Fashion King Episode 2

From the last episode, two persons are struggling to survive; Young-gul and Ga-young. I always admire people who are making their way into the world by themselves, most seem strong with outstanding capabilities to endure hardships. So tears from such would mean things must have been really hard to handle.


In the ocean, after the storm has passed, the head of the boat screams at his crew to keep working. His crew comes from many countries, so English is used to communicate.  When one of the crew pledges that they need some rest to keep working, the head guy starts beating him up. Young-gul intervenes and tries to smooth thing between them, only to get beaten instead.

On his bed, Young-gul thinks back. Flashback,

A man is telling his sister that Young-sook is very ill at the moment. She says she’s trying to make a daily living, how she can possibly help him. Two kids  in the truck are staring at both of them.

She tells him that she can’t help him. She asks does that woman not have a lot of  relatives, she suggests him leave the kids with her. He says it’s only for one week. She says, that person who took off to America with another man, how he can possibly find her within a week. She asks if he has a passport. If he has money to go to America, just give it to her.

He says sorry, please take care of them.  He tells the kids to get out of the car.

Young-gul wipes tears from his eyes recalling those memories.

In New York,

Jae-hyuk is in a car, his secretary is briefing him the overview of the company, and that they don’t have to spend a lot of money on a talented designer. They are assured of continued financial sponsorship. Both parties benefit. He tells Jae-hyuk that his schedule is quite packed, but please goes to NFS  for some meetings.

New York Fashion School (NFS),

Ga-young is told that she rejected the admission herself. She tries to explain, that she arrived here yesterday, she waited all night in front of NFS. And she came in as soon as the school opened this morning. If she were her, would she take a 20-hour flight and wait to register at a school she has rejected?

But lady says she’s just only following the rules. Ga-young doesn’t know what to do, she gathers her belongings and walks out. Jung-ah (Madam Jo’s daughter) looks at her from behind the corner, she lets out a wicked smile, then she walks into Ga-young.

Jung-ah asks if she’s here for the registration, and that it’s so good to see her.  Ga-young asks her if she’s here for the registration, Jung-ah tells her that she got luck, there was already someone who got accepted with full scholarship, but that person actually rejected the offer. Actually she was just on the waiting list.

Jung-ah looks at her cheaply and says, “I don’t know who it was but I should thank that person. I want to carry on talking to you but my car is parked outside. It was great to see you. See you around.” And she leaves. Tear falls from Ga-young’s eyes.

At night, Ga-young makes a long distance call to Young-gul’s factory. She tells the lady that she arrived in America. Ga-young asks if the boss is there. Then she learns that Young-gul has gone; she asks when he will be back. The lady says they don’t know either, they couldn’t reach him.

Ga-young ends up roaming the streets, she checks in a motel. She quietly connects the dots, and she realizes that it’s all Madam Jo’s doing.

On the boat, Young-gul stirs awake; two men are looking at him. It turns out that the anger crew took over the boat; one of them suggests dumping them on a deserted island. The other one suggests just throw them out to the sea. They start throwing men, including the head of the boat into the sea, one by one.

Young-gul is horrified to witness the scene. Until it’s his turn, Young-gul thinks fast.The guys lift him up in the air.

Then he remembers when he’s used to sell fake watches to foreigners, and they liked Rolex. So he screams, “I have Rolex!”, “I can give you Rolex!”

The guys hesitate and put him down. One of them takes the watch from Young-gul’s wrist. Young-gul assures them that it’s a real Rolex, not an imitation one. The guys want to get rid of him anyway, so Young-gul tells them that he has many Rolex. When the guy asks where they are, Young-gul thinks hard and says, “My friend….America, I can help you to America! USA! America!”  He yells his heart out, afraid to get killed.

Ga-young is reading the Korean New York Newspaper and seeing the Headline (J Fashion, NFS Collaboration, over the next five years, $5 million will be invested) with Jae-hyuk’s picture on it.

At J Fashion New York, Jae-hyuk begins his meeting at 9:00 am sharp. He asks what their annual sales for their subsidiaries are. The secretary says they don’t have that figures for that yet. Their New York office focuses on managing the research centre, logistics, and new product development.

So Jae-hyuk asks what the annual budget for the New York office is. One guy answers, the rent, wages, operational costs, and adding research costs, it will be over $3 million for the year. Actually, if deduct the office rent, compared to operational costs, the cost of supporting NFS is quite high.

