Rare Pictures Show a Young, Understated Andre Kim

      August 17, 2010 12:18

      Pictures from the early career of Korea's best-known fashion designer Andre Kim, who died last week, show the flamboyant designer before he started wearing and making his trademark all-white outfits.

      You Jae-ryuk, one of Korea's first commercial photographers, revealed the pictures of Kim taken in 1963 and 1964 to the Chosun Ilbo on Monday. They show clothes that Kim made immediately after he opened Salon Andre across from the Chosun Hotel in Sogong-dong, central Seoul, in 1962.

      Andre Kim with model Cho Hye-ran (center) and actress Tae Hyun-sil (right) in the 1960s /Courtesy of photographer You Jae-ryuk

      In the pictures, Kim works with top actress Tae Hyun-sil and popular models Cho Hye-ran and Monica Yoo. "Kim's clothes started becoming popular among the wives of diplomats in Korea as soon as he debuted in 1962," recalls the 73-year-old photographer. "These pictures were taken for a special fashion catalogue for winter 1963-1964."

      Although Kim is now known for his trademark elaborate dresses, usually in white, in his early days he focused on simple, modern styles in restrained colors.

      "It's really difficult to find pictures of his pre-1980 clothes. These are very valuable as they are rare pictures showing Kim's works before he built his own white fashion world," says Toh Shin-woo, the head of agency Model Center International and a long-time friend.

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