Interview with Yeashin Kim for YEASHIN
Do you know her or at least have heard her name?
If you don’t, I suggest you better start getting to know her NOW as she is bound to be a STAR. At just 24-years-old, she has launched her own brand under her name and been invited to participate in major runway shows and exhibitions for the best up-and-coming design talents in Europe including Ones To Watch at Fashion Scout London and Zip Zone Paris Fashion Tradeshow taking place during London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week respectively. In her final year of her studies at the design school, she was voted The Best Fashion Graduate by Vogue UK and won the WGSN Global Fashion Awards in the Most Creative Student Collection category. Who is she? Listen up! Her name is YEASHIN KIM.
Mini profile of Yeashin Kim:
Occupation: Founder and designer of YEASHIN since 2011
Education: London College of Fashion, class of 2011
Spotted YEASHIN Spring/Summer 2013 collection “Garden of East” from the press package of Fier Showroom Fall/Winter 2013 (Berlin) happening in January for the first time, I have been totally captivated by the designer’s sensitivity to unique color combinations, unlimited creativity to experiment with different fabric textures and materials and imaginative expression in mixing and matching the seemingly irrelevant elements. Being a keen admirer of the 1960s British modern style and deeply inspired by traditional Korean costumes, Yeashin created the uniquely speechless and exceptionally cheery Spring/Summer “Garden of East” collection packed with vibrant, dynamic and vivid color pleated shifts stylized with a gat, a type of Korean traditional hat worn by men during the Joseon Dynasty, which exuded elegance and sweetness with a girly and fun touch, also best exemplified an exotic blend of retro-chic and neo-traditional, of east and west. Thank you Goran of Fier Management for coordinating my interview with Yeashin. Are you ready? Let’s journey into the creative mind and career of this future star of fashion.
Hi Yeashin, thank you for taking the time to speak with me……
GV Miao: Since when have you realized that you would decide to develop your career in fashion design? As far back as you can remember, did your interest in fashion start early (or let me put it this way, did your artistic ability start to show at a young age?)?
Yeashin: I graduated from an arts middle and high school in South Korea. At that time my major was in fine art, so I started doing fine art when I was very young. In my last year of middle school, I watched a fashion show for the first time and I thought fashion is a very splendid major because it brings different subjects together such as music, fine art, stage art, business, etc. That’s why I chose fashion which requires a lot of hard work but also very dynamic. And a few years later I entered the London College of Fashion.
GV Miao: How would you describe your design/your brand, YEASHIN (in terms of style, aesthetics, etc.)? ?I understand that many editors, fashion journalists and bloggers have written something about your collections, but somehow to a certain extent, I reckon those descriptions may be an individual’s interpretation of your works which do not necessarily represent the whole picture. I would like to hear it from you directly.
Yeashin: My brand’s mission is to make my customers joyful and their lives enjoyable and colorful. I hope to deeply move people who saw my clothes and please them with feelings of joy. I also want them to see fresh ideas and color combinations, too.? I pay attention to clothes details and love playing around with a variety of materials, which I think make my design different from others. A typical YEASHIN girl is a playful mixture of bubbly and lively dressed in colors yet not without elegance.
GV Miao: Do you think the Korean cultural influence which exudes in your designs an asset for your career or somehow a stumbling block which may prevent you from attempting some groundbreaking ideas? ?(What I was trying to say is, taking some internationally known designers who are strongly influenced by Chinese culture such as Vivienne Tam and Wang-Chen Tsai-Hsia for Shiatzy Chen from Taiwan as an example, the fashion media automatically expects to see a China-inspired collection from them every season on the runway as they have pigeonholed them into the “East Meets West” type of designers. Designers of this kind may tend to think inside the box. I’m personally obsessed with oriental aesthetics and that essentially explains the name of my blog “an oriental perspective.” But I would like to know your thoughts on this as it can be quite a controversial subject. It’s often said art for art’s sake. Will it possibly take your designs to the next level if culture doesn’t take into account? But let me stress again, I personally love your Korean-inspired style though and would like to see more in your future collections.)
