Entering her second year in the accessories business, Sang A Im-Propp has been recognized not only for her design aesthetic, but her entertaining skills, too.
The founder of the firm Sang A is from South Korea, where she was a famous entertainer who acted, sang and danced. Now Im-Propp, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1998, focuses all her creative energies on accessories.
Last month, the designer, a native of Seoul who now lives in New York, received an accolade that is close to her heart — and former home. Sang A was among the three winners of the Samsung Fashion and Design Fund, which celebrates budding Korean designers. She, along with the duo of Steve Jun and Yoni Pai of Steve J and Yoni P, and men's wear designer Gunhyo Kim received the award, along with a grant of $100,000 each. Previous winners of the three-year-old initiative include Doo-ri Chung and Richard Chai.
"Fashion is more than an industry. It is a medium for expression of one's identity and an important field of culture that can determine the image of a country," Samsung president and chief executive officer Jin-Hoon Je said in a statement. He said the fund, founded in 2005, would "help Korean fashion make its mark on the world market."
Sang A handbags are made primarily of exotic skins such as alligator, snakeskin and shagreen. Signature looks include a zip-top square satchel with square-shaped gold hardware and a parallelogram-shaped clutch.
Starlets Keira Knightley, Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton have carried her bags, which are made in Italy. The line is sold in 25 doors, including select Neiman Marcus stores, Kirna Zabête, Tracey Ross and Satine in Los Angeles.
"I focus on clean shapes," said Im-Propp, who added that her inspiration is derived from Art Deco, Ellsworth Kelly and all things Sixties. "My aesthetic is modern classic with a dose of avant-garde."
As for the honor, Im-Propp said, "I got very emotional at first. I feel like my home country is behind me."
Im-Propp has thought about creating a ready-to-wear line, but not until she's done with her accessories endeavor."My canvas is always black, all the colors that I use go with black," she said. "I'm very focused on different materials you can't find."
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty