Studio sounds: Goom Heo
You are close friends with Liam Jonsson and Edwin Mohney – did you ever consider starting a brand with them? Why did you choose to do it alone in the end?
What Liam and Ed do is so strong and special, but it’s also very different from what I do. I respect them so much and love what they create, but only they can do it. We often say we should do a project or exhibition together, but I never thought about starting a brand with them.
When I was working on my final BA collection, I vaguely decided that I wanted my own brand, but I didn’t think I was ready. I also wanted to do the MA, so I paused the idea for a while. After I finished the MA, I was sure I wanted to start my own brand. Luckily, with an Exceptional Talent visa and support from Fashion East, I will be showing my first collection during London Fashion Week in February.
What are the biggest challenges you are facing right now (in relation to starting your own brand)?
The biggest challenge is making money, so I can continue making collections. The support I’ve received from Fashion East helps a lot, because they provide a show space and all the production, plus some money as well. But it costs so much to produce a whole collection outside of university. Even developing textile samples costs more. At CSM, I could just go down to the print room and test things out. Now, everything is an extra cost, because I have to pay for access to machines. Sometimes, designers compromise themselves to create a really wearable, commercial collection. I don’t want to compromise just to make money.
What is your ambition for your brand? Whose trajectory would you like to repeat?
I don’t have a certain trajectory in mind that I want to repeat. My goals are to have my own brand (which I am doing now) and also become the creative director of another fashion house. I think it would be very fun challenge, to work for another brand that is completely different from my own.
You will be showing menswear during the womenswear shows – what is your plan for sales, given the timing of your show?
My clothes are not about gender, they are about people. So I always thought they would work for women too. Stylists often request my looks for female models. The show will be co-ed, with female models wearing some of the looks.
How does music fit into your process? Which songs sum up the mood of your new collection best and why?
It’s so natural that I play music while I’m working on a collection. This season, I was very into Japanese city pop from the 1970s and 1980s, and Korean music from 1980s. I don’t know why, but the songs were very romantic in that era.