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Ji Won Choi Spring 2021 Is A Melting Pot of Cultural References


Ji Won Choi possesses an unprecedented, worldly perspective. The 27-year-old designer was born in Seoul and raised in Oklahoma, then attended faculty in New York Metropolis and Paris, all earlier than coming into the workforce in Milan, the place she at present homes her eponymous label. Right now, with the globe on her shoulders, Choi is taking worldwide runways by storm, exploring social points by vogue and striving to bridge cultures with every of her collections.

Rewind a couple of years; after graduating from the Parson’s College of Design, Choi took house the Kering Empowering Creativeness Award and the YOOXYGEN Award for her thesis assortment — a variety of assertion items constructed for a stripped-down closet, dubbed “Excessivism” — which led to a large number of alternatives that positioned Choi on the forefront of vogue.

In 2019, the designer debuted a colourful, three-striped assortment with Adidas Originals, one which the likes of Kendall Jenner and Beyoncé have been fast to sport. In tandem with the collaboration’s success, Choi appeared as a contestant on Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum‘s international design competitors Making The Cut, the place she completed in fifth place among the many 12 rivals.

Up to now, Choi has proven collections beneath her eponymous label throughout New York Trend Week and London Trend Week alongside together with her main partnerships, however right this moment, she’s specializing in rebranding her line as a singular designer, unbiased from collaborations and indulgent in her personal aesthetic. Using the momentum of her milestones this 12 months, Choi debuted her new-and-improved Spring 2021 namesake assortment on a completely new entrance: Milan Trend Week.

“This assortment was the primary assortment that we launched after my rebranding,” Choi defined. “It is about taking my very own heritage, Korean heritage, to Italy the place Italian artisans created all of the little particulars, the hand portray and all of the textiles, which have been particular person squares that have been all sewn collectively out of deadstock supplies. It’s totally labor intensive, and it is specializing in craftsmanship and the work with artisans, but it surely’s carried out in a really fashionable means that may be taken out into the streets.”

A vivid homage to Choi’s roots, the gathering — titled “Antecedent” — calls on a conventional quilting technique referred to as “jogakbo” and an array of vivid textiles to instill a way of interconnectivity into each bit. The designer’s signature lining methods elevate clothes, buckled tops and jumpsuits, whereas aspect stripes resembling baggage tags communicate to Choi’s worldwide presence on related silhouettes. As for the assertion items, a blue patchwork go well with enhances a purple gown in the identical detailed cloth, and a futuristic, black-and-blue jacket flaunts the devoted craftsmanship current all through the vary.

Choi’s design course of is simply as private, too. As an alternative of handing her sketches to a 3rd celebration for preliminary samples, the designer crafts every pattern herself, earlier than attempting them on herself to gauge how they match.

“We now have sewers at factories right here, however I believe for lots of designers, it’s totally arduous to translate your drawing into 3D while you give it to another person,” she defined. “I’ve to see it by myself physique relatively than on a mannequin as a result of I do know myself. I do know if it feels too tight or if it is too brief or no matter, so I can regulate the 3D type in that means, after which I put it on a mannequin and see it from an outsider perspective.”

As a part of Choi’s rebranding, sustainability performed a crucial position on this newest vary’s creation; she ensured that every cloth and design course of was totally eco-friendly. “We use deadstock materials and licensed natural materials and we hint every step of our complete international footprint,” she stated. “We additionally work with lots of suppliers in Italy which are very sustainably centered. They developed such loopy issues, like leather-based out of mushrooms and cactus. It is insane.”

Bridging Italian artistry together with her Korean DNA, Choi’s Spring 2021 assortment does precisely what she desires it to do: promote interconnectivity amongst heritages by a melting pot of cultural design methods. “I hope that my work coping with totally different cultures makes folks rather less illiberal of various folks and totally different locations,” she stated of her life-long objectives in vogue. “What I actually attempt to do is deliver totally different components from totally different locations and merge them collectively in order that they will coexist.”

Images courtesy of Ji Received Choi

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