Korean designer Kanmin Kim wants to show “hope through fashion” in his bid to think positive during the coronavirus pandemic. The designer has been studying at Coconogacco, the Japanese fashion school founded by Central Saint Martins alumnus Yoshikazu Yamagata, while simultaneously working for a number of Japanese companies.
Now, during the designer’s final year at university, COVID-19 has forced him to change the future he had planned. After his final presentation and runway show were cancelled, showing his work to the world has become a challenge. His solution is a ‘portfolio review project’, a collection shown online – before he returns to South Korea for his military service.
The young Korean has been inspired by his experience with wrinkled clothes while he lived in a tiny room in Seoul. The collection features black, white and grey leftover fabrics upcycled into garments. Through patterns, draping, and 3D cutting techniques, the wrinkles in his clothes acquire a new meaning – a sign of elegance rather than poverty.
We asked Kanmin about the reality of fashion students and designers in Japan, to find out more about the impact of the pandemic on his life.