Korean-born, London-based Rejina Pyo quietly came onto the fashion scene following her Central Saint Martins graduation in 2011, but it wasn’t long before she was making waves at retail.
She become known for her collections of voluminous, color-blocked coats and over the past six years has gone on to develop elegant, yet fuss-free clothing that women can breathe into, including mididresses in bright colors, wide-leg jeans and loose shirting.
Along the way, she has gained a legion of supporters, from retailer Mariam Nassir Zadeh to Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and fashion director Lisa Aiken, who subscribe to her female-friendly approach and have helped usher her into the spotlight.
“I do think about how my designs will integrate into the life of the women wearing them. I want them to feel strong and to be comfortable,” said Pyo. “It helps that I am my own customer.”
The designer has been a pioneer in the contemporary category, choosing the accessible luxury route for her label and attracting such retailers as Net-a-porter, Selfridges and Nordstrom.
She has introduced her own footwear, handbag and jewelry ranges and her sculptural heels and Olivia bag in particular have gained cult status among the street-style set.
Retail is Pyo’s next big project. She has started testing the waters with the opening of her pop-up store in Covent Garden this week, the “first of many experience-based retail spaces” she wants to open in the future.
The space aims to offer a glimpse into the designer’s world with archive pieces, sitting next to new seasonal collections, a selection of Claire de Rouen books and ceramics by Naomi Bikis. “It’s a space where people can come along, not just to see product but to enjoy and be inspired by their surroundings,” added the designer.