KUHO & Juun.J: Creating a
Common Language Through Fashion
The Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter cycle in the world of fashion is neverending, with some of the most creative minds looking to dazzle the world and steal the spotlight with their novel and inspirational designs. The spurts of creativity that explode on runways around the world converge in an endless stream of new concepts and interpretations of the world, expressed through the language of fashion. The ability to convey such ideas through different colors, cuts, and folds is what gives designers a unique tool to reach out and connect with others. Given the increasingly tight-knit global community we live in, it’s easy to understand why designers and fashion brands are on a continuous mission to extend their reach beyond their home markets.
Breaking Into Fashion Capital New York
Fashion capitals like New York, London, and Paris are considered some of the most attractive entry points for brands looking to enjoy greater global stature. After successfully introducing its collection last year during New York Fashion Week, Samsung C&T’s contemporary fashion brand KUHO unveiled its S/S 2018 collection on September 9.
Inspired by the beautiful surroundings one would encounter while taking a stroll on a fine spring day, the collection took a step away from some of its most favored tints and shades of color such as maroon, navy blue, gray, and beige. Instead, it delivered a fresh burst of energy with splashes of neon and floral patterns.
With its new collection, KUHO is looking to grow its presence in the U.S. market. KUHO has 66 stores in its home market South Korea and a strong presence in Asia. In New York, it already sells to luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman, but it’s looking for more creative ways to connect with potential buyers and consumers, not least through the art of presentation.
This year, instead of organizing a show on the runway, KUHO created an intimate space with large sheer white screens hanging from the ceiling. Swirls of daydreamy pastel color lights were projected onto these sheets, seemingly to conjure up the image of the scent of spring wafting through the room.
Invited to the showcase were some 300 members of the fashion industry, including buyers from major luxury department stores and international online retailers as well as fashion directors from leading publications. Many attendees found themselves standing just a few steps away from the models and able to get a close-up look at the latest designs in great detail.
Tools of Dialogue Ever-Evolving
The use of diverse tools to convey the underlying message and identity of each collection is something Juun.J, another Samsung C&T luxury fashion brand, is familiar with as well.
While presenting its S/S 2018 collection back in Paris in June, Juun.J also opened up the space so that visitors could take photos from close up and touch the clothes on display. One year before that, the brand even offered a 360-view of the collection at Paris Fashion Week through VR.
The brand, most well known for deconstructing conventional patterns and piecing them back together in long-limbed garbs often with asymmetrical elements of layering, is by no means a newcomer to the scene. Just last year in January, Juun.J, the designer of his namesake brand, was invited as the menswear guest designer to the 89th Pitti Uomo – the most influential menswear show in the world. Juun.J products are already available in almost 100 boutiques in roughly 30 countries.
But the opportunity to showcase his S/S 2018 collection in the bustling hub of Asia, Hong Kong, was one the designer did not want to miss. Juun.J was invited to Centre Stage, Hong Kong’s largest fashion trade show, early September as a guest designer to put on his first runway show in the megacity.
“It’s a great honor to be able to introduce my collection in Asia’s hub of fashion Hong Kong, which is inextricably linked to China and its ambitions to dominate the global fashion industry,” Juun.J said.
The brand partnered up with the city’s iconic Joyce boutique to operate a popup store throughout this month to better introduce his collection to the market. His F/W 2017 collection is already on display at the shop.
But reaching out to consumers is not just about more exposure. The menswear brand is also inching toward a gender-free space, made evident in its Hong Kong show, which had more female than male models on the runway. Many of Juun.J’s designs are rooted in wardrobe classics such as shirts, trench coats, and sweatshirts, which are time-honored favorites across the spectrum.
Such novel efforts will continue to be made in the world of fashion. By tearing down conventional walls of presentation and communication, global brands will look for intimate ways to connect with their consumers and find more compelling tools, enabling them to convey their work through a shared language that cuts across all cultures.