Yeashin: I love the concept of originality and inspiration of traditional Korean clothes in my design. Since I was young, I have been exposed to Korean culture and traditions through visiting exhibitions and shows. Therefore, I didn’t force myself to deliberately transfer traditional Korean elements into my design, they just came naturally to me. However, I want to say that keeping Korean-inspired style is not a must-do task. I wouldn’t do Korean looks if inspiration doesn’t show up. In fact, there is much more than just traditional Korean design details to feature in my collection every season. I just highlight Korean aesthetics with accessories and shoes.
GV Miao: YEASHIN has been very well-received in the fashion circle since its 2011 debut collection. How would you see the future of your brand?
Yeashin: Just keep doing more London-based fashion shows to maintain brand visibility, and further explore the possibilities of my design style.
GV Miao: How would you see the opportunity of entering the huge China market? (There is the Korean pop culture boom among the youth in Hong Kong. It could be the first stop (apart from Seoul) to expand your business in Asia.)
Yeashin: Of course I want to sell my clothes in China. Some selective retailers in China contacted me and they want to sell a few pieces from my collection. I like the idea but not yet ready to expand the retail network. Right now I just focus on doing fashion shows. I have to get prepared to launch a ready-to-wear line for sale.
GV Miao: If you didn’t choose to be a fashion designer, what do you think you’ll be doing today?
Yeashin: Like I said before, my first major was in fine art. I started doing fine art when I was very young, and I still love painting. Sometimes I like to do some paintings when I have the time. If I did not choose fashion, maybe I would become a painter from which I can gain more freedom. But until now I have much preferred working in fashion.
GV Miao: What’s up next? Anything groundbreaking about YEASHIN coming up? Can you share with me your inspiration for the next collection?
Yeashin: I just finished my Autumn/Winter 2013 runway show at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. The concept of my new Autumn/Winter collection is based on traditional Korean wooden furniture and David Hockney’s paintings.
GV Miao: Lastly, fashion design is a super tough and highly competitive career. How do you stand out from the competition and what’s your life motto to keep you going?
Yeashin: I keep doing it because I enjoy it, that’s all.
Yeashin’s great fondness for bright colours and obsession with fabrics, textures and patterns were reflected to the utmost in her Fall/Winter 2013 collection “Woodland” which debuted at Ones To Watch catwalk show at Fashion Scout London during London Fashion Week (two months ago. Inspired by the beauty of traditional Korean wooden furniture and intense and dramatic colors of the 1960s British pop artist David Hockney’s paintings, the designer dressed up her models as woodland fairies in Alice in Wonderland style – fantastical, ecstatic and glamorous. The antique wood prints brought unity and cohesiveness to the hybrid collection of 14 outfits consisting of high waist bell shaped dresses which gave a hint of the silhouette of the hanbok the traditional attire of Korea and short bolero jackets accessorized with Jacqueline Kennedy’s pillbox hats, top hats symbolic of British high society and Korean gat inspired headpieces. A delicate love affair between the young designer and colors continued through the next winter – burgandy, emerald, bubble gum, lilac, black, turquoise, tangerine, baby blue, ivory, caffe, cream – and she used them without hesitation.
Yeashin played with heavy and light fabrics and juxtaposed them to create an interesting contrast. So there was a mandarin collar polar fleece embellished satin dress with fleece fur trimmed cuffs and a leather belt, a fleece embellished tweed coat featuring a textured grid pattern, a chunky knit poncho paired with a leather skirt, fringes and pom poms on collars, leather peplum details and other materials such as gabardine, silk chiffon and wool.
La Mode by GV Miao wishes Yeashin Kim all the best in her future career. I will do everything I can to bring the dazzling YEASHIN to the China market. Dear fans, our collaboration has just begun so please stay closely tuned. Isn’t it thrilling?
La Mode by GV Miao