Inside the room with a nameplate reading ‘Director Miranda Song’ on the desk, Chief Choi was watching a woman at work.
Her appearance was the very definition of elegance, enough to make one wonder if there was anyone else in the world who could embody the word so well.
She was concentrating on her work with a bare mannequin in front of her and a very serious look on her face.
‘She’ll kill me if I bother her at a time like this, even though we’re friends.’
She was in her late 40s and not young anymore, but she worked with more energy than all the other designers. She had entered the company at the same time as Chief Choi and she was the legendary designer largely responsible for establishing TRUE FASHION as the top of the industry.
Chief Choi sat carefully on the sofa and waved a hand saying it was okay to Sooyoung Kim who peeked through the door. Then he quietly waited for Miranda to finish her work.
He was anticipating the masterpiece that would be produced this time. Her creations were just like her, design pieces a haughty allure.
Miranda finally broke the silence with her monotone voice that made people wonder if she really thought it was good or not. Then she yelled towards the outside.
“Where are the samples?!”
Sooyoung who was waiting outside immediately opened the door. She spread out the clothes she had just brought on the table and Miranda began grabbing a few and hung them on the mannequin right away.
A striped two-piece suit harmonized with a monochrome blouse. A buffalo plaid scarf went around the neck and a plaid bracelet on the wrist.
“What do you think?”
Chief Choi, who had been sitting there for a while, looked surprised at Miranda’s question.“What, you knew I came in?”
“I told you that cologne is the brand I don’t like.”
Chief Choi smiled wryly and replied,
“Cubism style? It’s cool that it has dimension but it looks kind of boring.”
“You’re saying it’s bland.”
Miranda looked around the room and fell into deep thought while staring into space. Then she flicked up one finger and spoke.
“Mix and match~”
Miranda walked over and opened the door of a closet where a few dozen women’s jackets hung neatly. She picked out a knitted jacket.
Chief Choi’s eyes grew wide as he saw the jacket on the mannequin.
“Isn’t that the sweater you disqualified?”
“Now it’s a jacket.”
“When did you design this?”
Asymmetric stitching in the middle of the jacket that was once a sweater gave it an unconventional design even though the knit pattern was plain. Chief Choi put his thumb up in admiration.
Miranda took her hands off and backed away. She didn’t ask for Chief Choi’s opinion anymore as if she was satisfied with it.
Miranda yelled towards the door.
“Call the whole team that designed the scarf and the two-piece suit! I’m going to check the new products 10 times before the photoshoot!”
Chief Choi clicked his tongue as soon as Sooyoung Kim hastily went outside.
“Meeting right away? You’re going to make things hard for those fresh young designers from the very start of the day again.”
Miranda looked exhausted as she sat on the chair.
“Are you here to pick on my work?”
She glared with eyes half closed. Chief Choi spoke bashfully since he knew that when she stared at him like that it meant he should simply get to the main point.
“It’s about the executive director leaving office due to his scandal.”
“We’re finished with that talk.”
“Even so, I think the executive board decided that you’re the only person fit for the job. You should definitely step up this time since we need to fill that empty seat.”
“Stop talking nonsense. Aren’t you busy with the marketing team? Your salary sure goes to waste.”
As her shrill tones chilled the air, the temperature in the room seem to drop. Chief Choi smacked his lips as he left the room.
“Good luck on the photoshoot, and call me if you need anything.”
Chief Choi waved to Sooyoung, who was hastily dialing the phone, then walked out into the hall.
He saw a young man’s back. He had his hands on the wall and his head bent down.
‘That looks like the model I saw before…’
Ring ring ring.
The cell phone in his pocket rang as he was about to talk to the young man. He checked the caller and saw it was Vice President Myungkuk Park. Chief Choi looked around, then went into the men’s bathroom and picked up in a low voice.
– Chief Choi. Did you meet Chief Song?
“Yes. But it seems Miranda isn’t interested.”
– We need her to say with her own mouth that she doesn’t want it before I can support you. Don’t you know that more than half the board of directors are in favor of Chief Song?
“I’m looking for a way no matter what so don’t worry. I’ll devise a plan so we don’t even need Miranda to refuse with her own mouth.”
– It’s only right to cut her out if she won’t be on your side. We might need a young blood since whatever the T brand makes sells well.
