These emerging Korean designers bring K-fashion to the NYFW stage – WWD


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With K-pop and K-movies commanding global pop culture, K-fashion can benefit from being next to the rage.

At least that’s what the South Korean designers who showed up at New York Fashion Week on September 13 believe.

“Fashion is a little slower than music or movies because there’s so much Korean culture trending around the world right now. We think this is important because it’s an opportunity to show how K-fashion is trending and how important it is,” said Lee Seongdong, creative director of Ul Kin, a modern brand that blurs gender boundaries and will show its spring 2023 collection as a Korean concept. “We want to be a part of what makes K-fashion even more successful.”

Concept Korea is an international fashion program hosted by the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and organized by the Korea Creative Content Agency to support designers from South Korea. With the pandemic on hold, the 12-year-old Korean concept program is returning to the fashion week calendar to provide designers with a highly visible global platform.

Along with Ul Kin, Seongdong’s Spring 2023 collection draws on a pastime that gained popularity during the pandemic: fishing. And he’s using the line to give the brand a major sustainability spin.

“Recently we heard about a type of fishing called magnet fishing that captures waste in water…As a brand based on recycling and eco-friendly fashion, we thought that would be one of our concepts for the season. ” Singdong said. “Some of the looks are based on fishing and camping and also based on cycling, which we’ve been continuously showing in our collections.”

Pieces spread the traditional multi-pocket fisherman’s vest, but dress it up, with nets adding texture and seaweed as pattern inspiration.

And not giving up on K-pop’s opportunity – and its tendency to send not only models, but celebrities to the runway – South Korean boy band icon Kim Donghyuk will walk the Ul Kin show.

The NYFW debut, Seongdong says, will be an opportunity to showcase not only his brand, but K-fashion’s delicate balance of functionality and artistic vision without holding back.

“K-fashion is what Korean people are doing and what Korean people wear and we think that’s what we need to show to the world to make it successful and global…. K-fashion is what we wear right now, what K-pop idols are wearing, not the past,” he said. Fashion is one of the cultural elements. [of South Korea] So we think fashion can be as global as other cultural industries like film and music.

For Ul:Kin’s new age workwear vibe, Cahiers is bringing the love.

A look at Cahiers’ spring 2023 collection from the womenswear brand.

Courtesy notebooks

All curves, soft shapes and typically feminine silhouettes by designer Kim Ae-Young who spent 10 years living in France and traveling the world. While in France, she earned a master’s degree from the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisien.

I personally feel something about the area or the historical images I find. [from my travels] I try to capture those in my work,” she says. “B [spring] 2023 set, I decided. [focus on] Toledo, the old capital of Spain. If you think about the characteristics of Toledo, there is Judaism, Islamic culture, and Christianity.

It’s all about “the beauty of coexistence,” she said. And the beauty of the female body, Cahiers works to emphasize.

“Korean women are very passionate about their fashion,” says the designer, who will be showing at NYFW for the first time, despite her success. [South] Korea that involves dressing up top celebrities. “Because of this, Korean fashion is very trendy and creative.

“Korean fashion and Korean designers can lead the world and influence the world,” she continued. It has the potential to influence not only Asia but the whole world.

For Besfxx, which calls itself an “experimental fashion house” and describes its aesthetic as “spoken but loose,” this NYFW will be an opportunity to showcase it to new audiences and existing shareholders, including Bergdorf Goodman. This spring 2023 season. It will be the brand’s first show in the US, and plans to show at NYFW in February next year.

A look at the Spring 2023 collection from bespoke brand Besfxx.


This season, Seoul designed and produced Besfxx, “creating classic clothes based on current trends,” says designer Jae Hyuk Lim.

Taking on classics like ’50s balloon dresses, smoking boats and trenchcoats – the brand is also creating new tailored silhouettes with the limelight that the brand is known for, so “what’s said but dropped.”

“It was a really fun process because a balloon dress is just a dress, right? You can think of long and short balloon dresses, but we represent some crazy hybrids where balloon dresses are incorporated into classic outfits like trench coats and trench coats, so it’s like a coat and skirt combination and totally wearable. he said.

And that hybrid design element says that Korean designers are, by and large, very good.

“Korean designs are the best when you want to find a balance between craftsmanship and business,” said Lim. “They can produce high-end clothing at an affordable price for people attending Seoul Fashion Week. I’ve been to many international manufacturers around the world and I feel that Korean clothing makers are very skilled and reasonable in terms of price and quality, I’ve seen it myself.”

“I am confident that over time, Korean designs will take off in international business,” he continued. “But it takes time.”

In the meantime, the three Korean concept designers will debut their collections at an invitation-only show at Spring Studio Gallery on Varick Street in New York City, September 13 at 7 p.m.


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