Concept Korea Presents Three Contemporary Designers During NYFW

Design labels LIE, IISE and Leyii showcase their unequivocal artistry and individual identities.

This morning, three of South Korea’s most noteworthy emerging designers showcased their new Fall collections with a runway show in New York City. LIE, IISE and Leyii were brought together by Concept Korea, an ongoing collaborative project meant to help provide these designers with international visibility.

LIE by Lee Chung Chung introduces an array of mixed materials like trench, nylon and cotton. The line is environmentally friendly with the use of recycled materials. “I got inspiration from The Rude Boys,” he explains. The term originates from 1960’s Jamaica, where it was sometimes used to describe dissonant youth before the term became popular in the UK. “The story is based on 1960s London—very cold, winter, rainy days. From Jamaica, they came to London to find work. I really like their style, very chic. And I liked the tailoring items.” LIE, a modern women’s lifestyle brand, is making a name for itself by leaning in to said tailoring. Previously shown during NYFW, Paris Fashion Week, and London Fashion Week, the brand’s joined the increasing wave fashion taste makers who’ve blurred the lines between mens and women tailoring and silhouettes. His ensembles are bold as full looks, but rather dynamic when dissecting into respective pieces.

Leyii by Seunghee Lee

While LIE plays with merging traditionally gendered clothing, Seunghee Lee’s LEYII finds ways of mixing the conservative with the modern. This all happens within a conversation around femininity, as it once was understood and as it exists today. We see this, for example, in her exaggerated but natural draping that dramatizes the models’ movements on the runway. The line was inspired by the term“YUJ,” meaning yoga and spiritual mind, body experience. For the everyday women on the go; for work, hanging out with friends, a night out. Pieces are elegant but also are functional and sporty with the use of mixed materials like cashmere, cotton and down layering pieces. The entire collection is made to be worn together, with the use neutral color palettes of beige, creme, browns and grays.

IISE by Terence and Kevin Kim 

Similarly straddled between the past and present, ISSE has manifested traditional Korean aesthetics into a unique line of streetwear. Designed by Terrence and Kevin Kim and crafted in Seoul, their aim is to create staple pieces that are special without being flashy or overbearing. For their first show in New York, the brothers collection focuses on the core design principles of IISE: symmetry, balances, and proportion. “It’s [inspired by] traditional Korean architecture and furniture…symmetry, balance, and proportion,” Kevin explains. “We keep the color palette black, mud brown, and blue. It’s three colors pretty much the whole time. So it’s very focused.” Derived from the pillars of traditional Korean architecture and furniture design, these philosophies emphasized not only a functional purpose for each work but also a sense of peace it would bring to a space it occupies. This collection showcases these concepts through use of paneling and symmetrical lines, highlighting a unique mixture of fabrics and customized metallic hardware. The FW20 collection embodies these principles, adopting them into the core identity of the IISE aesthetic.


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