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Minju Kim: An interview

Måske har du hørt om Minju Kim, da hun i 2013 vandt H&M’s Design Award. Hvis ikke, får du muligheden her, for den sydkoreanske nye designer er nemlig værd at undersøge nærmere! Minju Kim er udannet ved Royal Academy Of Fine Arts i Antwerpen og har, trods sit nye udspring i den internationale scene, samarbejdet med H&M og Opening Ceremony samt udstillet i lande som Sydkorea, England, USA og Holland. Kultur22 har været så heldige at få et interview med den spirende designer.

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I would like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. I am very fond of your design aesthetic and your take on women’s wear. How would you characterize your style? 

I imagine the brave girls full of confidence about showing what they love and their fantasies. I’m hoping my clothes do convey positive energy and fun – like playing with childhood toys.

How and when did you start to develop in this direction?

My style has been built through my entire life. Loving cartoon, drawing, friends and many things that take part of my life influenced me to have my current style. Walter van Beirendonk is definitely one of my favorite designers. His energy gives me lots of strong inspiration. He really convinced me to study fashion design. Before I didn’t know there was a side like this in fashion. I admire how brave he is, shouting out the messages and his voice in each collection. I see him as a punk kid who cannot withhold the feelings inside, like a little pink bomb. I wish I become a designer like him.

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You grew up in South Korea – has your background and culture had an impact on your designs?

I don’t think my design is irrelevant with life in Korea. Korea, recent days, has opened its market for everyone. When I was young, the fashion market was very small in Korea. I never though about becoming a fashion designer. I got enrolled into the fashion field because my mother suggested me to go study fashion. Afterwards I realized how amazing it actually is, designing the girl I always have fantasized and wished to be in my childhood. I did not intend to demonstrate Korean things in my fashion; but, people find it has something that is Korean-like. It may be, that Korean-like aspects exist in my design because I was born in Korea and spent my childhood there.

You won the H&M Design Award in 2013 – what has it meant to you, professionally and personally?

Before H&M Design Award, I used my collection to express the world that slept inside of me. To me, collections were drawings on sketchbooks. Collections was the path of expressing my world. After H&M Design Award, collections have become not only the path of expressing the world, but also the path of communication. Now I experienced observing what people like in their comfortable life style. It was an amazing great feeling to see girls wear my collection on the street.

H&M Design Award was a very special experience for my career and me. I prepared collections myself and in school before. When I won, I had to work with others and collaborate to get the best results. I personally feel that I entered professional fashion. H&M Design Award meant introduction to professionalism.

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Your designs seem very playful and bold at times. How does that match your personality?

I have not thought about a association between my style and personality. I think my style matches my personality somehow because features and ideas are all from my head. I love people. I love everyone. I do not care about their status, money and birth. You may feel my love from my choice of colors and patterns. Because I easily love or like people, I easily get wounded by people who chase benefits from me. You also feel that from my prints, and drawings. They are having faces of anger.

Can you tell us something about your choice of material? Is there any material that you would never work with? 

I prefer to play with materials that are unexpected. I believe that I can have better outcome this way, forcing myself to try new materials, like little scientists do.  For instance, I chose laser burning, instead of digital print, to gain effect of tattoo on my collection. I knew that using rubber knit to make silhouette, would take so much time and each cable required much handiwork and effort. However, my decision of use of it was very firm. As I said, I enjoy pushing myself to challenge new materials. There are so many materials I haven’t used. I am open to all kind of them.

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What is in store for all of us – your design-fans?

Right now I am working on a new project with my friend in Korea who makes shoes. Her store is ACROBAT, and we are making new shoes together. So I will defiantly recommend Acrobat shoe store!

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