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Sandra Oh's Emmy's jacket had a powerful Black Lives Matter message embroidered into it

‘I wanted to express my support for the Black community in a way that felt personal to my community,’ actor says

Sabrina Barr
Monday 21 September 2020 10:45 BST

The 72nd Emmy Awards took place on Sunday 20 September, with Euphoria star Zendaya and  Schitt’s Creek actor Catherine O’Hara walking away with the prizes for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series and Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series respectively.

For the awards ceremony, which was held virtually for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic – with nominees tuning in over video call from the comfort of their homes – Sandra Oh made a powerful statement with her outfit of choice, wearing a jacket embossed with a message in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Attendees were encouraged to “come as you are, but make an effort”, with the freedom to interpret the dress code as formally or as informally as they wished.

For Oh, the lack of a traditional red carpet at the awards ceremony made her consider how she could use her clothes to express herself more fully, the Killing Eve star told Vogue.

“Everybody’s used to having relationships and fittings with designers of a certain prominence – and this shift has forced me to reflect on who I am and how I express myself through clothes,” the actor said.

Speaking about her desire to show her support for the Black Lives Matter movement, she stated: “After George Floyd’s death and the protests that followed, I felt that as an Asian-American, a Korean-American person, I wanted to express my support for the Black community in a way that felt personal to my community.”

Oh explained that a friend of hers sent information about a Korean streetwear label based in Los Angeles called KORELIMITED, which had creating a clothing range designed by Matthew Kim in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Even though it’s really different from what you would normally wear on a red carpet, I contacted my stylist Elizabeth Saltzman and asked if it would be possible to collaborate with Kim for the Emmys,” the actor said.

The fashion label collaborated with Oh to create a bomber jacket embroidered with the statement “Black Lives Are Precious” in Korean.

“It’s in a royal purple colour – which is a super Korean colour and brings a certain mindset for me – and it says ‘Black Lives Are Precious’ in Korean writing, because the literal translation of Black Lives Matter is impossible in Korean," Oh outlined.

"The characters have to be read top to bottom, right to left, and there are dashes, or taegukgi, lifted from the Korean flag, which represent celestial bodies and the natural elements and all of that good stuff. And then on the right there’s a mugunghwa, the national flower of Korea.”

The bomber jacket is available to purchase on the KORELIMITED website for $375 (£292).

A portion of the sales of the satin, reversible garment will be donated to two chosen charities: Campaign Zero, a police reform campaign, and Black Girls Code, a non-profit organisation that champions technology education for girls of colour.

The jacket also comes in black for the same price, with two Black Lives Matter face masks being sold on the site for $24 (£18.70) each.

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