“So, what should we do about that?” , “Shouldn’t we generate as much money as we spend? Why don’t we have a brand launching?” Jae-hyuk voices his idea.

The guy chuckles and says launching a brand costs a tremendous amount of money. And New York market isn’t to be taken so lightly. Jae-hyuk says, then starting tomorrow, let’s meet at 7 am. Everybody is speechless. Jae-hyuk walks out.

The elevator opens, Jae-hyuk steps inside. Ga-young is in there too, she recognizes him. She greets him to his surprise. She says she’s here to see him, her name is Lee Ga Young. She asks if he recognizes her, they used to meet each other in a shop, did he not go there with his mother.

He asks, “So what?”

He says he doesn’t remember her. The elevator opens and he steps out.

She follows him saying that she read in the news that he is close to the president of  NFS. That’s why she’s here to find him.

He doesn’t stop walking, she continues that she was actually accepted by that school, they said they would give her a scholarship and accommodation, so she’s only brought her daily necessities. But because of a mistake, she couldn’t enroll.  She can’t afford a ticket to go home.

He stops to listen to her, then he tells his secretary to give her some money and send her away.  He walks off.

His secretary puts some money in her pocket all the while looks down on her as people who hustle money. She gets angry, she drops all her belongings and barges in Jae-hyuk’s office.

She says to him that she thinks he misunderstood her. If  she’d known he wouldn’t recognize her, would she come here at all? . She asks when she asked him to buy a plane ticket for her, “I know well that rich people won’t give money to people like me. I only read that you are supporting NFS, and you are close to their president. So I’ve just come to ask if you could help me find out what went wrong with the application.”  She takes the money out of  her pocket, she thanks him for it, she will spend it wisely. She bows and says good-bye and leaves.

After she left, Jae-hyuk asks his secretary if her name is Lee Ga Young. “Look into it for her.” He orders.


At Jo Boutique’s opening ceremony, Ga-young is secretly taking the food and goes upstairs. Jae-Hyuk sees her, he follows her.

He steps in a room, it’s Ga-young’s sleeping area, and he sees that the food is used to pay respect to her parents. He smiles a little, and then he sees her designs.

A clashing sound coming from outside, it startles him. It’s Madam Jo and Ga-young.

Madam scolds her for such behavior, that there are quests here. Jae-hyuk peeks at them. Ga-young says it’s her parents’ anniversary today, so….

Madam Jo mutters selfishly why it has to be today. She yells at her if she knows what day it is today, it’s the opening ceremony. Yet she’s paying respects to them here. “Are your dead parents important, or me who has been bringing you up? Am I nothing to you? Why do you keep doing irritating things? Until the party is over, do not leave your room.” she yells.

Jae-hyuk sees it all and feels sorry for her, then his phone rings. He hides himself quickly. He answers the phone, it’s his mom. He shows himself to Ga-young and shushes her to be quiet. He tells his mom that he’ll be coming now.

Back to present, Jae-hyuk recognizes her, he lets out a smile.

Ga-young found a place to stay, the woman introduces herself as Designer Sook. She tells her the rule of living together. One, she’s not allowed to bring men here. Two, she’s responsible for her own food. Three, cleaning is every other day. For example, she’ll clean on Mon, Wed, Fri. Ga-young cleans on Tue, Thu, and Sat.  And she needs to give her two months’ rent first.

Ga-young asks if she can pay her in arrears. But Ms. Sook can’t take that, she asks Ga-young to leave. Ga-young offers that she can do all the cleaning and cooking.

Then Ms.Sook’s customer comes in, and complains about the dress. Ga-young offers she will fix the dress.

Mexico, North Village Pier,

The boat reaches the shore and is being erased its name.

The big guy says one hundred thousand dollars. Then they all laugh. Young-gul sits in middle. He negotiates. The guy says five thousand. Young-gul says, “What?”

The guy says his travel cost to the States was not included. There are seven of them, one grand per person, and five grand, or the boat is done. So Young-gul has to pay two thousand dollars more. Take it or leave it.

Young-gul calculates, then he shows them his Rolex, a very very expensive watch. He asks for five thousand, no discount.He plays magic and puts the watch on the guy’s wrist. They’re impressed.

And they are on their way to the States in a freezing container meant for transporting frozen fish.