Chief Choi bit his lip after the phone call ended.
The vice president was on the daring side. And Chief Choi needed to become daring in order to be on the vice president’s side.
Chief Choi wrote up a message right away.
[Tell them to start.]
In the hallway outside Miranda Song’s office, Minho was in a predicament. He hadn’t been able to move one step since he put his hands on the wall.
If touching the wall to see if he could find out the powers of the cherished space was the source of trouble, then he was in trouble.
‘I can’t move one bit!’
The biggest reason was the images of clothes that filled his mind after the faint glow disappeared as if he had absorbed it.
At first, his mouth dropped open due to the flood of images.
The clothes he was wearing became coated with a daring flower print, and Eunha next to him was clothed in see-through attire. And even the clothes of the people passing by tangled together and re-formed into designs that could only be seen on a Paris runway.
But that was only brief.
A feeling of anxiety kept welling up in the corner of his heart. It was as if something was going to happen if he didn’t organize these designs and pour them out.
It was similar to feeling the unbearable discomfort of seeing one crooked bottle in a neat line of drinks and needing to straighten it out.
He was in a situation where he couldn’t take his hands off the wall even if he wanted to because of the the pressure of needing to create the designs he had thought up.
‘What exactly is this person? Genius? A person crazy for fashion?’
His mind was becoming more confused but now he was putting together fashions for the people walking past. It felt like he was going to be thinking about the fashion of all the people he came across for the rest of his life.
Minho fixed his gaze on the place Miranda’s secretary who he had met on the elevator was sitting and guarding. Luckily she was busy on the phone so she wasn’t paying any attention to this spot. He knew he had to take his hands off right now but it was as if he was hypnotized and the addiction was strong. He had already been through ten sets of clothing while thinking, ‘After I finish directing this one, I’ll take my hands off.’
“Mr. Minho Kang!”
At Manager Gong’s loud voice, Minho involuntarily stepped back from the wall. His mind found peace the instant he took his hands off.
Minho calmed his heart down. He had never come across a power that made him reluctant like this. It was different and strong but it felt too lopsided.
It seemed like it took an extreme obsession about something to cause an influence over a space. When he touched a cherished object he just shared the emotions of the owner, but in cafe Once he had even seen an illusion performing.
‘There seems to be a bit difference in the way people treat the things they like, depending on the person.’
Manager Gong came closer and looked around, then asked,
“Isn’t this the office of the director in charge of the design studio? Are you going to greet them or something?”
Minho felt pressured as Manager Gong looked at him in admiration as if saying ‘You sure are quick.’ If he went into Miranda’s office for no reason he might find himself in the same situation as a moment ago.
“I was on my way to get some drinks.”
Minho immediately pointed to the lounge and started walking that way.
“Anyway, you got here quickly.”
“I found a parking spot real quickly. What about Ms. Eunha?”
“She’s in the waiting room but she’ll be here soon.”
Minho was relieved when Manager Gong followed behind without any suspicions. Minho even had the leisure to look over Manager Gong’s attire after taking a breath.
It wasn’t that he consciously looked at it. It was mostly because he couldn’t empty his head of the afterimages of the designs he had newly directed in Miranda’s space.
“I feel like a leather jacket would suit you well. In a retro style.”
Manager Gong was dressed as usual in a white button-up and suit, but in Minho’s imagination he was wearing sunglasses with an 80s retro style leather jacket.
Manager Gong looked over his own clothes and said,
“Well, anything looked good on me in my earlier days. I would’ve been a model if I were taller. My friend took some pictures of me when he was opening his online shopping mall.”
Manager Gong turned up his collar and struck a pose like a model. Then Minho became curious.
“What happened to your friend’s shopping mall?”
“He owns a fried chicken store now. Let’s go there some time. Their batter is really crispy.”
‘I hope he didn’t go out of business because Manager Gong was the model.’
Minho smiled slightly as he recalled Manager Gong last time saying he might have become a singer. The repertory of his past that was filled with dreams was various.
Minho asked as they got to the vending machine as they conversed.
“What would you like, Manager Gong?”
“No, I’ll pay. These things can be provided through the company expenses.”
Minho stopped Manager Gong who was taking a bill out of his pocket.
