Calvin Klein Collection is about to make a major fashion statement in Seoul, with the help of two art insiders.

This story first appeared in the December 7, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The spring women’s and men’s lines will be showcased Thursday as installations at the Kring Creative Culture Space, with Korean-American artist Jean Shin doing the honors for the women’s collection and British curator Neville Wakefield creating one for the men’s. Shin was commissioned to design one of her monumental installations that draws upon the women’s offerings. After spending time with creative director Francisco Costa, shadowing him while he worked and listening to his inspiration for the season and his design process, Shin walked away with a unique perspective that became the anchor for her one-of-a-kind work.

Known for transforming castoff materials from local communities into expressions of identity, Shin has said, “Much of my work is site-specific, and thus establishes a dialogue with architecture and the outside environment. By reinserting these constructions to the public realm, I invite viewers to bring their own histories to the work. Through these interactions, each installation creates its own imaginary community and speaks to our shared experiences.”

Neither Shin’s installation, nor the one by Wakefield, will use live models. In addition to the artists, Costa, Italo Zucchelli and Calvin Klein Inc.’s president and chief executive officer Tom Murry will be on hand to mingle with 500 fashion insiders, notables and movers and shakers from Korea’s art world.

The decision to host the event in Korea stands to benefit business. “Korea has been our second most important Asian market for Calvin Klein in the past year after Japan, but we anticipate it will move to the number-one position in 2010. It is a very well-developed market for all our brands and will most likely remain the most important market in Asia for us until China takes over some time in the not too distant future,” Murry said. “We have five Calvin Klein Collection stores in Korea — we have never done a Collection event there before of this magnitude so the timing was right with the increase in market share.”

South Korea’s economy is starting to bounce back from the worldwide slowdown. South Korea’s central bank reported Friday the economy grew 3.2 percent in the third quarter, beating estimates and driven by an uptick in manufacturing, exports and services. The gross domestic product has increased for three consecutive quarters, after shrinking 5.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

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