They stop the truck to rest, they are all lining up doing men’s business. The lead crew asks Young-gul where his friend lives. He answers, America, L.A. California 0009. “Your friend, Rolex. If you lie, you are dead man.” The guy threatens him. Young-gul tries to think of a way out.

The truck continues moving along the highway, the lead crew wakes up and realizes that Young-gul is no longer with them, he yells for the driver to stop.

Young-gul hitchhikes on the highway but unsuccessful. He ends up walking until he finds a phone boot. He calls the Korean Embassy. He tells the lady that he’s a crew member of the ship, Midas. That there was a mutiny on board the ship. She tells him to report it to the police. He says his English isn’t great and he doesn’t have a visa.

“So, are you an illegal immigrant?” The lady asks. He says he wasn’t trying to be one.

She says he shouldn’t be calling them, she tells her to call the immigration office.

“I am a citizen of Korea, can’t you help me?”

“No.” She answers and hangs up.

He is so mad, he calls again and yells at her.

“What I’m saying is, besides me everyone is dead!” He screams the fact to her. All she returns is asking why he’s not using formal speech, and hangs up. He couldn’t believe that he was turned down and lost his only hope. He yells and yells at the phone. His tears fall.

In Korea, the news about the ship is reported on TV. Chairman Hwang and his men are watching.  The reporter says, there has been a mutiny on board a ship. Crew members nearly became food for sharks. Fortunately they were saved by a fishing boat nearby. The crew members of  Midas flew back to Korea today.

They report live from the hospital, it seems that the people who started the mutiny, were Korean crew members. The main culprit was a Korean national Kang Young Gul, he used to run a clothing store in Dongdaemun, but the police believe he has since gone bankrupt and is in hiding.  Mr. Kang intended from the start to sell the boat. He pretended to be a crew member.

With the word ‘Sell a boat” Chairman Hwang perks up. He’s interested. He asks his man, “Sell to whom?”  His man tells him that there’s a rumor that someone was going to purchase it. After negotiations, the boat is dragged to the mouth of the pier, and then the exterior is completely changed. And they change the name of the boat. Then they sell the boat off as if it were somebody else’s. There’s a system like that.

Mr. Hwang says the profit must be quite good. Mr.Hwang wonders about Young-gul’s English. One man says Young-gul’s English is very good.

Mr.Hwang asks about his baby (his girlfriend who was with Young-gul). His men still couldn’t locate her. Mr.Hwang wonders if they are going to meet in America.

The guy’s phone rings, he apologizes to his boss. He accepts the call and his jaw drops. It’s Young-gul calling from a public phone.

Young-gul tells his friend that he has no money and no passport, and he doesn’t know where he is. His friend tells him the news. “What? I owe money? What are you talking about?” Young-gul is confused, but the call gets cut off, and he has no more coins.

Young-gul looks around the deserted area. Feeling hopeless, he starts crying loudly. He wipes his tears then he remembers something.

He walks on and on, and keeps trying to get a ride, finally one car stops, the driver motions to him to hop on.

At Jo Boutique in Chungdamdong, a call coming in, it’s from Ga-young. Miss Go accepts the call and is happy to hear from her. Madam Jo listens quietly. Madam puts up her hand that she doesn’t want to talk with Ga-young. So Miss Go tells her that Madam Jo is not here at the moment, she will tell her that she called.

After the call, Madam Jo asks if  Ga-young is coming back to Korea. Miss Go says no, she’s in America. Madam asks what she’s doing. Miss Go tells her that she’s doing well, not to worry.

Jae-hyuk’s mom arrives. Madam Jo quickly changes her mood and puts on a happy face.

Madam Jo helped resolving her problem, so she asks if Jae-hyuk’s mom could do her a favor as well.  She asks if she knows that her daughter, Jung-ah, got into NFS. Jae-hyuk’s mom congrats her. Then she asks what favor she wanted to ask.

Madam Jo says she has an apartment in New York. It was empty for so long, so when Jung-ah went over there, it was a mess. It’s not good to continue staying in a hotel. Madam Jo asks if Jung-ah could stay at her son’s place for a while.

Jae-hyuk’s mom is not pleased. She cleverly asks will her daughter not feel uncomfortable living with a man. Madam Jo realizes, she says if it’s not a good idea, she will find some other place. Jae-hyuk’s mom finally agrees that they have many empty rooms. Madam Jo thanks her.

