Vogue trots it out. This past season, everybody you see is wearing these big old-lady necklaces. They were always out there–why must everyone do the same thing all at once?

What contemporary designers do you like?

I love Dries Van Noten–though the new collection is a little safe–and Junya Watanabe. Hussein Chalayan is pretty amazing. Ooh, and Viktor & Rolf. Benoit Meleard–he makes these shoes with white soles and tiny little kitten heels and giant circular shapes. They’re great, but probably not very wearable. But I like that rebellious spirit.

Rebellious against what?

Against the general public’s idea of fashion, and against the bigger, more established lines. I don’t even like Marc Jacobs. His stuff is all totally ripped off, without putting any of his own ideas into it, and that’s offensive. It’s cute, but . . . where’s that gonna get you really? He’s always looking for the next muse for a celebrity photographer. The ads are so bad . . . I would never want to be in those ads, or an American Apparel ad.

What do you think of those ads’ emphasis on the “exotic” woman?

It seems like such an old idea. You’d think people would have moved past that. But I don’t take it all that personally.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Saverio Truglia.