Choi Ji-hyung Picked as Designer to Watch in 2012

      January 06, 2012 08:05

      Who will lead Korean fashion in 2012? Fifteen experts were asked to choose any number of the most promising designers in the new year, and Choi Ji-hyung was the winner.

      The 35-year old has a showroom for her brand Johnny Hates Jazz in the trendy Gangnam district in Seoul.

      After majoring in fashion at the University of the Arts London, she started her own brand in Seoul in 2007. She launched a new line of clothing, JICHOI, last year and participated in the Paris Collection, a remarkable feat for a young designer.

      "I strive to make clothes with stories, where you can discover subtle, sensual details as if you are on a treasure hunt," she says. Rather than through excessive ornamentation, she tries to build her own style by subtle mixture of materials and colors.

      After graduating from the fashion school, Choi worked for Vivienne Westwood in London for a year. From her experience with the flamboyant designer, Choi said she learned "the importance of practical aspects." "At the end of the year, Westwood gave staff clothes as a gift. It was great because they were very unique and expensive clothes, but they were impossible to wear unless it was for a very special occasion." Instead, she decided to make clothes that people can actually wear rather than keep in their wardrobe.

      This year, Choi now plans to tackle foreign markets, including Europe, the U.S. and Japan, with her own collection. "I can feel the increasing interest in Korean fashion whenever I go abroad, so I want to do my share at the frontline of the Korean Wave," she says.

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