by Karen Alberg Grossman


If you’ve noticed cool young guys wearing fleece shorts with leather skull icons, or sweatshirts with hoods that convert to masks, you’re likely in Daniel Won territory. But the designer isn’t taking all the credit for his line’s nearly overnight success, which is featured in such diverse stores as Neiman Marcus and Nojo Kicks in Detroit.

“I get most of my inspiration from music, both rap and rock,” says Won. “Lucky for me, celebrities are buying my clothes and posting photos on their Instagrams: Usher, Yazz from American Idol, Detroit rapper Royce da5’9…”

Won was born in Chicago but moved to Korea at age six. While he worked as a designer in Korea, where he graduated from Hangyang University, Won wanted “a bigger pond.” So he moved back to the States and graduated from FIT. His design positions in the U.S. have included working with Robert Comstock, and Emanuel Ungaro Outerwear, among others.

The designer is already deep in planning his fall ‘16 collection, which combines military inspiration with varsity/collegiate touches, but he’s equally happy to discuss some of his current and upcoming favorites: a shirt jacket with embossed leather skull patch ($295 retail); a pant that’s half denim/half leather ($795 retail); and a denim biker jean with elastic knee insets ($375 retail). Best of all are a group of amazing jackets, including one in which the reversible leather sleeves zip off to transform the jacket from solid to color block. That’s what we call inspiration matched to innovation!