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Korean fashion shines at New York Fashion Week

Designers hailing from Korea took the runway at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center on September 9 and transformed the prestigious music hall into a showcase of Korean fashion.

Designers at Concept Korea IV (Photo courtesy of the Korea Creative Content Agency)

Concept Korea, a fashion collective project sponsored by the Korean Culture Ministry, the Daegu Metropolitan Government, and the Korean Research Institute for Fashion Industry, has brought Korean fashion labels’ Spring-Summer 2012 Collections to New York. The event, held in conjunction with New York’s bi-annual Fashion Week, presented a total of five Korean designer brands. Doho, Son Jung Wan, Steve J & Yoni P, Lie Sang Bong Paris, and Resurrection by Lee Juyoung are participating in the show to preview the latest styles and trends.

Starting early that evening, the Avery Fisher Hall was swarmed by press and fashion elites from around the world, proving an ever-growing interest in Korean fashion. There were a total of 531 attendees, far exceeding the expected number, including noted fashion figures like Jay Bell, Simon Collins, and J. Alexander

Actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens, who attended the show that day, regarded Concept Korea as a great opportunity to get to know Korea’s talented fashion designers. She praised Korean fashion, saying that she was able to see some of the most fabulous designs that went beyond the known boundaries.

(left) CFDA CEO Steven Kolb; (right) American actor and singer Vanessa Hedgens (Photos courtesy of the Korea Creative Content Agency)

The designers received rave reviews from the local fashion scene. Steven Kolb, CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) commented that the runway featured collections that New York’s fashion industry were taken by thanks to its subtle encounter with Korean beauty with a modern taste. Kolb also added that there was no time to get bored as all five brands displayed a diverse array of costumes that animate each brand’s unique concept and expression.

Korean fashion also broke into the local press and fashion personnel from major retail businesses including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales, its sensuous collections making a deep impression on an international fashion arena.

Concept Korea, marking its fourth incarnation this season, added zest to its cultural highlights featuring a famous local DJ playing K-pop music by singers like Wonder Girls and 2PM. A compilation album of Korean pop, which was available for distribution that day, caught as much public interest.

Designer Son Jung Wan who made her debut with Concept Korea this year said that she had the honor of representing the country while taking part in such a meaningful event to promote Korean fashion. She expressed her excitement at hearing the enthusiastic response from the local fashion people on the spot and discovering the high potential of Korean fashion for making inroads into the New York fashion market. Son added that she gained a tremendous boost for the international growth of her brand, through participating in Concept Korea.

Korean fashion designers Son Jung Wan (left) and Lie Sang Bong (right) pose with models wearing their designs (Photos courtesy of the Korea Creative Content Agency).

During the fashion event, Korean Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Mo Chul-min said, “The globalization of Korean fashion is one of the core aims of the Culture Ministry. The Ministry seeks to expand substantial and continued support in fashion so that it could become the next cultural engine after music and drama to lead the Korean Wave.”

Concept Korea’s Spring-Summer 2012 Collection continues until September 23. Moving to the showroom venue operated by the New York-based fashion consulting company Estarise, the participating designers will attend a number of one-on-one business matching meetings with local buyers and will take part in a two-day press event from September 20 to 21.

The six designers will once again show off their newest collections at the upcoming season of New York Fashion Week, slated for next February, in an effort to improve the brand value of Korean fashion and elevate its profile as an “emerging epicenter of fashion.”

For more information, please visit the official website at: or get up-to-date information via Facebook or Twitter at and!/conceptkorea_kr.

By Hwang Dana Staff Writer


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