There are so many Korean designers actively engaged in the global fashion industry. In particular, some leading designers are playing pivotal roles as spokes persons of Korea, mainly in New York and Paris. For example, Woo Young-mi, who has been well-received every year at the Paris Fashion Week since 2002, became a member of the French fashion trade union in 2011, which is the first time a Korean person has done so. Indeed, she is a fashion maestro.
Lee Sang-bong has educating Europeans about Korean letters and examples of beauty in Korean traditions including ‘stone walls’ and ‘Cheongsachorong (traditional Korean lantern with a red-and-blue silk shade)’. He is now a world-prominent designer, too.
Meanwhile, Korean-American designers have been vigorously show-casing their talents in America. Doori Jeong, a second-generation Korean American, has become well known and praised for her designs and now even designs clothes for Michelle Obama. Moreover, several designers including Richard Chae, Siki Im, Cathy Lee and Sonia Yoon are also gaining attention and respect in the world of fashion. It is now easy to find Korean names in the mainstream American fashion industry.
Fashion beauty brands are also playing their own role in promoting Korea in the world. ‘O’2nd, which is owned by SK Networks of Korea, has now become a feature of Barneys Department store throughout the United States. Furthermore, in the Plaza Hotel, a top class hotel in New York, we can now find ‘MCM’, which is a German luxury brand that was taken over by a Korean company and ‘J.ESTINA’, a jewelry brand of Romanson. In France, perfume brands such as ‘Annick Goutal’ and ‘Lolita Lempicka’, which were taken over by Amore Pacific, lay claim to the high ground in the perfume market
Korean fashion wave mesmerizing New Yorkers
Since the 1970s, Japan and Belgium have been two nations that figured prominently in the whole-world fashion industry. Japanese fashion was all the rage with the emergence of some great Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada and Yohji Yamamoto. Belgium also produced distinguished artists including Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten, making the nation into an advanced fashion republic.
In 2013, the world fashion industry is now smitten by ‘Korea’. At New York Fashion Week, one of the world's four major fashion collection shows, a ‘Concept Korea’ feature has been incorporated since 2009. At the 7th collection last February, some famous Korean designers such as Lee Sang-bang, Choi Boko, Choi Bumsuk and Kim Hongbum mesmerized New Yorkers. Fern Mallis, a former CEO of IMG, extolled Korean fashion and said, “The fashion industry of Korea has been advancing year after year. It's beyond expectation.”
The factors behind Concept Korea’s success in New York are individuality and originality. Choi Boko, who has been in the fashion industry for more than 40 years, presented clothes which are a mixture of five cardinal colors and pop arts. Meanwhile, Kim Hongbum, who made his name on a Korean Cable TV program, received a lot of attention by show-casing the originality and novelty in his creations.
From leading designers to up and coming designers, Korean designers did a great job of presenting their unique collections in a harmonious way - just like the famous Korean food ‘Bibimbab’, a harmonized mixture of good ingredients!