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Future trends on display at Herald Design Market

Leather laptop mats, skull candles, decorative foldable lampshades and even dachshund-shaped desk lights, the four-day Herald Design Market is a one-stop shop for inspiring avant-garde items stemming from the farthest reaches of the imagination.

A selection of around 80 young, up-and-coming designers have been given the opportunity to showcase their products, which range from quirky to practical to inspirational. The market is currently being held in a three-story complex located next to the Blue Square building in Hannam-dong, Seoul.

Visitors at the Herald Design Market look at a Hangeul print scarf designed by Lie Sang-bong at Blue Square in Hannam-dong, Seoul, Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Visitors at the Herald Design Market look at a Hangeul print scarf designed by Lie Sang-bong at Blue Square in Hannam-dong, Seoul, Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
In commemoration of Hangeul Day, the design market also featured Hangeul-themed fashion items by Korean fashion designer Lie Sang-bong on Wednesday. Lie’s booth featured several pieces of work, such as articles of clothing, neckties and scarves, inspired by traditional Korean character calligraphy.

Also in honor of Hangeul Day, the design market also included a special calligraphy session with a team of Korean calligraphers ― Kim Won-ji, Kim Jong-hoon, Lee Sung-bong and Yoo Ha-eun ― who go by the group name 4000. Visitors were afforded the unique opportunity to purchase a notebook and not only have it signed, but on each notebook cover a special customized calligraphy note by the artists.

Aside from well-known names in the scene, the Herald Design Market put the spotlight on independent young design hopefuls looking to prove that they have got the creativity to inspire a new era in art and design.

Among these creative and cutting-edge products was designer Shin Yoo-kyung’s “Air Tattoo,” body decorative necklaces. These large and intricately-cut paper necklaces come in a variety of different designs including Hexagon, Vine, Dew and Geometry.

“The designs first developed from the thoughts of hand-drawn images,” said Shin Jae-kyung, the younger sister of Yoo-kyung. “The inspiration for the designs came from the concept of wearable sketches.”

“These pieces are all made from special, water-resistant paper so they are light and sweat-proof. It’s not just pretty to look at, it is also very practical,” she said.

Leather necklaces with the same chic concept are also available in silver, gold and black.

Thai designer Supawadee Kaewkum brought her collection of environmentally conscious fashion items to Herald Design Week to show that eco-friendly can still be trendy.

Kaewkum teamed up with local business partner Jin Chae to create a line of products made entirely out of cork.

“One of the main features of our products is that they are natural and environment-friendly,” said Kaewkum. “Many people see the materials and immediately think of the top of a wine bottle, but it is actually very good material to work with.”

The designer originally started out creating a classic shopping bag from cork. After learning that using the material made products both light and durable, she branched out into more fashionable yet practical items, including bags, clutches, laptop cases, wallets and even cork baseball caps.

Approximately 800 visitors came to see and purchase the various products being showcased at the Herald Design Market on its opening day Tuesday, with an additional 500 visitors on Wednesday. The design fair will continue until Friday.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)
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