Seoul’s Emerging Designers Go Global

by MR Magazine Staff

It’s been four seasons since Seoul Fashion Week rebranded itself, going from just another local fashion week into a globally focused and internationally attended industry showcase. The transition – orchestrated by its organizer, the designer Jung Kuho – is still in its early stages, but in just two years the South Korean fashion platform has already managed to put two of its emerging designers on the big map. As the autumn/winter 17 shows kicked off in Seoul last week, there was ground for celebration: Blindness, the three-year-old glam rock brand founded by Shin Kyu Yong and Ji Sun, had just returned from the LVMH Prize presentation at Paris Fashion Week where they competed to get into the finals alongside more established young designers such as Molly Goddard, Atlein, and Martine Rose. At the London men’s shows in January, Younchan Chung, whose two-year-old label The-sirius has never even made it past the collective emerging designer show at Seoul Fashion Week, was awarded the British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase prize. Selected as winner out of 75 finalists boiled down from hundreds of entries from around the world, The-sirius won a standalone show to take place at Milan Fashion Week next September, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. Both accolades bear witness of the fabulous potential of emerging Korean fashion and the goldmine that is Seoul Fashion Week, provided you find a way to navigate it. In its impressive push for international attention over the past four seasons, Seoul Fashion Week is slowly but surely reaching its goals. Every season the organizers have flown in press and buyers from Europe and America for a week-long Korean fashion experience. Not all of the around eighty shows that fill the schedule are runway-worthy, but going through the extensive offerings guests have eventually found their favorites: brands like Blindness or R.Shemiste, who understand the art of identity, continuity and a strict edit. This season, the oddly named Rocket x Lunch (not ‘launch’) garnered attention with its eclectic fusion of glam rock and futurism—interestingly, the two main components embodied by Blindness and The-sirius, respectively. Read more at i-D.