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Designers With Midas Touch

Posted November. 15, 2005 03:08,   

한국어

Added-value of the Fashion Industry is Endless—

What decides the price of a fashion product is the brand. The price of the product differs immensely depending on whether it is a famous brand’s product or not. Such brand power is derived from the creative designs of designers.

Almost all the luxury brands that are the leaders of the world’s fashion business are in the shape of a huge corporation. World-renowned Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) Group owns more than 50 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Celine, Loewe, and Marc Jacobs, and it employs over 56,000 people.

Japan also has a world-famous brand, Issey Miyake, which is the product of the active support and cooperation of the Japanese government and the fashion industry.

Chang Kwang-hyo emphasized, “In order to attend the Paris Collection, you have to pay huge costs of over 200 million won for clothing and local promotion. The fashion industry has a structure in which a famous brand cannot be created without capital, organization, and marketing.”

Park Hang-chi lamented, “The government does not spare support for animation, game, film making, and sports industries, but it tends to overlook the fashion industry.”

Park Yoon-soo, president of the Seoul Fashion Artists Association (SFAA), stressed, “If there is sufficient assistance, there will be plenty of Korean designers who can become world-famous, as famous as golfer Pak Se-ri.”

Collection, the Festival of Designers—

A collection is a gathering where fashion designers present works reflecting fashion trends six months beforehand, which will be popular the following season. In autumn, spring and summer clothing will be presented, and in the spring, autumn and winter clothing will be revealed.

An international collection is beyond just a presentation of the works of designers, and it becomes an event that offers a decisive motif to the ‘industrialization of designing.’

In particular, it is known that sales of products from designers that gain the attention of the public in famous collections held in Paris, Milan, and New York, greatly increase in that year.

That is because buyers from every corner of the world decide how much to buy based on the results at the collection, and fashion reporters evaluate the designers’ products and lets the entire world know about it.

Nevertheless, Korean collections have yet to develop over the stage of merely being a location to present the works of designers and have yet to become an event that links to business with buyers.

Korean collections first started on a regular basis in 1989 by Park Hang-chi and Park Yoon-soo. The SFAA Collection that starts on November 22 is the 31st event.”

Park Yoon-soo said, “I was so impressed to the point of being choked with tears when I saw the works of Japanese designers at the Tokyo Collection in the mid 1980s. For designers, there is a huge difference between having a collection and not having a collection.”

They recalled, “So we thought ‘Why don’t we also do it?’ and with people sharing the same thoughts, we raised money from our own pockets and prepared the collection.”

Chang Kwang-hyo who played a supporting role in the MBC sitcom “Hello Francesca,” said, “At first, the older designers were very frightening like mothers-in-law, but with more than 10 years having passed, I think we came this far with them setting the groundwork.”

Park Hang-chi said, “The fashion industry is facing difficulty with the surge of imported brands and the economic slump. However, the future of the Korean fashion industry will be bright if we present good designs through collections and have the support of corporations and the government.”



kimhs@donga.com