Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10 Korean designers eye global stage

en rising Korean designers will participate in the Asia Fashion Exchange in Singapore on May 20 as part of a promotional event for the Seoul-led fashion project “Seoul’s 10 Soul.”

The local government launched the project last year to raise global awareness about Korean fashion brands. Every year, 10 fashion designers from 10 brands are selected and given the opportunity to make their debut on global stages such as Paris, London and New York.

A total of 37 designers, who partook in the Seoul Fashion Week from March 28 to April 2, applied for this year’s project and were reviewed by 15 judges — five Koreans and 10 foreigners — through three phases.

The 10 designers are Ko Tae-yong (Beyond Closet), Kim Sun-ho (Ground Wave), Kim Jae-hwan (ALANI), Sheen Je-hee (Jehee Sheen), Choi Bum-suk (General Idea), Kim Jae-hyun (Jardin de chouette), Lee Suk-tae (Kaal E.Suktae), Lee Seung-hee (Leyii), Lee Jae-hwan (jaehwan* lee paris) and Steve Jung and Yoni Pai (Steve J & Yoni P).

“Big progress in men’s wear is conspicuous in this year’s project. Compared to 2010, the participating ratio of designers for men’s wear rose from 30 percent to 50 percent. This reflects the recent international trend that the men’s fashion market is getting bigger as fashions and lifestyles are changing. Also, Korean men’s wear is coming into the spotlight in recent years,” the government said in a statement.

The Asia Fashion Exchange, which kicked off on May 11 and will continue through May 22, consists of events such as Blueprint, the Asia Fashion Summit and the Audi Fashion Festival. Korean exhibitors will showcase 30 pieces specially designed for the event and meet foreign buyers to promote the Korean fashion industry and strengthen their global network.

His design concept for the upcoming event features neo classic, high-end and avant-garde looks which put more emphasis on the shoulder line to create an embracing feeling rather than a strong, macho style with washed wool, dyed and washed cotton, washed silk mixed with linen. He has taken part in the Seoul Fashion Week from 2009 to 2011 and Pitti Uomo in Italy.

Cat Ong, director of Blueprint, said that he is expecting “Seoul’s 10 Soul” fashion show to blossom as Asian designers are getting attention internationally and the Asia Fashion Exchange can help designers gain the international spotlight.

Starting from participation in the Singapore fashion event, the 10 designers will be given an opportunity to appear in the world-renowned trade show “Tranoi,” which is held four times a year in Paris.

The Tranoi Homme is held in January and June while the Tranoi Femme takes place in March and October. Some 900 fashion brands and 20,000 buyers participate in the shows. Few Korean designers have taken part as its entry barrier is high. However, since the city government’s project was launched last year, more and more Korean designers have had more opportunities to participate.

Seoul will support them with all-out aid such as showroom booths, overseas business consulting and promotional events to localize Korean brands in Paris.

After the yearlong promotional events around the world, the final winner out of the 10 will be selected by the end of this year. Named “Star Designer,” he or she will be given more benefits to extend their overseas activities for one year with more support and aid. The winner will take part in the Paris Collection from January to December in 2012 and open a showroom there.

Last year, Choi Ji-hyung, selected as “Star Designer” made her successful debut at the Paris’ famous showroom “MC2.” Her collection received rave reviews from the foreign press and buyers and she is now in business training.

Source: The Korea Times

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