NEW ARRIVALS: As Seoul Fashion Week drew to a close, 10 of its most promising designer names made their way to London to launch K-Fashion, a new pop-up at Selfridges aimed at spotlighting the best of South Korean design.
The designers created exclusive capsules for the pop-up, which is housed in the women’s designer galleries, on the store’s second floor.
Among the labels on show are Moohong and D-Antidote, which embrace a streetwear sensibility; Nohke, which stands out for its tailored outerwear, Munn, Push Button, Bourie, D.Gnak, Blindness and Resurrection.
Kuho Jung, Seoul Fashion Week’s executive director, said the group of designers, called “10 Soul,” was chosen by a committee that included international and local professionals.
Jung has been spearheading a number of initiatives in order to expose Seoul’s designers to an international audience and has hosted similar events in Milan and Paris.
He said he was drawn to London and to Selfridges, given their international appeal and the opportunity to have direct contact with customers through the pop-up space.
As Korean pop culture gains momentum internationally, Jung’s vision is to create as much interest in Korean design as there is in the country’s beauty industry and music. During the most recent Seoul Fashion Week, he drew a more international audience to the event for the first time, including buyers from Browns, Net-a-porter and Selfridges and a diverse set of celebrity names.
“The attitudes of consumers have changed over the last few years. They’ve heard about K-pop stars, K-beauty, K-movies, but they never heard anything about fashion design in Korea, and through such initiatives they can try the designers’ clothes and find out about all the talent we have in Korea,” said Jung. “My aim is for the global customer to recognize the talent of South Korean designers and become more interest in them.”
To spark interest, Jung brought together various elements from Seoul’s creative world in the pop-up space; Korean graffiti artist Mad Victor decorated the walls of the space, while digital neon artist Yeo-joon Yoon created an installation. There were specially created mouth masks by each designers to decorate the mannequins on display and the launch party was marked by an appearance by the rapper Hanhae, who boasts a social following of more than one million followers.
Lydia King, Selfridges director of women’s wear, said the project is aligned with the retailer’s ongoing commitment to supporting emerging talent. “From pop music to fashion and beauty Korean culture is gaining global recognition, boosting creativity and commercial growth in Western markets,” she said.
The project has been a long time coming and was set to coincide with the store’s Music Matters initiative, as well as the retailer’s highly successful K-Beauty launch, in order to be most impactful.
Similar events in Germany, the U.S. and China are planned for later this year.