“I decided to make clothes that will last”, says Kuho Jung, the Seoul, South Korea based designer of the Hexa by Kuho women’s line.
For the last two seasons Jung has been attempting, already with success, to do exactly that. Deconstructed, masterfully draped and mostly gray, Jung’s first Hexa by Kuho collection was presented on the runway last February in New York and in a film directed by Nick Knight. Semi-couture, each piece was hand made and is available in a limited edition of just five. For spring/summer 2011, Jung took inspiration from archaic medical devices, artificial limbs and the elegance of the natural human form. “Every fashion designer, at some point, says that he’s interested in the human body,” confesses Jung, who collaborated with artist Olaf Breuning on a film for the collection showing a model dressed in Hexa clothing surrounded by ballet dancers, some adorned with forearm crutches. “I thought his collection was very radical”, Breuning said of Jung’s looks for Spring, “It was based on prosthesis and fake body parts. I chose ballet because it’s a very artificial dance, very constructed by humans.”
A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, Jung is also a certified Cordon Bleu chef (he once owned a restaurant near NYU) as well as the Creative Director of Samsung’s fashion division, where he oversees several sold-in-Asia-only women’s collections as well as Samsung’s license brands Nina Ricci and 10 Corso Como. i-D Online sat down with the softly spoken Jung to discuss his plans for Hexa (the number 6 in Greek, often associated with harmony and balance) and to find out what he misses most about his halcyon days a fashion obsessed student in New York.
Tell us about the theme of your a/w 2010 collection? The concept of the February show was religion. Every country and every culture has a religion and every religion is aiming for the same thing: to make the world a better place. I wanted to mix all the religious concepts together and create one look.
How did you come to work with Nick Knight? I was thinking about showing my collection in a different way, not just as a fashion show and someone suggested Nick to me. I knew all of his work and had seen all his films, but it was for him to decide if he wanted to work with me. I sent him some sketches and some samples and he looked at them and said he’d do the film. He wanted to show the collection through dance, the ritual way of presenting religion. I thought it was a great idea.
Which designers have inspired you? There are so many really, in particular thought Thom Browne and Martin Margiela; I still have his first collection.
You’re based in Seoul, South Korea, why did you decide to show your collections in New York? Everybody asks me this, even within my company! New York gave me all the inspiration to become a fashion designer; I went window shopping everyday, I even knew all the shopkeepers’ names and some of them are still there. I think New York should have more variety, like it did in the late 1980s and 1990s, so showing in New York is sort of my contribution to that. New York deserves variety and I’m going to do my best to give it to them.