ONBOARDING WOMEN: Wooyoungmi, the high-end men’s wear label established by South Korean designer Woo Youngmi in Paris in 2002, is branching out into women’s wear, which will debut in its Saturday show at Paris Fashion Week.
The move reflects an obsession of mother-daughter design duo, Woo and Katie Chung, who was brought on by her mother in 2014.
The idea is to find common ground between men’s and women’s wear, explained Woo, in the label’s Paris-based showroom, which sits on the bank of the Seine River.
“We’re trying to find one point where they can meet,” said Woo, speaking through an interpreter.
They don’t want women to look like men, or vice versa, she added.
With the influence of Chung, the label has already explored the fluctuating boundaries between masculine and feminine looks. The pair have nudged it from a more romantic bohemian flavor to the streets in recent seasons, offering sportswear paired with suiting for spring, for example.
A member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode Masculine, the label has been a mainstay on the men’s calendar over the years and has flagships in Paris and Seoul.
For fall, the designers took inspiration from “Orlando,” Sally Potter’s Nineties film starring Tilda Swinton.
If only one could experience both genders in one life, mused Woo.
“If we could, it would be amazing,” she said, speaking through an interpreter. Her favorite look in the film was one of the first: a voluminous blouse worn by Swildon’s character in the 17th century — when she was an English nobleman.