Art & Culture / Fashion & Beauty / The Muse

The Muse: Meet emerging Korean rapper and Insta-artist MLMA

The street style in Seoul has become a major sartorial hotspot for the fashion set for their unique mash-up of style drama and off-beat apparel.

But it’s not just during SFW you can surf for the Next Best Thing – currently we’re obsessed with South Korean rapper, visual artist and fashion designer who goes by the name of MLMA on social media (Me Love Me A Lot). The young creative has amassed a 176k-strong Instagram-following with her artful posts challenging conventional ideas of beauty and showcasing her fluro-meets-fetishistic ensembles. We caught up with the new digi-darling to talk Marilyn Manson, the effect Instagram has on creativity and youth culture in Korea…

Hi MLMA! How did you come up with this name? Do your friends call you that?

My Instagram is @melovemealot. The Japanese hooker from Lost in Translation said “Me so Horny!” I thought it was funny how the West view Asians so I thought of Me Love Me A lot. I have no friends, strangers call me MLMA.

You’re a rapper, fashion designer and visual artist. What came first?

Art. Been at it since I was 3 years old. If I don’t paint, draw or do anything art related I feel like garbage.I tried to be an artist but no one gives a shit about art unless you’re rich or a celeb. I collaborate with [Korean streetwear brand]. I’d describe my music as “Whatever MLMA wants to say today” There is no message it’s not serious, or over produced. I just do it because it’s another form of art to me. I collaborate with [Korean streetwear brand] Skoot apparel often – I love that they let me do whatever I want artistically. I’m always down for anything art related.

The industry here doesn’t yet identify with what I do. I’m too much for them and I understand that. But the youth here is starting to show signs of real artistic talent. I can see from my DM’s that young people here are becoming inspired by what I do and it’s amazing. It’s hard to explain to people in the West, but even in 2017 being an artist is widely not accepted by parents and peers.

Do you think fashion is becoming more inclusive and open now because of the rise of Instagram?

It’s good for people trying to get into fashion and learn a lot rapidly. But on the other hand it’s terrible as originality has died. Everything it copied and repackaged. It’s difficult for consumers to identify who the real innovators now.


You often showcase avant-garde beauty looks on Instagram from squiggly brows to OTT smudged lipstick… 

For real, I do it for fun and everyone on the gram has the same look [so] why do the same thing? Is it better to hold some brands face cream or post what I want? I’ve never done or created anything for anyone else but me. If I like it, and I think its dope then I really don’t care what anyone has to say.

Does using social media ever make you feel self-conscious?

No never! How could I feel that way with the posts I make?

How would you define your personal style? Who are your style icons?

I don’t really have a personal style. I just like to wear what ever I like at the moment and I like to have fun with it. There are too many style icons in history that it’s hard to pick one person but I’d say Marilyn Manson because his music and art was so original and people didn’t understand it at the beginning.

Any exciting plans or goals for the future you can share with us?

The last couple months I was so busy with my fashion collaboration with @skoot_apparel. Now I wanna focus more on [my] art and music. Going to drop some new stuff before the end of the year. Stay tuned!

Follow MLMA on Instagram here

This article was originally published on in October 2017.