“It’s okay. This one is meant for me to buy.”
Manager Gong tilted his head and then discovered Eunha walking from the photoshoot hall. She ran over in an instant when she saw him.
“Manager Gong, you parked quickly.”
“I cut through morning rushes worse than that when I was going to events with the person I managed before. Haha.”
While they were talking, Minho finished getting the drinks and handed a bottle of orange juice to Eunha.
“Is this okay?”
Eunha accepted it as she beamed a smile. Minho watched her smile contentedly but then hastily looked away because he recalled the see-through clothes that he redesigned in Miranda’s space.
It was the image of an actress with many articles written about her, wearing an alluring dress on the red carpet. The image of Eunha’s unexpectedly curvaceous body type was left in Minho’s head.
The sense of immersion made it particularly stimulating.
The three people sat around a table in the lounge.
“There was a schedule chart in the waiting room.”
The schedule and names of the staff were written in detail on the A4 paper Eunha brought over.
Minho looked over the schedule and found that Jay Kim was taking part of the morning makeup time. Then he looked over to Manager Gong.
“Chief Jay Kim is coming here too?”
“President Im said yesterday she would support us, and it seems like she adjusted the schedule. The KG fashion staff will arrive around 10 so I’m guessing he’ll come with them.”
Currently they were the best support team. Minho looked at Eunha with a contented expression.
“That’s good. We don’t need to worry about hair today.”
“Oh gosh, what worry do we have when we have Minho.”
Eunha looked at Minho with eyes full of trust. And at that moment, Minho was reminded of the nightmare of the lion’s hair he did for Sora. He’d been practicing making curls as he dried his hair every morning but his skill level was a 2 or 3 if Jay Kim’s skill was a 10. He couldn’t mess up the angel’s hair with it.
‘Please don’t go anywhere but here Chief Jay Kim!’
Minho pleaded enough to reach the ears of that man who was like the wind.
“I think it’s time for you two to get going.”
Manager Gong pointed to the clock on the lounge wall. 9:25. There wasn’t much time left until the design studio’s meeting with all the people involved in the photoshoot.
“Ms. Eunha, where is the meeting taking place?”
“Last time, they did it at the photoshoot location.”
Eunha stood up also after checking the time.
Manager Gong grabbed Minho’s arm before he stood up. Minho stared at him as to say ‘Why?’ and Manager Gong whispered into his ear.
“You look good with Ms. Eunha so take some lovey dovey pictures during the photoshoot. That way it looks good to put up on social media. That’s a special command from President Im.”
“The followers on Eunha’s social media that was created by the company are increasing immensely these days. What’s the best way to network?”
Minho turned his gaze to Eunha who already began to move towards the photoshoot set.
‘Lovey dovey sounds good but….’
The question was if he would be able to deliberately take pictures that President Im wanted. Since Minho had never tried before.
“I’ll give it a try.”
“I really love hearing you say you’ll give it a try. Because I’ve never been disappointed once.”
‘You can be disappointed at least once!’
Minho swallowed the outcry inside him and followed behind Eunha. Manager Gong’s eyes turned into the eyes of an ardent fan yelling out ‘I believe in you’ as he saw Minho off.
Minho stepped into the photoshoot set and saw that the background on one of the walls had changed to autumn scenery. He could really feel that the day of photoshoot had started when he saw the staff carrying the lighting and reflector boards setting the angle of the lights and preparing the photoshoot rehearsal.
“Ms. Eunha, Is Mr. Minho Kang here?”
A staffer from inside yelled out to the two people.
The staffer walked over when Eunha said this.
“The director said the concept meeting is running long so they called to tell you the meeting will be held in the office.”
When Minho heard this he remembered the stress he felt in Miranda Song’s cherished space. It was fine to become a design genius and freely think of images of clothes but the rest of it made him uncomfortable.
The staffer pointed outside.
“I’ll take you right now.”
“It’s close so we can find it ourselves.”
Eunha looked back at Minho.
“Let’s go, Minho.”
Minho organized his thoughts as he hesitantly followed behind Eunha.
‘There won’t be any problems if I sit still and don’t say anything. I just need to last 30 minutes since the photoshoot starts at 10.’
cherished space : Miranda’s work space.
effect : Imparts the ability to improve any clothes into something trend-setting.