Jung-ah marches in the room, tips the bell boy who carried her big suitcases. She sits down on a so far. Jae-hyuk looks at her. He asks her name. She says Shin Jung-ah.

Then he recognizes her, he says he heard she got into NFS. She says yes. He asks how long she will live here. She says she’s not sure. He asks will she not feel uncomfortable. She says she will know once they’ve started living together. He sighs heavily but puts on a smile.

She gets up to go, he asks if she knows Lee Ga Young. Jung-ah stops short. She turns to him.


“Lee Ga Young, don’t you know her?” He asks.

She asks how he knows her. He asks if she can contact her. She says she can’t and asks him why. He says he needs to ask her something. But when she wants to know, he says it’s not important.

Jung-ah tells him, Ga-young used to work in her mom’s factory, implying Ga-young’s status. Jae-hyuk is able to catch the unspoken tension, he acts innocent and says, “Really?”

Jung-ah says she’s really curious why he wants to look for her.

“You don’t need to know.” He looks at his watch and stands up to leave. “Treat this place as your own and get some rest.” He says and leaves. Jung-ah is frustrated.

Madam Jo isn’t pleased to hear that from her daughter. She tells her she can’t underestimate Lee Ga Young. She yells at her daughter to learn from Ga-young and hangs up. She wonders how Ga-young got close to Jae-hyuk. She calls Jae-hyuk’s mom, but the mom just says she’s busy, she’ll call her back.

Actually, the mom is at another boutique, she’s not pleased with Madam Jo’s aggressiveness. The lady tells the mom of the rumor about the girl her son used to date. That gets mom’s attention, she asks who. The lady says she’s called Anna. She heard she has become a designer for a brand name and is doing well. And she’s where her son is now.

Anna is busy working with a famous designer. It seems she’s struggling with her job. Jae-hyuk drops by to surprise her. “It’s been a while.” He greets her. But she’s not happy. He asks if she’s still mad at him. She says why she should be. He asks for a talk. She says she has nothing to say.  But he insists.

He looks around her office and sits down. “You’re flying high.” He says.  She asks what he wants to say. He asks if the preparations for the fashion show are going well. “What has that got to do with you?” She asks.

“Don’t you want to see me? I sometimes want to see you.” He plays his charm.

Anna smirks. But he’s not here to talk about that, he asks how much she earns here. “No matter how great your potential is, aren’t you tired of staying behind others? Isn’t there discrimination here?” When she asks what he wants to say, he answers, “Don’t work for others. Work with me.”

She asks is he not like the others. He pauses and stands up, he puts an envelope on a table saying this is the most he can offer. She asks why he’s doing this. “Don’t you have potential?” He says and leaves.

Anna opens the envelope and it’s a Freelance Designer Contract inside from J Fashion offering a large amount in advance.

His secretary is dismayed by his idea, the designers who have gone through vocational training; will they give up world-renowned brands and come to work for them? Even though their company is well-known in their home country, their brand is not very well-known in the overseas market.

Also her relationship with him, the Director, if Madam finds out about this….

Jae-hyuk turns to look at him. He sees a pile of documents on his desk, he asks what it is. The secretary says it’s a list of up and coming designers in the fashion world at the moment. He flips through the pages. The secretary gets a phone call that they’ve found contact details for Lee Ga Young. Jae-hyuk perks up, he tells him to leave it with him and he can go. Jae-hyuk lets out a tiny little smile.

Bong Sook’s customers love the dresses very much. One of them says soon she will become a world-class designer. Ga-Young beams. Bong-sook is happily counting the money.  Ga-young offers to cook her food. The roommates are happy together. Bong-sook thanks the heaven for sending her a great roommate.

The phone rings. It’s from NFS for Ga-young.

The Admissions Committee convenes a meeting to consider re-admitting her. The head of the committee tells her, “Our school has never conducted an interview like this before. But an influential figure has strongly requested the board of directors to arrange this interview. However, we will only make our decision based only on your qualifications and your potential.” Ga-young says thank you.

A truck loaded with chickens, stops in front of NFS, Young-gul jumps down. He happily thanks the driver. He checks his reflection in the mirror, he’s a mess with feathers on his hair, he brushes them off. He walks into the building, and his smell disturbs the passerby.

He uses the restroom and borrows a guy’s shaving set to clean his face. A set of designed clothes are being wheeled in front of him. Young-gul spots the dress and smiles. He comes out wearing it.

