The Daily Front Row Presents The Selects: A Celebration of the SS20 Collections
Words by Joseph Benjamin
NEW YORK, NY, September 10, 2019 – Fashion is a collaborative effort, we are in the age of community and which means now is the time to develop yourself and help others. The Daily Front Row and The Selects celebrated the Spring/Summer 2020 collections of ten up-and-coming Korean brands: Beyond Closet, BMUET(TE), HEOHWAN SIMULATION, Hidden Forest Market, KYE, LEYII, LIE, NOHANT, SWBD, and WNDERKAMMER; last night at The Selects showroom on Greene Street, in New York’s SoHo district. The Selects represents the top ten up-and-coming Korean designers and provides them with maximum exposure to the US market. This initiative goes beyond fashion and will encompass K-Culture in general.
The Selects space, located in the heart of New York’s SoHo district, will host special events, pop-up stores, artist collaborations and exhibitions, and more. With the combined mission of promoting Korea’s fashion talent, while also creating a vibrant “go-to.”location to experience Korean culture in New York City, this initiative is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (MCST) and the Korea Creative Content Agency.
In attendance were designers Chung Chung Lee (LIE), Hye Young Shin (WNDERKAMMER), and Seunghee Lee (LEYII); Alana Hadid; B. Hawk Snipes, Baby Yors, Brandusa Niro, Brittenelle Fredericks; Candice Wu; Eleanor Lambert; Emily Kammeyer; Fern Mallis; Grace Atwood; Greivy; Indira Cesarine; Jessica Markowski; Kurt Osenlund, Luda Weigand; Miss Charming; Orion Carloto; Park Han-byul; Preston Souza; Rachel Li; Riho Minami; Ronny Oppong; Scarlett Hao; Sophie and Charlotte Bickley.
Beyond Closet What one has in his closet reflects his personality, sensitivity, and lifestyle: It’s this concept which best informs Beyond Closet’s designs. Tae Young Ko, the creative force behind the brand, cites the preppy look, a classically American aesthetic, as a key source of inspiration. References are whimsically reinterpreted each season with witty graphics and variety of colors.
Launched in 2015, BMUET(TE) is a visually proactive ready-to-wear brand with a mission: to challenge pre-conceived notions of objects and to convey new beauty. Design duo, Byungmun Seo and Jina Um, create directional collections, which they describe as “weird, but beautiful.” Incorporating unconventional garment construction and pattern cutting, and rendered in accessible yet luxurious materials, BMUET(TE) garments are distinctively modern, expressive, and one of a kind.
HEOHWAN SIMULATION is a London-started womenswear label created by Korean-born designer, Hwan Heo. Reimagining old world glamour through an avant-garde lens, Heo’s collections skillfully balance commerciality and creative integrity. Having studied history in University, the designer often draws inspiration from the past, both in terms of aesthetics and craftsmanship – and it’s this historical specificity which serves as a testament to how well-versed he is in his discipline. But Heo also has a keen and perceptive eye, with which he observes the movements of the present. Combining contemporary trends with historical references, Heo’s designs are timeless, yet imbued with newness.
Hidden Forest Market
Launched in 2012, Hidden Forest Market is the brainchild of designers Hyun Hwang and Sun Jun Cho. The husband and wife team have a knack for creating clothing that women want to wear: their collections incorporate simple, yet sophisticated looks with a modern and effortless spirit. Hidden Forest Market was born out of the couple’s shared desire to create clothing which expressed their distinct personal taste and laidback sense of cool. With a deep understanding of the importance of communicating individuality through clothing, the designers’ craft collections that are intended to give the wearer the freedom to tell her own story through her style
Kathleen Kye brings an expressive and emotional voice to the Korean fashion scene. Her eponymous label, KYE, offers designs that are deeply personal, often reflective of her own reactions to the current state of global, social and political affairs. Kye approaches such subject matter with a sense of humor, wit, and optimism, offering women designs that are vibrant in mood, colorful in palette, and elaborate in detail. With an established cult following and a growing international business, KYE offers quirky, covetable garments that appeal to women looking for distinctive, yet accessible style.
LEYII is a contemporary designer brand that celebrates femininity, emphasizing the beauty of a woman’s form through a balance of minimal structural lines and meticulous, delicate draping. Designer Seunghee Lee, a graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins, has been showing her collections at Seoul Fashion Week since 2010 and has participated in several high-profile international fashion exhibitions, including Concept Korea (2014 & 2019).
Female individuality, expression, emotion and strength are qualities central to the brand DNA of LIE. Designed by Central Saint Martin’s graduate Chung Chung Lee, LIE masterfully blends geometric patterns, sculptural shapes, bold color, and playful textures. Since the brand’s inception, independent and creative women around the globe have flocked to the brand for its effortless elegance, unconventional voice and multicultural approach. Today, LIE has two freestanding stores, multiple pop-up shops throughout Asia, and a dedicated shop in the flagship LIE SANGBONG Concept store in New York City’s Meatpacking District. The line is distributed through wholesale accounts across the world, including specialty shops and department stores in Korea, Singapore, China, Turkey, the Middle East, Canada, and the United States.
NOHANT is a unisex ready-to-wear collection based in Seoul and founded with a fundamental premise: to create iconic essentials that both women and men would want to wear every day. Pronounced No-Ahng, the French pronunciation of designer Noah Nam’s name, the collection incorporates Parisian elements of modernity, simplicity, and casual elegance, while focusing on distinctive design, enduring style, and uncompromising quality. As NOHANT continues to grow its global presence, it remains deeply rooted in its core values of timeless aesthetics and effortless sophistication.
SWBD, or Sewing Boundaries, is a unisex brand created by Dongho Ha. True to its name, SWBD’s mission is to “make a distinction by combining ambiguous garments.” Ha is not one to shy away from experimentation. As Ha’s design direction continues to evolve, SWBD will extend beyond the genderless and seek to make a connection and bridge the gap between younger and older generations. Looking ahead, Ha sees the opportunity to extend the life of garments by designing items “for whole families – to be shared by women and men, children and adults.”
WNDERKAMMER offers unfettered, unpretentious sophistication. A play on the classic “wunderkammer,” or cabinet of curiosities, the label’s name also refers to designer Hye Young Shin’s own unique collection of objects which hold special meaning to her and serve as a source of inspiration. Crafted in natural and eco-friendly fabrics, Shin’s designs are geared toward the needs of the modern woman; they are versatile, pragmatic and wearable. Nevertheless, her ready-to-wear designs leave a strong impression.