Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Occupation: Creative director of ASHLYN.
Hometown: South Korea.
Studio location: New York.
Describe what you make: Luxurious womenswear with a focus on clean, tailored silhouettes and comfort. My commitment is to make only the highest-quality, well-made clothing that can be worn for many years to reduce unnecessary consumption and waste.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: I began to understand my responsibility as a designer while working under Yohji Yamamoto early in my career. He instilled me in a sense of pride and commitment to quality that would counter a world where overproduction and overconsumption in fashion have become the norm. The pandemic only furthered my commitment to change with my role as a designer. I paused to ask myself about sustainability: Who benefits from it and how can it be achieved?
For Spring/Summer 2021, I wanted to address this problem head-on. I collaborated with photographer Youn Jung Kim to create a documentary focused on the issue of pollution and sustainability in the fashion industry. The project captures moving images of garments left floating in the water; a reflection on the materials we use that go back to the earth, later to be consumed by us through the food chain. For this reason, my garments are made from responsibly sourced, low-impact natural fibers such as linen, reiterative wool, and organic cotton. To take this commitment a step further, I started a capsule collection of “zero-waste” designs for FW21. These garments are constructed from a single-piece fabric cut and produced with zero waste product.
Describe the problem your work solves: My zero-waste project has started to solve the problem that the fashion industry impacts the environment with a lot of waste. I also offer bespoke tailoring; a pre-order option allows me to responsibly create pieces that are produced only after an order has been received. I believe that by adopting this thoughtful business model, I Can work to change consumer consciousness and behavior.
Describe the project you are working on now: The next collection is going to be all about “Trash of the environment” and the idea of “plastics and wastes.” I’m thinking of expressing this matter in a sarcastic way. Using the waste bin bag like fabric onto the collection, throwing “waste” problems to the consumer, and inviting them to join in and be conscious about this matter together.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: Upcycled accessory line incoming for the Spring/Summer 2022 season. The main word for the project is “reducing waste.” Recycling is a little tricky since there are many side effects of recycled goods like chemical and water wastes during the recycling process. I want to introduce a puffy bag that will be filled with scrap fabrics instead of regular batting or poly fillers. The outer shell will be finished clean and minimal.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Well-organized table, bright lights, music, coffee, and more coffee.
What you do when you’re not working: Camping. I launched my own brand in my home studio so there’s no boundary between work and my personal life. When the traveling ban was placed due to Covid-19, my family and I started to go on short camping trips. It’s a perfect way to escape from home and work.
Sources of creative envy: Geoffrey Beene, Charles James, Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Tilda Swinton, and Korean actress Mihee Chang.
The distraction you want to eliminate: Social media, especially when I’m developing upcoming collections. I don’t want my creative flow to get disturbed. To build my own design language and world, intensive focus on building the concept is crucial. Also, fast fashion and fast-consuming behaviors of the environment. This is the opposite way of my brand direction. So it’s my hope!
Concrete or marble? Concrete, especially exposed concrete.
High-rise or townhouse? High-rise!
Remember or forget? Keep forgetting and trying to remember.
Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts.
Dark or light? Light.