Young-gul is surprised that Ga-young is not on the school’s record.  Just then Ga-young walks pass him from behind. Young-gul sits down on the stairs feeling hopeless. The guys throw Young-gul’s clothes at him and ask for their clothes back, Young-gul changes back to his clothes right there.

Jae-hyuk walks into NFS, and Young-gul spots him. It’s like his best gift in the world, he calls out, “Jung Jae Hyuk!”. Jae-hyuk takes off  his glasses, just as surprised to see him. Young-gul quickly tells him that he’s seen him before at his office. Jae-hyuk remembers him. “Heaven is helping me right now. It’s great to see you!” Young-gul throws himself at Jae-hyuk feeling so delighted to see him. Jae-hyuk is caught off guard, and Young-gul’s smelly too. He pushes him away.

Young-gul keeps repeating that he’s really happy to see him, and Jae-hyuk looks so handsome today.

When asked what he’s doing here, Young-gul covers up saying he came because he’s got a show in Las Vegas. Also, there’s an employee of his who is studying here.

Jae-hyuk smiles, “Do you send your students from Dongdaemun here?”

“You seem to be looking down on Dongdaemun. Dongdaemun is a world-class system. The designs in Paris will appear next day in Dongdaemun.” Young-gul says.

Jae-hyuk asks if he feels proud of that. Young-gul says he’s only saying that they’re one step ahead of others. Jae-hyuk asks if he came all the way here to see his female employee. He says yes. Young-gul pretends to check on his watch, only it’s not there on his wrist. He says she should be here by now. Jae-hyuk notices Young-gul’s poor appearance, he tells him to go and meet his female employee, he has an appointment. He walks off.

Young-gul goes after him, “Jae-hyuk! Classmate!”.  Jae-hyuk is alarmed by his behavior. Young-gul says it’s fate that they are meeting two years later in another country, let’s have dinner together. Jae-hyuk asks why they should, he answers that it’s because they are classmate. Jae-hyuk says he’s sorry but he’s very busy right now, “See you later.”

Young-gul says let’s have dinner after he’s finished, he will wait for him. Jae-hyuk says he doesn’t want to have dinner with him. But when Young-gul insists on some tea, he loses it. “Let go and get lost!”.

Young-gul has no way out, he says he will tell him the truth, he was forced to get on a ship in Seoul. And he knows it’s hard for him to believe, but there was a mutiny. They were throwing people off the ship, it got really messy. He thought he was going to die. But then he thought of the Rolex. So he sold that and came here. But his female employee is missing. And Jae-hyuk just appeared in front of him. He thinks this is fate.

Jae-hyuk asks, “So?”. Young-gul asks if he could stay at his place for a few days. Jae-hyuk stares at him.  So Young-gul changes to, if  it’s not convenient, he asks if Jae-hyuk could lend him some money. He won’t forget his kindness for as long as he shall live.

Jae-hyuk is exasperated, he says he remembers saying that he would never lend money to someone like him. He pats Young-gul’s shoulder and pushes him away and he walks on.

Young-gul looks at him, anger surging through his vein.

He storms in the room while Jae-hyuk is having a meeting. He grabs his collar, “Come out, you bastard!”

“Let go! This is embarrassing!” Jae-hyuk lowers his voice.
”Embarrassing? Do you want to see what is really embarrassing?”

“Shall I show you?!” Young-gul shouts at him fiercely.


This episode setting up the leads’ background that all tied together in some ways. If you look at it, both Young-gul and Ga-young are the same how they don’t give up and fight for their chances.

I don’t blame Young-gul pushing for Jae-hyuk’s help in the circumstance that he has no choice; he’s just trying to survive. And I don’t blame Jae-hyuk for refusing because, given the circumstance, Young-gul’s story is really hard to believe. It’s just that Jae-hyuk said the wrong words to a person who was grabbing his last hope. And Young-gul’s anger at the end, I suspect, may have stemmed from Jae-hyuk’s bad attitude from their last meeting that he seemed to look down on poor/unfortunate people.

The way Young-gul got into the States was left untouched by the writer, but we all know what can happen at the border, bargain away your life. If you are wondering about fishermen got thrown into the sea, I can assure you that this thing do happen in real life specially with the crew, who are foreigners, sailing far away in the ocean where it’s hard to determine on whose territory.

It’s still in the set-up phrase, still hopping along  🙂

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