Glass meets … the New York-based emerging designer Yune Ho

A NATIVE of Seoul, South Korea, the New York-based fashion designer Yune Ho is inspired by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, meaning beauty in imperfect perfection. A contradiction of sorts,Yune Ho describes wabi-sabi as a idea which “centres on the appreciation of experience and circumstance”. Based now in NYC, where he studied fashion,Yune Ho designs favour careful tailoring, aimed at people who are able to incorporate select pieces into their everyday wardrobe.

After graduating from Parsons School of Design,Yune Ho interned at a variety of well-known American fashion labels such as Derek Lam and Michael Kors before  launching his own eponymous fashion label. Glass talks to Yune Ho about his career so far and his plans for the future.


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Yune Ho with a model wearing one of his designs


How did you come to start your own line?
I have always dreamed of my own fashion label, ever since I realised I wanted to be a fashion designer. Working for designers like Derek Lam and Michael Kors helped me learn commercial responsibility while maintaining design integrity and brand mission. After a lot of blood, sweat, and even tears at times, I can say that dreams come true.


 Yune Ho Korean designer Yune Ho


How was the experience of working under luxury fashion design houses?
Working within the designer and mass-market segments of fashion has helped me better understand the customer and how my personal aesthetic relates to the market. When working for other designers, I placed myself in their mindset and their customer’s mindset. Now I focus on developing the same discipline with my own designs. My experience shows me it is most important to remain true to myself.

What made you move to New York?
I have been really attracted to its diversity, dynamism and tolerant liberalism. But, most of all, I feel so comfortable and relaxed here in New York. I‘ve travelled a lot and I’ve been to so many cities, but only in New York do I feel “home sweet home”.

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A look from Yune Ho’s AW16 collection


Compared to other European designers, New York designers seem to focus on customer response and commerce rather than to focus on design creativity. How about yourself? Do you try to balance creativity with commerce?
I agree that there are amazing designers like Comme des Garcons and Raf Simons who focus on creativity in Europe. But I also think there are designers in New York just as focused on creativity as in Europe. The difference between New York and Europe is the way of presentation. The presentations in Europe are very theatrical. On the other hand, the way New York designers present the collection is very practical. As we all know, New York embraces the practical aspect. And this is probably the character of New York City.

I started my label Yune Ho in New York and I have been developing the collection here since I started. I haven’t tried to compromise and make something commercial. But “practical” is one of the most important facts for our brand and I design for real people.

What is the most challenging part to you being a designer in New York?
New York is an amazing city for the designers and artists. A lot of people you need to work with to do business, such as great sample makers, big buyers, photographers, models and customers are in close proximity. You can also easily find inspiration for your work, but it is very expensive and I think this is the most challenging part of being in New York, though I believe it is worth it to be here.


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A look from Yune Ho’s AW16 collection


Where do you find your inspirations?
I am a very visual person, so what I see becomes my inspiration. I love the visual and intellectual stimulation of travelling and experiencing new cultures; the atmosphere and feeling are the things that inspire my collections. I am also inspired by the act and beauty of everyday life. My Spring 2016 collection was inspired by my trip to Berlin in 2005. The Melancholy exhibition in Berlin at the time was very impressive that it’s still very vivid in my mind.

This year, I visited Taliesin West, which is Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and architecture school, in Arizona. It was amazing and moved me in many ways.  I am sure this will become inspiration for a future collection, though I don’t really get inspiration from the object itself. I like to see the object, its surroundings, and I become inspired by the feeling. This feeling is then reflected in my work.

As for details, I must admit, I am truly detail orientated. I feel that God is in the small things. I focus so much on details and how the customer will grow to appreciate my design through a process of constant discovery like an inside out pocket or a baby hem. This dialogue is a way for me to speak directly to the wearer.

How would you describe your design aesthetic on the whole?
Minimalism but lots of subtle details. The wabi sabi aesthetic, which is described as a beauty in imperfection, includes modesty and simplicity. I am not afraid of simplifying. I constantly edit my work to make sure there are no unnecessary elements.


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A look from Yune Ho’s AW16 collection


What makes you different than other designers?
Being truly myself. My design is a reflection of my life and my experiences in fashion and art.

Can you tell us about more your Autumn 2016 collection?
The concept for Autumn 2016 is the notion of the ‘60s and ‘90s relationship. 1960s mod combined with ‘90s minimalism is the key for colour and silhouette for the season.

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A look from Yune Ho’s AW16 collection

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
My focus is so much on the now and my current designs that I don’t think 10 years ahead. I hope that in 10 years my label reflects my personal design integrity and that I have brought my customers joy.

by Ssam sung-un Kim

Photography:Ssam Kim Hair and Make-up:Yoshie Kubota using MAC Cosmetic Model:Sophie@New York Models

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