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3 Korean designers paving the way at NYFW

By Rachel Douglass

Feb 18, 2022

Fashion

(From left) Image: Nohant, Ul:kin, Eenk

Korean designers have been turning heads at many a fashion week over the past few seasons and New York was no exception.

Fashion collective Concept Korea returned for the AW22 season, spotlighting a selection of top emerging Korean designers through the global fashion event. The programme, hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and supervised by the Korean Creative Content Agency, looks to support the country’s advancement in the fashion industry, promoting the potential Korean fashion brands hold.

This year, three brands presented their AW22 collections via digital fashion movies, sharing their own stories while also flaunting some top Korean models and talent within the presentations.

Image: Eenk, Concept Korea

Eenk

Inspired by vintage glam and magazines of the ‘80s, Eenk presented ‘V for Vintage’, a collection for both men and women. The video, directed by Yoon Byul, sees models positioned in an old trunk show-like atmosphere, sporting the brand’s fantasy-inspired silhouettes, reminiscent of past retro eras. Heritage jacquard patterns, bold silhouettes and contrasting elements define the collection, which offers up both elegant womenswear and military-inspired menswear, side-by-side.

The line comes as part of Eenk’s ongoing ‘Letter Project’, created by designer Lee Hyemee. Collections and pieces created by the brand each come with a designated letter from the alphabet, assigning a theme to each line. Last season’s drop, U for Utopia, for example, focused on futuristic optimism and playful nostalgia. Once the brand hits Z it plans to go back to A and present an Archive collection. The brand’s concept intends to break the cycle of trends, presenting garments more as collectables for the wearer's personal archive and bringing a sense of in-the-moment curiosity to each drop.

Image: Nohant

Nohant

Delivered through a theatrical film, Nohant’s collection strives to embody the “contemporary identity of Seoul”, reinterpreting elements of the current era, such as vintage cable knits and oxford shirts. Its use of well-known silhouettes is part of Nohant’s way of “redefining timeless iconic looks in its own modernised contemporary vibe”, the brand said in a statement to FashionUnited. Nostalgic colours and iconic patterns used throughout the line is its intentional aim of connecting the past and the present.

Launched in 2012 by Nohant Nam, the genderless brand looks to bring an essence of luxury that is both casual and elegant. As it continues to expand on its global presence, it has said it intends to stay true to its initial design principle: timeless aesthetics.

Image: Ul:kin

Ul:kin

A punchy, grunge-like video, featuring stars from the Korean reality show ‘Street Woman Fighter’, set the tone for Ul:kin’s collection. The atmosphere and storyline, based on crowded Seoul clubs, displayed an alternative take on nightlife, fast-forwarding the evening till only the shells of human consumption remained. The message is similar to the one portrayed in the brand’s collection, which uses upcycled vintage clothing to raise awareness of reckless consumerism.

It's a message that has stayed with the brand since its takeoff in 2014, after designer Seongdong Lee began collecting discarded studies and graduation works to create upcycled bags - a now-signature piece for the brand. Its ethos is rooted in connecting art and fashion, shown through regular collaborations with emerging artists on collections that aim to act as societal commentary and support the work of other creators.

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NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
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