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Concept Korea to hit N.Y. for fifth time

The fifth season of Concept Korea, the government’s ambitious project aimed at promoting South Korean designers overseas, will kick off next week in New York.

Five designers were chosen for the season, including Lee Ju-young, Lie Sang Bong, Son Jung Wan, DOHO and Steve J & Yoni P. They will hold presentation shows at Lincoln Center’s The Stage on Feb. 10.

The project will go extra “Korean” this year, with the overall theme “Ink Wash Painting,” a Korean traditional type of ink brush painting. Images of such paintings will be screened in the backdrop, added with the crossover background music of K-pop and gugak, or Korean traditional music, while the designers showcase their 2012 F/W collections.

Organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Daegu Metropolitan City, Korea Creative Content Agency and Korea Research Institute for Fashion Industry, the collaborative project was first launched in February 2010. 
South Korean fashion designers Lee Juyoung (from left), Lie Sang Bong, Sohn Jung Wan, DOHO and duo Steve J & Yoni P will showcase their collections for four months in New York as Concept Korea. (Concept Korea)
South Korean fashion designers Lee Juyoung (from left), Lie Sang Bong, Sohn Jung Wan, DOHO and duo Steve J & Yoni P will showcase their collections for four months in New York as Concept Korea. (Concept Korea)

KOCCA announced on Thursday that in 2011, over $520,000 worth of orders were made or are in being negotiated through the project with U.S. department stores like Harvey Nicoles, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and multi-brand shops such as Intermix, Opening Ceremony and Atrium.

“Advancing into the New York market became more viable for me by inking deals with local distributors last season through the business support (from Concept Korea),” said Lie who is participating in the project for the third time.

Organizers vowed to give more substantial support starting this season. Each designer will be offered a well-known showroom that best fits the brand’s image through June. Formerly, they had to share the same showroom, which lasted only during the fashion week.

DOHO will showcase in Cres Cala Fashion development; Son Jung Wan in ADK showroom; Steve J & Yoni P in EasternBlock; Lie Sang Bong in Estarise; and Lee Juyoung in Idiel Showroom.

“The fact that they were able to showcase in separate showrooms reflects how the local fashion biz is showing more interest to Concept Korea and our designers. As the period of support is extended, we expect they will be able to strengthen their distribution base and networks which will lead to business success,” said the organizers.

For more information on Concept Korea, visit www.conceptkorea.org, www.facebook.com/conceptkorea, or on Twitter @conceptkorea_kr.

By Park Min-young (claire@heraldcorp.com)
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