Champion of Netflix’s Next In Fashion, winner of the H&M Design Award and now a member of Net-A-Porter’s talent incubator, designer Minju Kim is one fashion’s most promising stars. Here, MOJEH talks to the Seoul-based designer.
Tell us about your brand’s DNA?
Minjukim is like my diary; each collection contains my own story. Minjukim is all about myself, it is made with anything that inspires me; movies, my cats, computer games, night and day, dreams or emotions.
Where can we see the spirit of Seoul in your collections?
I am not sure if my collections show the spirit of Seoul. Although, I never intend to put Koreaness into my collection, many people in Korea always comment on my collection and that it reminds them of Hanbok, which is Korean traditional clothing. I guess it comes out naturally in my collections.
Describe your AW20 collection, what inspired the story, the cuts, the colour palette?
The collection title is Knight of Night. It is about a girl knight who protects me from nightmares. I imagined Joan of Arc as my knight. This season, the graphics have elements which reminded me of a knight, such as swords, roses and praying hands. The shapes come from night gowns and robes with strong volume.
What type of woman is the collection for? Who is she and where is she heading?
I don’t have a particular muse in my head, I really want women of all ages to enjoy my collections. I want women to express themselves in anyway they want to, not what media tells them to.
As a young brand, you’ve already had a lot of success – from standing as a semi-finalist in the LVMH prize to Netflix’s Next In Fashion and now NAP’s The Vanguard – what do each of these opportunities mean to you?
I went through all of the competitions to build up my brand. As a young designer, we do not have many resources, but winning competitions give us publicity and financial support. I could start my own brand by winning a prize from the H&M Awards.
In particular, what has The Vanguard meant to you?
The Vanguard programme will give me so many answers to the business side of running a brand. My sister was handling this part and she struggled a lot because she had to do things alone, but now she is very excited to get help and guidance she needs from such a well established fashion business group.