Alice Kim has set her sights high. The South Korean creative director of Kume has worked diligently to reach a large range of retail buyers and untapped client base. With that, the designer returned to UBM Fashion’s trade show Coterie for a second season to repeat the success achieved during her last visit. This time she’s armed with updated look books, line sheets and perfected samples. Here she discusses what’s necessary to build momentum as an international line and how to approach showing at Coterie as a younger brand.
WWD: How has Coterie helped you furnish new relationships?
Alice Kim: There are so many different kinds of buyers. The more buyers that I meet the better. It’s a great way to learn how to deal with different kinds of buyers.
WWD: As a newer brand, what advice would you provide to other lines considering showing at a trade show?
A.K.: Prepare look books to show to your buyers. Your samples have to be perfect and informational sheets really help.
WWD: Why did you decide to return to Coterie for a second season?
A.K.: The reason why I came back is because last season I met a lot of clients who are interested in my brand. Coterie has a huge client pool — I can meet clients, buyers from America, Europe, South America or Central America, or even from Asia. It’s a good opportunity for new designers, upcoming designers, to show their brands to global customers. It gave me opportunity to approach a broader range of customers.
WWD: How would you describe your design philosophy? How was this realized in the spring collection?
A.K.: My design philosophy is minimal, yet very feminine, and yet contemporary. This season I used a lot of stripes and patterns. For example, everything has stripes in it, even the trenchcoat has a gingham pattern. This season, I tried to express my brand in the most romantic way.