Concept Korea | Autumn Winter 2024

Collections of MMAM, CHARM’S & KIMMY.J at New York Fashion Week

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Amongst the realms of New York Fashion Week emerges a declaration of perseverance and flair, one that not only exhibits an eternal scope of fashion, but one that never fails to endlessly endow moments of aptitude and mastery. Elemental to the famed phenomenon within the lively city resides Concept Korea; a spirit in pursuit of embracing the momentous artistry of Korean designers for over fourteen years. The show features a performance by K-pop icon Shownu, an exhibition that exudes a reflection of Concept Korea’s purpose and array of native wardrobe. Birthed by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), the program effortlessly intertwines flamboyant presence alongside an everlasting potential. 

As we trapeze through the wonders of wearable art, Concept Korea does well to give presence to its artisans whose storytelling begins with each sewn, seam, and stitched fabric. Each designer is transforming the fashion world, brandishing an inspired excitement into all that is created and woven into reality. With a sense of allurement blazing on the horizon, FLAUNT joined designers of three auspicious Korean brands in a dialogue about the inspirations behind their artwork, alongside what impact they hope to leave on the show’s visitors. 

The first, Hyun Park, whose Maison Modern Art Museum (MMAM) traverses beyond the contemporary and appreciates the subtleties of the traditional. Known for highlighting the presence of family into her signature graffiti embroidered classics, Hyun Park has embarked on an endeavor to design garments inspired by irregular jottings that escape the patterns of expectations. There's a child-like visual to her work, a yearning to play that is communicated in the graffitied garments. Her collections embrace comfort and value playfulness in attire, all while acknowledging the modernity of streetwear. Park's muse: the working woman, and just as she is inspired, she works to be an example of this vision.

Photographed by Zach Hilty

What was your inspiration for this collection? 

90’s minimalism. So, you know when you’re a kid and you’re always going through your parents' closets, and you always have your clothes in different ways? I had a nostalgic moment that reminded me of my childhood, just doodling in their closet and playing with their clothes.

Does that legacy carry on with your son? Has he inspired you in this collection? 

Yes definitely. 

How do you approach the canvas when you’re creating? 

This is my logo, MMAM - Maison Modern Art Museum. It represents all of the art activities that are happening in the house, and I always start with my own identity and ideas. In every season I try to create different types of prints or techniques to resemble my logo. 

That’s amazing. Speaking of identity, who are you dressing?

Powerful and independent women. 

How do you approach femininity? 

I want to break the, you know, cliched image of a woman’s body - where it has to show an hourglass shape, and I also want to limit myself within the size range so I can make very tailored items that give comfort to the wearer.   

What do you hope people take with them after the show?

Two things - first, I want them to dream for their past and nostalgic memories, as well as [dream] about the future of the kind of woman they want to become through this collection. 

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Carrying that same vitality in their work that trails beyond a wardrobe whilst embracing the fusion of culture and youth: Yohan Kang. He encompasses ‘sensual attractiveness in his line CHARM’S, one whose attire encapsulates those who grace life with a burst of magnetism. Imbued with confidence and poise, Kang's collection emphasizes emotion meant to inspire the wearer, embracing love, culture, and welcoming a variety of personality. CHARM appreciates alluring subtlety, going beyond the simplicities of black and white and welcoming the dichotomy of darkness and light in an array of colors. There is a naturalness to what he creates, one so present it sheds light on vital human instinct.

Photographed by Zach Hilty

Can you describe your inspiration for this?

It comes from a poem that I read… “You love the stars so much that you’re not afraid of the darkness anymore.” My younger brother just passed away last year - so it was like a promise to him that I had. 

Is this almost like a legacy for your brother? 

I wanted to give up so much on this collection, actually. We always talked about our own dreams before he passed away. It really gave me the energy to go on. 

Where else do you find optimism? 

I feel that he’s watching and I want to make that dream come true for my brother, so that really drives me to continue this collection. 

How do you approach masculinity? 

I interpret a lot with the ‘line’ - it’s either very straight or curved. I try to mix around different curves to show masculinity. 

What’s coming next for this new era/beginning? 

It’s our 11th anniversary this year. I want to focus more on creating my own concrete identity. 

What do you hope people take with them after the show?

I definitely want to share a hopeful message to people who are going through a hard time. So, I hope they can resonate from my collection, and really gaze upon the stars when they’re in darkness.

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As creativity continues to bloom within fashion, so does inspired meaning; and designers Heeijin Kim and Haeun Lee welcome it eagerly. Imagined by the two, KIMMY.J strives to uplift humanity by encouraging them to become more in tune with themselves in a pursuit of happiness. The fearless duo has been designing attire for over a decade, embedding poignant messages in their work meant to create collective harmony for all who partake. Their line hopes to promote collaboration, meshing the creations of other artisans with their own, manifesting an avant-garde approach to streetwear beyond the seemingly conventional. KIMMY.J pays homage to the diversity of art, and as they find value in what they create, they hope the world does too.

Photographed by Zach Hilty

Can you describe your inspiration for this?

We started their collection from the pattern of snowflakes...

Do you think that it's fate that it's snowing today?

Yes definitely! Actually, the mood we imagined was, like, you go upstate, being by wood in a fire and [its] snowing outside, and you're just cozy with your dog. So the snow perfectly suits our  collection. We’re very grateful for this. 

How did you both meet each other?

We were actually two independent designers but then we had a collaboration… And after that, we really felt like it was meant to be to work together. 

Can you explain the dynamics of how you two work together?

It feels like a journey, like when you go on a trip with your best friend. Every collection is like going on a new journey together. 

How would you describe sisterhood? 

We’re more like aunties and cousins, but we’re really good friends. We’re actually going upstate to do a photoshoot where we always imagined - we’re gonna make another memory and have a good time. 

Do you believe in the power of manifestation? 


What do you hope people take with them after the show?

That they can imagine themselves wearing it today, and then just going on a trip with a best friend. Even though you may have a busy schedule and it may be hard to take a vacation, with KIMMY J, we want you to feel like you’re vacationing in your daily life.

Fashion, NYFW, MMAM, CHARM'S, KIMMY.J, Cassey Ayala