Fashion Designer Yeashin Kim

Yeashin Kim is an up and coming designer who studied in London and is now basing her fashion brand in the city. We’ve mentioned her previously in our London Fashion Week post, where she was featured in Fashion Scout’s One To Watch initiative show and since then she has completed a very successful show! Fusing 60s style English fashion with traditional Korean outfits, Yeashin Kim is definitely one to keep your eye on as she brings two very distinct and different styles together, creating unique and beautiful pieces and rocking up fashion world with her fresh and new style.

After a busy week Yeashin Kim kindly agreed to do an interview with us. Read on to find out more about her inspirations and fashion!

copyright Kim Yeashin

Yeashin Kim’s latest collection WOODLAND – Copyright Yeashin Kim

Why did you decide to study and then base your brand in London?
왜 런던에서 패션을 공부하고 런던을 브랜드의 근거지로 하시기로 결정하셨나요?

The fashion style of London suits my fashion designs well. And I think London is new, fresh and welcoming to new designers. I also liked the atmosphere of London, the old buildings as well as how easy it is for normal Londoners to experience popular and modern art culture in their daily life. Another reason is that London’s fashion market is bigger than Korea’s.
런던에 패션스타일이 나에 옷 디자인 스타일과 잘 맞는다. 그리고 런던은 새롭고 신선한 신인디자이너들을 잘 반겨주는것 같다. 또 런던에 도시 분위기와 오래된 빌딩들에 느낌도 마음에 들었다. 런던 사람들에 일상생활에과 쉽게 연결되어지는 대중화된 예술도 좋다. 런던 패션시장이 한국보다 큰 것도 이유중 하나이다.

We’ve spoken to many artists and musicians who studied abroad and have often spoken about how different the studying culture was between Koreans and Westerners. What was it like for you studying in London?
여태껏 해외에서 공부하신 많은 예술가분, 뮤지션분들과 한국과 외국의 학습 스타일이 얼마나 다른지에 대해 자주 이야기를 했는데요. 런던에서 공부하시는 게 어떠셨는지 궁금합니다.

I came to study in England after dropping out of my uni in Korea. I have been studying art since I was young, going to art college. I think art education in Korea lacks creativity and freshness. In terms of school education, quantity rather than quality is prioritised. In the UK, you get to deal with very in-depth topics and theoretics from the very first stage, which requires a lot of learning and very in depth-research, discovery and thought, whereas the topics in Korea lack depth when they’re set. Unlike the education of the UK, which makes us research a lot, in Korea we lack a new creativity which is made by an individual’s own research. In terms of fashion, we mainly use commercial and typical colour tones in Korea whereas very unique and individual style clothes are well recognised in the UK.
한국에서 대학교를 다니다가 자퇴후 영국으로 유학왔습니다. 어릴때부터 한국에서 예술학교를 다니며 아트쪽으로 공부를 해왔습니다. 제가 생각하기에는 한국에 예술 교육은 창의력과 새로움이 많이 결여된 교육인것 같습니다. 학교생활에 있어서는 질보다는 양이 우선적으로 생각되어지는것 같습니다. 영국에서는 주제를 정하는 처음 단계부터 매우 깊이있고 이론적인 주제를 다루고, 주제단계부터 깊이 연구하고 생각하여 시작하는 부분이 있는데. 한국에 전반적인 분위기는 주제단계에 깊이성이 많이 떨어진다고 생각됩니다. 연구를 많이 하게끔 하는 영국에 교육과 달리 한국은 개인에 연구에 의해 만들어지는 새로운 창의작품이 많이 부족하다고 생각됩니다. 패션에 있어서는 한국이 주로 상업적이고 고정된 색감을 주로 쓰는 방면 영국은 독특하고 개성있는 새로운 스타일에 옷들이 잘 받아들여지고 있습니다.

How hard is it establishing yourself as a fashion designer in London?
런던에서 패션 디자이너로서 본인을 각인시키는 게 얼마나 어려운지 알고 싶습니다.

A lot of designers, which are from varied races and very talented, have come to London. Because of this, it’s very hard to get to the next stage as a new designer. So first of all, we have to design something very distinctive and individualistic. It’s hard to get my name remembered and embed my brand image in people’s memory so I have to consistently do fashion shows. It’s also a hard procedure to sell to buyers as I have to have show rooms and exhibitions every season.
너무나 다양한 인종에 실력이 많은 디자이너들이 런던으로 많이 모이고있습니다. 때문에 신인으로써 그 다음단계로 넘어가는 과정이 매우 어렵습니다. 우선은 자기만에 개성과 스타일이 뚜렷한 디자인을 해야합니다. 그리고 계속해서 쑈를 해내어 사람들에게 나에 브랜드 이미지와 이름을 각인시키는게 어려운것 같습니다. 그러면서 매 시즌 쇼룸이나 전시를 열어 바이어를 잡아 판매를 하는 과정도 어렵습니다.

We’ve noticed a lot of traditional Korean elements to your designs, especially in your latest collection in the footwear. Where do you get your inspirations from? Did you do a lot of research into traditional Korean wear?
디자이너님의 디자인에서 전통적인 한국 요소를 많이 찾아볼 수 있는데요, 특히 이번 최신 풋웨어 콜렉션처럼요. 어디서 감명을 받으시는지 그리고 전통적인 한국 의상에 대해 많은 조사를 사전에 하셨는지 알고 싶습니다.

