K-Pop and Western celebrity fashion enthusiasts might be familiar with the bold, futuristic gothic jewelry pieces by OHTNYC. If not by name, certainly by sight — worn by the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Felix of Stray Kids, Karina of aespa, and Hyoyeon of Girls’ Generation. Behind these distinctive designs is Jinsol Woo, a visionary designer and, unexpectedly, a singer.
Born in South Korea, Woo’s journey to becoming a household name in the jewelry design industry began with a bold step: moving to New York City to study fashion. After obtaining a degree from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology and gaining invaluable experience from giants like Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang, Woo decided to carve his own niche. With a paltry $20 and a dream, he launched OHTNYC. The journey was far from glamorous — it involved countless nights bartending and early morning shifts devoted entirely to his brand.
However, like many businesses, OHTNYC faced its biggest test with the onset of the pandemic. As Woo lost his bartending job and faced uncertainty with his brand’s direction, he turned to social media. This strategic move revolutionized his brand. K-Pop stars and stylists began to notice OHTNYC, and as Woo shared these moments on TikTok, his brand soared in popularity. Today, Woo boasts over 200 thousand TikTok followers and 5 million likes.
The unique designs of OHTNYC resonate with Woo’s profound philosophy. Although the pieces are adorned with spikes, chains, and crystals, they draw inspiration from the raw beauty and strength of the naked human form. Woo beautifully captures this sentiment, saying, “We hope that we can provide those wearing our jewelry with the same empowerment and strength they may feel when they are naked.”
A testament to Woo’s forward-thinking is his commitment to “genderless expression.” OHTNYC doesn’t cater to societal norms. Whether someone identifies with traditional masculinity or femininity or somewhere in between, Woo believes his pieces are for them.
No matter how masculine or feminine you look, you can rock these pieces.
— Jinsol Woo
It’s no surprise that Woo looks up to trailblazers like Billie Eilish and BLACKPINK, who defy convention and set trends. Their fearless and limitless style aligns perfectly with Woo’s brand philosophy.
But what’s next for Jinsol Woo and OHTNYC? Woo’s vision isn’t just confined to jewelry. He envisions OHT as a multifaceted design empire, expressing, “I want to create through the means of exploration, curiosity, compulsion, liberation, vitality, and even shame… The plan is to continue creation endlessly.”
Jinsol Woo’s journey — from a student in New York to the founder of a globally recognized brand — is a story of passion, resilience, and innovation. His designs don’t just adorn the body — they make a statement. And as OHTNYC continues its ascent in the fashion world, Woo is a name we won’t forget anytime soon.