PARIS — It is System Studios’ first time on the Paris Fashion Week schedule, but the brand has been present in the French capital for quite some time. The South Korean ready-to-wear brand’s men’s and women’s collection can be found at Parisian concept-store Tom Greyhound, where its performance led the brand to start thinking about exposing its designs to an international audience.
“System Studios has become one of the three best-selling brands in the store, after Off-White and Loewe,” said David Kang, who heads the Paris division of Handsome Corp., the South Korean company owning both System and Tom Greyhound.
Tom Greyhound is System Studio’s only point of sale outside of Asia; it counts 100 retailers in South Korea alone. “We’ve had a lot of positive comments from our Parisian clients about the brand,” continued Kang. “It confirmed our wish to launch internationally.”
Inspired by Seoul’s distinctive street style, System Studios was launched in 1990 for women’s wear and 2008 for men’s wear. The brand’s international design teams — 47 people for women’s, 36 for men’s — are based in Seoul.
Based on the concept of mix and match, classical pieces, like a tailored jacket or a striped shirt, are modernized with more streetwear-inspired pieces, worn layered over each other. Trousers are often cut just above the ankle — to put the spotlight on a pair of killer trainers, maybe? — and quality is of paramount importance: System Studios works with its own factories, allowing complete control over garment fabrication.
In addition to System Studios and Tom Greyhound, parent company Handsome Corp., which was bought by Hyundai Department Store Group in 2012, is responsible for the distribution of brands such as Lanvin, Chloé, Bally and Jimmy Choo on the South Korean market.
“In the last decade, Korean consumers have become very attentive to trends and fashion,” Kang said. “Big luxury groups quickly understood the potential of the Korean market. In return, it allowed Korean designers to develop their international exposure.”
On Jan. 18, System Studios will present both men’s and women’s wear looks. It’s the brand first presentation outside of South Korea.