LIFE&STYLE

Eudon Choi stays outside comfort zone

By Lee Woo-young

Samsung Fashion Design Fund winner for three consecutive years talks about his collections in London

  • Published : Nov 19, 2013 - 19:30
  • Updated : Nov 19, 2013 - 19:30

Eudon Choi is one of the hot, emerging designers in the global fashion scene, successfully debuting at London Fashion Week last year and winning the Samsung Fashion Design Fund three years in a row. His latest win was announced on Tuesday along with his long-time friend and designer Heo Hwan of Heohwan Simulation.

The course of his career in fashion has been an attempt to step outside of his comfort zone. He started working as a menswear designer in Korea, but ventured into womenswear, driven by the urge to explore in fashion. Studying womenswear at the Royal College of Art in London, he set up his eponymous brand in 2009, after working a couple years for Twenty8Twelve.

He made his debut with the F/W 2012 collection at London Fashion Week, and has since been on the radar in the fashion world, having his collection photos featured in global online fashion magazine Style.com for two seasons in a row. Earlier this year, Choi won the Swarovski Collective, an award given to 11 designers around the world for outstanding achievements.

“People not in fashion wouldn’t consider it a big thing. But for me, it was like a dream coming true,” said Choi in an interview with The Korea Herald last week in Seoul. 

London-based fashion designer Eudon Choi talks in an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Friday.
(Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Choi is also enjoying sales success with his clothes selling at major multi-label stores in London, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Canada. The stores include hip, trendy shops such as Matches in London, Russell Street Central and Russell Street SFY in Hong Kong, and 10 Corso Como and Beaker in Korea.

His last runway show attracted a bigger audience than expected.

“Some 350 people couldn’t get into the venue to see my collection. I think I have to move to a tent to accommodate more people next season,” said Choi.

For Choi, the runway shows are his weapon to prove his talent in the highly competitive fashion world.

“I think it’s important to present a show that shows a designer’s vision for the brand. That’s why I’m trying to create an impact with my production teams. And if that works out, my show wins a title like ‘the most anticipated show,’” said Choi.

Now Choi plans to move into a more fiercely competitive pool ― the second and third day of fashion week.

“As a newcomer, it’s hard to imagine getting squeezed into the second and third day. In that group, I wouldn’t be able to see my photo collection featured in a magazine (among other big name designers),” said Choi.

Choi’s collection was defined as “understated and sophisticated,” and based on menswear tailoring that does not lose femininity, in the designer’s own words. Due to his tailoring skills, his outerwear such as jackets and coats have become signature pieces.

“When I designed menswear, it was easy because I just had to design the clothes I wanted to wear. But my clothes became more self-implied and so I needed to see things as an object in the distance and decided to experiment with womenswear,” said Choi.

Choi seems to be equipped for more ventures ahead with the $100,000-Samsung Fashion Design Fund, logistics support from the Culture Ministry and more from the fashion industry.

“If I didn’t get the fund, I cannot imagine how I would bring out my next collection ... without it I would be doing boring shows in the same venue like others. As my previous shows have generated good responses, I am pressured to show more and work hard,” said Choi.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)