Lie Sang Bong on Fashionality!

Lie Sang Bong is an amazing fashion house based in Paris but founded in Seoul, Korea during early 90’s. Lie is one of the most prominent designers in his country of origin and internationally acclaimed as the ‘Korean McQueen’. I’ve been through his creations since September 2011 during the ‘Concept Korea’ presentation in NYC and I am still profoundly impressed by his artistic spirit and effortless creativity. His looks presented at Lincoln Center during the MB Fashion Week were literally turning heads! It’s a great honor that I am now sharing with you this fantastic interview of the new creative directors, for my blog Fashionality, on the occasion of his new high contemporary womenswear line “LIE”.

This new collection takes its DNA from its parent brand with an emphasis on “Everyday wear luxury with a twist” which adds Lie’s own combination of innovative design elements and details to a beautiful contemporary line. The style can be described as new minimalism where minimal New York-style meets Parisian avant-garde. We asked his children – Nana and Chung – who are in charge of this fascinating project:

F: What is the idea behind this new Spring/Summer 2013 LIE collection and in what ways a woman can adopt luxury on an every-day basis?

L: LIE’s Spring/ Summer 2013 collection has DNA from its parent brand with an emphasis on “Everyday wear luxury with a twist” which adds unique design elements and details to your everyday wear wardrobe. It’s a luxury that every woman can adopt by wearing well-made clothing from fine fabrics that provides high style and feels luxurious. We wanted to create a collection that a woman can wear from day to night and for weekdays or weekends.

F: In what sense does this line differ from your initial Lie Sang Bong Prêt-à-Portet collection?

L: LIE targets younger lifestyle consumers compared to our Lie Sang Bong collection line. With new creative directors, my brother Chung and myself, this line is more easily wearable and focused on basic wardrobe items for young professionals. It’s like how we explained the concept of the line in our press release: the style can be described as new minimalism where minimal New Yorker meets Parisian avant-garde. Also, this collection offers a contemporary price point, which is more affordable than Lie Sang Bong.

F: Is color enhancing the silhouettes, or silhouettes add up to the impact of colors?

L: Actually, it will depend on the design; it works both ways as they usually complement each other. When you peruse the images of our collection, you might think it’s more that the colors stand out, but if you look at each piece closely you will see how each piece is very structured even though the silhouette looks soft and simple. We think that color usually gives more energy and creates a more vibrant look to the collection.

F: How textures and fabrics are shaping the identity of this contemporary line?

L: We create our own prints/ fabrics, which differentiate us from the mass produced prints that you can find everywhere. We carefully select the fabrics and add textures to maximize the silhouette of each design. It’s also important to think about our woman and her lifestyle when we choose the fabrics and how we use them.

F: Is there some sort of Korean influence in your designs and at which point does it meet other cultural elements?

L: Yes, like our Lie Sang Bong line, we like to bring in traditional Korean or cultural elements and inspirations to the present and push it to the future. By doing that, we find a way of connecting these influences to meet other cultural elements and the needs of the global consumer. We think fusing Korean elements into a modern collection creates interesting ideas and shapes to our design.

F: Which are your favorite fashion icons and types of women you get inspired from?

L: It’s hard to pick a few as we are surrounded by so many great fashion icons these days. We are inspired by different aspects of every woman but mainly someone who is fashion forward, adaptable and confident in her taste and style.

F: Which is the process leading you to choose or create prints for a collection? Do you draw them on paper or design them digitally?

L: It depends. We don’t like to be set in a particular way since inspirations come from many different sources. So, there is no set way within our creative processes. We like fusing analog and digital methods.

F: Can you give us a small scoop of what you are preparing for the next season, especially the collection you’ll present in NYC?

L: We will be having a press day in New York to present our 2013 Spring/ Summer collection. The date has not been determined yet but we definitely would like to showcase them in NYC.

F: Are there some famous designers around you, or overall in the history of fashion, whose work motivates and teaches you?

L: Our father. His work always motivates and teaches us. We love his innovative approach of creating new things by studying shapes, textures and structures in a form of clothing.

F: Which are the fundamental prerequisites for an individual to become a fashion designer? Is it all about studies or other things count more?

L: To us, design is not only a skill to tailor clothes, fashion is a form of art that comes with commercial features. Some people might disagree as fashion may seem to be much more commercial than artistic but as the creators of this line, we are coming from an artistic standpoint. We both studied fashion at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Chung is more in charge of design direction with my father and I am more focused merchandizing and other aspects of the business. Studies help but there are definitely other things that count.

F: Does the western world embrace Asian fashion designers over the last years? Which are the burdens and difficulties appearing when someone wants to make a global career?

L: There are a lot more Asian fashion designers who are doing well in the world of global fashion compared to few years back but there is still much more space for them to grow in the global market. For my father, it was much harder because of the language barrier and other financial difficulties to present the collection in worldwide market such as Paris and New York. It is a little better for us, maybe, but it’s hard for anyone to make a global career these days.

F: Are there some words of wisdom which really lead your way as human-beings and professionals? Which is your life motto and why?

L: “You have to do your best for until the last 1%” that’s what our father always says. We’re not sure if it’s a quote from someone famous or if he made it up, but it helps us push ourselves further.

LIE Spring/ Summer 13 Collection key fabrics are cotton, silk, and tencel combined with mesh, rachel, and chiffon. The theme is the duality of women, presenting sophisticated silhouette with sheer layers and bold colors that add interesting textures and shapes fusing elegance and sexiness to the line. The collection consists of shirts, blouses, skirts, pants, jackets, and dresses with clean silhouettes made of fine materials.

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