Hera Seoul Fashion Week presents trendy and wearable designsMadeinkoreablog
Starting with designer Bakangchi’s runway show and Jin Te-ok’s fashion exhibition last Friday, 2016 Spring/Summer (S/S) Hera Seoul Fashion Week hosted 39 top-designer collections and 20 young rising designer shows for six days that ended Wednesday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), Seoul.
Seoul Fashion Week appointed Jung Ku-ho, the former creative director of Korea’s largest fashion powerhouse, Samsung Cheil, as executive director in May to draw global attention to the Korean fashion event.
Jung invited over 44,000 media personalities and some of the best-known names in the fashion industry worldwide, including International Vogue Editor Suzy Menkes, fashion critic Diane Pernet and established British fashion blogger Susanna Lau, also known as Susie Bubble, to promote the Seoul fashion event. He also brought a thousand buyers from the world’s best luxury malls like Saks Fifth Avenue, Selfridges, Bergdorf and 10 Corso Como Shanghai.
Foreign buyers see future trends
Many of the fashion moguls, who visited Seoul Fashion Week for the first time, said fashion here was mostly trendy and wearable, just as expected.
“It’s my first experience with Seoul Fashion Week,” Lau said during an interview with The Korea Times on Monday. “I think what I am finding is that it’s primarily good towards the contemporary market, so that the clothes are not necessarily luxury luxurious like we have in Paris or Milan. The spirit is much younger, energy is really great and I felt like it’s a very different kind of fashion week. It’s definitely where (you’d) find wearability in clothes, and there are no showpieces.”
Eric Jennings, vice president of Saks Fifth Avenue, said he expects to see leading trends, sharp price points and future trends in Seoul Fashion Week. Jennings agreed that designs with traditional Korean beauty are advantageous in that they appeal to Westerners more than modern and chic styles by Korean designers.
But a womenswear buyer from Net-A-Porter, Linda Ayepe, said she did not see a big difference in the designs in terms of sensibility at Seoul Fashion Week and some of the clothes’ quality was better than that of collections in Paris, at a lower price.
However, when the buyers were asked if they planned on making orders, Jennings said the buying period for the S/S menswear collection ended in August (It starts in June, according to Jennings, and Seoul Fashion Week starts in mid-Oct.). But he might set aside some of his budget next season, if he likes this season’s show, and return.
Takahiro Iizumi, the men’s buying manager of 10 Corso Como Shanghai, said his budget is set mainly for American and European brands and when he visits Seoul in October after fashion weeks in New York, Paris, Milan and London, he barely has any money left for Korean brands. However, if any of them can leave him or other foreign buyers with a strong impression of their work, the buyers agreed they can always come back and place orders the following season.
Ayepe picked Low Classic and Nohke as her favorite brands and Iizumi saw Pushbutton as the next leading Korean brand. Lau found Munsoo Kwon impressive in menswear and some elements of Pushbutton interesting in womenswear.
Jung to popularize fashion like K-pop
Jung gave himself 80 out of 100 for his first fashion week as executive director, and said Seoul Fashion Week is ready to become a global fashion week. Still, Jung needs to analyze all the data and reflect on feedback from fashion critics.
“The foreign press said Seoul Fashion Week was the best in Asia,” Jung said during an interview with The Korea Times on Wednesday. “The hip contemporary fashion from the street may look like that of foreign culture but they can barely be seen overseas. K-pop had strong influence on the fashion event’s trendy designs, while some designers showed a strong taste of Korean traditional beauty. We need to bring these together to make a unique color for Seoul Fashion Week.”
Jung has no idea about orders made during buyers’ visits to the designers’ showrooms, which took place after the collection shows two to three times a day.
“We need to compile the statistics,” Jung said. “We encouraged buyers to make orders while visiting the designers’ showrooms but the numbers are still unknown.”