PARIS — “Right now I just want to focus on this, to kill it and keep doing better, and I just want people to [be able to share in my aesthetic],” said South Korean-born techno DJ and producer Peggy Gou, who on Feb. 26 will host a dinner at Paris’ Beefbar for the launch of her brand, Kirin.
Don’t expect a speech, though. “‘Ding, ding, ding,’ I always find that quite cheesy,” quipped Gou, the latest recruit of New Guards Group, which counts Off-White, Heron Preston and Marcelo Burlon in its stable. Performing a DJ set at a Mytheresa.com and Off-White event triggered the adventure, with Off-White’s Virgil Abloh pushing for her to meet with the company to discuss her vision.
Not being a designer — even though she studied at the London College of Fashion and used to work as a fashion editor for Harper’s Bazaar Korea — Gou, who is passionate about clothes, confessed she was nervous about the idea to begin with, questioning whether she would be able to handle any potential flak from critics. But she was reassured by the support of the New Guards Group, which put a team in place.
“To be honest, I want to make clothes that I can wear,” she said, speaking over the phone from Berlin where she is based, though she’s hardly there. “I always say, if you live in Berlin, you have to leave, meaning if I was there all of the time, I might get sick of it. Because I travel so much, it feels like home, and this is where I create things, I have a studio at home,” said Gou.
When it comes to her own style, Gou likes to keep things as eclectic as possible, mixing men’s wear, streetwear and dresses. “When I go to a store, I don’t even need to try anything on, I just know what looks good on me. I’m very specific about my style,” she said.
Working on her first collection has proven a learning curve. “It’s a lot of work,” said Gou who since June, in between DJing around the world, has been fitting in monthly trips to Milan to oversee the project, trying to communicate to the team her vision and how she works.
She’s a bit of a perfectionist. “The thing about me is that I always want more, I always want better. When I was looking at the look book, I was like: ‘Team, we can do better next time.’ But it is the first collection, don’t be too harsh,” she said.
On what she wants to bring to the table in a saturated market, she replied: “These days, things are changing super fast, there’s always someone new…In the music industry as well, there are new artists every month. I’m doing my brand and label because I wanted to be my own boss in everything I do.”
For her debut line, expect logo prints and color-blocked items and lots of plays on “the two-piece,” her favorite look, whether through total-look denim pairings or pajamas. “Matching clothes will be a signature, it gives so much coolness,” she said.
She’s also incorporated a print based on a mythological creature from Korean culture, and a gun print: “But the message is not to shoot, so the gun is twisted,” said Gou.
Gudu, the name of her music label, is Korean for shoes, one of her passions, even if there’s no footwear in her collection. “I’m more into the idea of collaborations, there are too many good shoes out there already,” she said, reeling off some of her fetish brands including Acne, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Nike.
In terms of upcoming projects, the designer, who returns to her homeland four to five times a year, will be back there in April for a big exhibition on clubbing, with participating artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans.