NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Designer Chung Chung Lee of LIE and designer Younhee Park of GREEDILOUS walk the runway for Concept Korea during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics wasn’t the only focus on Korea on Friday. In the United States, fashion designers from the Southeast Asian country were the focus of a runway show during New York Fashion Week. Called Concept Korea, the initiative is organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea and the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). Its purpose is to promote Korean fashion design and to expose it to the American market. This season, Concept Korea presented two womenswear labels: Lie by Chung Chung Lee, and Greedilous by Younhee Park. Park presented her collection first, which included a collaboration with Beyoncé stylist Ty Young. Park was influenced by beauty in women, particularly on extreme glamour, the Palace of Versailles and the romance of Marie Antoinette’s style. Lee took a more political bent, titling his collection “GLOBAL WARMING; It’s not justICE.” I quizzed Lee and Park about what it’s like to work in fashion in Seoul, Korea’s moment in global, and why the United States needs to pay attention to Korean fashion.
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: A model walks the runway for Concept Korea during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows) LIE by Chung Chung Lee: Binlot: You grew up with fashion in your family. Why did you want to follow in their footsteps? Lee: I originally did not want to pursue fashion design. I had always thought I would work in business management with a 9-6 work life, away from the family business. It was a turning point during my studies at Central Saint Martins that required me to partake in art and design courses, with a final project reimagining LIE SANG-BONG as an international label. This changed my view completely about the industry and what I want to do in life. Binlot: What is it like working with your sister? Lee: My sister Nana and I got really close when we went to school in London (we both majored in fashion design at Central Saint Martins). We spent so much time together from working on school projects by day and going to the pub at night. I am left-handed so she is basically my right hand, I always look to her for support and valuable opinions. She is more geared towards the management and marketing side of the business, she got masters in Design Management, which allowed me to focus more on design. She most often challenges my ideas and pushes me towards creating beautiful things.