I have been very interested in Korea’s art products since I was young. So it was natural for me to use traditional elements of Korea when I design. I sort of develop the traditional style depending on my style rather than copying it. I have done a lot of research about traditional Korean clothes. However, I sometimes use ornaments I’ve seen before and naturally remembered so I didn’t need to do any specific research. I normally get inspiration from paintings or traditional props of Korea.
어릴적부터 한국에 예술품에 관심이 많았습니다. 그래서 자연스럽게 디자인을 할때 한국에 전통요소들이 생각나 사용하고있습니다. 그대로 가져다 쓰진 않고 제 스타일로 디자인을 변형하여 사용합니다. 전통한국의상에 대해 많은조사를 해왔습니다. 하지만 그동안 살면서 봐둔 모든 한국적인 요소들이 자연스럽게 생각나 사용하기도 해서 따로 조사를 하지않고 봐둔 장식들을 바로 사용하기도 합니다. 주로 한국에 그림이나 옛날 소품에서 영감을 받습니다.

We read that the basic concept of your brand is derived from a mixture of England 60’s outfits as well as Korea’s traditional outfits. What is it about 60s English fashion that you like?
디자이너님의 브랜드의 기본 컨셉이 영국의 60년대 스타일과 한국의 전통 스타일의 조합이라고 읽었는데요, 영국의 60년대 패션 스타일의 어떤 부분을 좋아하시나요?

I mainly make dresses. I like dresses which are sleek and clean, as well as individual and unique patterns which are cute and girly and have a 1960’s looks. 1960 is also a period which used a lot of colours which I love.
제가 원피스를 주로 만드는데요, 60년대 의상에 깔끔하고 짧은 라인에 원피스들과 개성있는 독특한 패턴들, 귀엽고 여성스러운 부분들을 좋아합니다. 그리고 색상역시 제가 좋아하는 스타일로 믹스되어 쓰인 시대가 60년대 입니다.

How do you hope to expand your brand in the UK and do you have plans to work in Korea?
영국에서 디자이너님의 브랜드를 더 확장하는 것에 대해서 어떻게 생각하시는지 그리고 한국에서 일하실 계획이 있으신지 궁금합니다.

I’ll carry on doing more fashion shows as well as exhibitions together with show rooms. I might open a shop or a studio in Korea in the future, but I’m thinking of working only in the UK for now.
계속해서 영국에서 쑈를 진행하고 전시와 쇼룸도 함께할 예정입니다. 한국에서는 나중에 작업실을 내거나 샵을 낼수도 있겠지만 아직은 영국에서만 활동을 할 계획입니다.

How did you feel when you found out you would be taking part in the Fashion Scout’s One to Watch initiative show? Were you nervous before the show?
디자이너님이 패션 스카우트의 원 투 와치 쇼에 참여하시게 될 거란 걸 아셨을 때 기분이 어떠셨나요? 패션쇼 전에 많이 긴장하셨나요?

I didn’t know what was going on, I had to do it in a rush because I found out about Fashion Scout whilst I was preparing for another show. However, I was over the moon about the fact that I was chosen. Even though I tend to feel a bit depressed the night before the fashion shows because of nerves, I didn’t even have time to worry about anything in the morning of the show as it was really hectic and busy.
사실 다른 쑈를 준비하다가 패션스카우트에 된걸 알고 이걸 준비하기 시작해서 매우 급하게 모든걸 진행해서 정신이없었습니다. 하지만 뽑혀서 기분은 매우 좋았습니다. 패션쇼를 하기 전날밤에 항상 긴장때문인지 좀 우울해지는 경향이 있는데 막상 쑈 를 준비하는 아침이되면 바쁘고 정신없어서 생각할 겨를도 없습니다.

How did your catwalk go? Were you happy with the audience response?
디자이너님의 캣워크는 어땠나요? 관객들의 반응에 만족하셨나요?

I think my catwalk went really well. I was so happy as the response was good. I was in high spirits all day when I was having the show. I was grateful to audience members who came to see me specifically to say the show was good.
캣워크는 매우 잘 끝난것 같습니다. 반응이 좋아서 매우 기분이 좋았습니다. 그날은 하루종일 들떠있었습니다. 끝나고 따로 찾아와서 쑈가 좋았다고 말해주고 가시는 분들도 있었는데 고마웠습니다.

What do you have planned next in terms of fashions shows? Are there any other big events you’d like to show your fashions at?
다음 패션쇼는 어떻게 계획하고 계신가요? 패션쇼에서 선보이고 싶으신 새로운 프로젝트나 이벤트가 있으신가요?

I’m preparing for my own individual show but still thinking about the new theme.
개인쑈를 준비중인데 아직까지는 새로운 주제에대해 생각중입니다.

Yeashin Kim boots 2013

Image from SHIN’s Facebook Page

We can’t wait to see what Yeashin designs next, we thought the WOODLAND collection from London Fashion week was fabulous! We especially loved the modern twist on the traditional boots. We can only imagine more spectacular things to come! We wish her all the luck in the world with her next fashion show and hope she comes up with a new theme easily. You can keep up to date on what Yeashin is doing too by subscribing to her Facebook page which she updates regularly with fabulous pictures of designs here.

Also, special thanks to the lovely Eun Jeong for being our on-hand translator!

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