With the Korean film “The Parasite” winning the Oscar for “Best Picture” and “Best Foreign Film,” interest on Korea has gained momentum. Not surprisingly, the fashion set is ahead of that curve with Korean designers unveiling their collections during New York Fashion Week during the past decade.
And on February 10th, the Daily Front Row and The Selects celebrated the Fall-Winter 2020 collections of ten up-and-coming Korean brands: Beyond Closet, BMUET(TE), HEOHWAN SIMULATION, Hidden Forest Market, KYE, LEYII, LIE, NOHANT, SWBD, and WNDERKAMMER.
Held at The Selects showroom at 62 Greene Street, in New York’s SoHo district, the glitterati in attendance included designers Chung Chung Lee (LIE), Hye Young Shin (WNDERKAMMER); DJ Isaac Hindin-Miller; “The QQ Twins” AKA Qwon and Qjin Han (@Q2Han); Alana Hadid; Camille Co; Candice Wu; Emily Kammeyer; Gregory DelliCarpini Jr; Greivy; Indira Cesarine; Laureen Uy; Luda Weigand; Mary Leest; Michelle Blashka; Michelle Song; Opal Stewart; Scarlett Hao; Tiana Parker; Vanessa Zheng.
The Selects represents the top ten up-and-coming Korean designers and provides them with maximum exposure to the US market. This initiative goes beyond fashion and will encompass K-Culture in general. The Selects space, located in the heart of New York’s SoHo district, will host special events, pop-up stores, artist collaborations and exhibitions, and more.
With the combined mission of promoting Korea’s fashion talent while also creating a vibrant “go-to” location to experience Korean culture in New York City, this initiative is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (MCST) and the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA).
Tae Yong Ko first decided to pursue a career in design after attending Fashion Week. Inspired by a preppy, Americana aesthetic, Beyond Closet is informed by the designer’s belief that what people have in their closet reflects their personality and lifestyle.
Sharing the same aesthetic and vision, Byungmun Seo and Jina Um launched BMUET(TE) in 2015 to challenge preconceived notions of fashion through their own creative direction, which they describe as “weird but beautiful.” Incorporating unconventional garment construction and pattern cutting, their collections are distinctively modern, expressive, and one-of-a-kind.
Educated in history, Hwan Heo blends aesthetics and craftsmanship from the past with his visions for the future in his London-based label HEOHWAN SIMULATION. The newest collection explores luxury and casual wear from the 80’s and 90’s through a sustainable lens.
Hidden Forest Market
Husband and wife duo Ji Hyun Hwang and Sung Jun Cho launched their line, Hidden Forest Market, in 2012, to give women the freedom to tell their stories through their own personal style with effortlessly sophisticated pieces. The couple’s new collection translates the sweetness of summer nights into fashion.
Kathleen Kye’s eponymous label offers designs that are deeply personal, often reflective of her own reactions to the current state of global, social, and political affairs. Kye approaches such subject matter with a sense of humor, wit, and optimism, offering women designs that are in a vibrant mood, colorful palette, and elaborate detail.
A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Seunghee Lee has shown contemporary brand LEYII at Seoul Fashion Week since 2010. The collections are the ultimate celebration of femininity, emphasizing the beauty of the female form with minimal structural lines and meticulous, delicate draping.
Designed by Central Saint Martin’s graduate Chung Chung Lee, LIE masterfully blends geometric patterns, sculptural shapes, bold color, and playful textures, championing female individuality, expression, emotion and strength – qualities central to the brand DNA.
Giving his customers a new way to look at unisex essentials, Noah Nam incorporates Parisian elements of modernity and elegance to everyday wares while maintaining focus on distinctive design, enduring style, and uncompromising quality.
SWBD, or Sewing Boundaries, is a unisex brand created by Dong Ho Ha, who is not one to shy away from experimentation. As each collection’s design direction continues to evolve, Ha aims to use fashion to bridge the gap between genders and generations.
A play on the classic “wunderkammer,” or cabinet of curiosities, WNDERKAMMER refers to designer Hye Young Shin’s own unique collection of objects which hold special meaning to her and serve as a source of inspiration. Crafted in natural and eco-friendly fabrics, designs are geared toward the needs of the modern woman – versatile, pragmatic, and sophisticated.