December 15, 2018 08:55
Regina Pyo, or Pyo Ji-young, is one of the most active Korean fashion designers on the world stage at the moment.
Since launching her brand -- which carries her Catholic name, Regina -- in London four years ago, she has been nominated for the British Fashion Awards by Vogue in the British Emerging Talent in Womenswear category, and included in the "40 of Tomorrow" list by U.S. fashion magazine WWD last month.
"I try to approach fashion in practical terms, not in a fancy way. I think about how my designs will integrate into the life of women," Pyo said. "It helped that I was able to experience what many women want and apply that to my designs, as I recently went through pregnancy and childbirth."
It has been just over a year since her first full-fledged collection was launched, but her brand is already sold by more than 130 online and offline outlets, including Neiman Marcus in the U.S. and Harvey Nichols in the U.K.
Pyo was exposed to the world of fashion design from early age, as her mother used to work at a dressmaker's shop in Myeong-dong, central Seoul.
Pyo graduated with a degree in textile art and fashion design from Hongik University and joined a fashion design company. "I kept wondering if this was as far as I would go. I wanted to experience the wider world." This became a reality when she was admitted to Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London in 2007.
"When I was a student, I used to work part-time as a fitting model in showrooms in Paris. I would see celebrities and really big names in the fashion industry such as Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour commenting on fashion. Now I am meeting famous people and chief editors in fitting rooms as a designer!"
She met her husband Jordan Bourke during her student days in a London bar. Bourke is an Irish celebrity chef based in London, who has worked in a number of Michelin-starred restaurants. He is currently a restaurant consultant and BBC radio panelist. Pyo and Bourke's cookbook "Our Korean Kitchen" won the Observer Food Monthly's Best New Cookbook in 2016 from British daily newspaper The Guardian.
"I think I'm doing my fair share of introducing Korea to the rest of the world, don't you think?" said Pyo, adding, "I want to integrate the subtle beauty of Korea into my fashion."
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