Tag Archive for Kiok

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: KIOK

SFW S/S 2015: KIOK

It’s infinitely great when the designer knows what she’s good at, and even better when she doesn’t hesitate to focus on the exact stuff that made her who she is. Denim, shredded denim in particular, is undoubtedly Kiok’s specialty, and the minute top model Soyoung Kang opened the show with a denim jacket that’s two things awesomely beautiful: distressed and white, it finally felt safe to breathe a sigh of relief. There were no surprises, but it was a concise display of Kiok’s history, and where it will be heading from here. One thing is clear: it’s all about denim, and that is enough to keep the fans happy.

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Photo by Justin Shin, fashion photographer Seoul, Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Fall 2014: KIOK

1If you have been following us for a while, you should be aware that Kiok’s specialty is denim- and seeing the first few pieces of her Fall/Winter collection proved that she still is the queen of denim, especially with all the engineering work that went into it. This is what she does best, and it is my personal wish that she would continue focusing on the subject.

2 3Clearly, the level of skill required to create this kind of distressed/shredded effect isn’t one to be considered mediocre. Let the professionals handle it.

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14Yes, more jeans! Oh, by the way, Joo Young has the best walk (and abs) ever!!! You go, girl.

15 16 17 18Those jeans… are to die for. I mean, I’ve had them on before and while it takes a while to put them on, they feel like heaven on.

19 20 21 22 23 24 25I should mention that the theme was video games- make sure to watch the video below, because the music was totally off the hook, with Super Mario, 2NE1 and all.

26Oh, wow wowowowowow.

27 28How cute is this print? Seriously, they have the most creative and talented graphic designer/illustrator- just check out their last collection here.

29 30 31More jeans! (drools)

32 33 34 35 36 37A bit off topic, but doesn’t Lee, Jian look like an angel? This girl not only photographs incredibly, she walks extremely well too, not to mention that she has the hottest boyfriend ever (Kim Woo Bin, anyone?).

38 39 40I love how these faces look like polka dots from afar. So witty.

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See KIOK S/S ’14

Photos by Justin Shin, Fashion Photographer

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2014: Kiok

1381404_460036384110049_29690102_nTo celebrate their sixth show together as a team, Kiok’s S/S 2014 collection was properly named Garden 6, which was designed around the image above, consisting of a unicorn with what looks like a floral mane (who was obviously given a complete make-over by the team at Kiok)- hence it was only natural to expect a collection that was nothing less than phantasmagorical.

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What I didn’t know was that this was going to be a different kind of fabulousness, one that’s instantly covetable, the kind that gives you butterflies, lust so strong that it’s hard to resist.

2It was refreshing to see denim on the runway, and to see it coming from none other than the designer herself who is known for her exceptional techniques in denim design and construction was a pleasant surprise, a bonus… an early Christmas present.

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4You know you’ve had a successful show when you hear about people claiming every single piece like it had always belonged to them.

5While it’s a fashion designer’s job to both inspire and create, and while by producing a collection that’s artistically top-notch may please press and media, what it really comes down to… is to design pieces that are desired, ones that will open consumers’ wallets and won’t make them regret for doing so.

6Clearly, the global economy has been sending messages that are not all that pleasant, but instead of whining, why don’t we start “creating” things that people want? Reading the consumers’ mind can be considered tricky, but as with everything else, it’s contingent upon amount of time and effort put into researching, studying, battling with the subject, which is exactly what Designer Kiok Kang is famous for: she lets herself deal with it until she finds an answer, rare for those in occupation of “creating.”

7What’s a gain when there’s no pain- and as artists, we know that no creativity comes without time dealt with pain.

8In short, ‘creation’ part of design is probably the most difficult of the entire process, and the rest largely consists of team effort… which really depends on “who” you are working with. That’s where Kiok’s strength lies, where Crayon and Coco J come in. If Kiok Kang is a pillar of the brand, Crayon and Coco J are the strong support system, neither of whom can be substituted.

We’ve all been there: having to work with those who aren’t all that competent, who lack responsibility, who do not have the kind of passion that I have, etc. Being able to work with a team that’s not only competent but easy to get along with is a true blessing, and in the end, it’s all about people, people who share the same passion, the vision, the values and all.

9And at that, it seems Kiok is a brand that will be around for a while, thanks to the strong team that is highly skilled, talented, and capable but more than anything, they consider fashion their true calling, therefore they do it with passion, and do it well… together which is easily noticeable in their collection. It’s a true collaborative effort, designed with passion, crafted with exceptional skills and techniques, and executed immaculately.

10And that, in essence, is how something covetable is born, how you lure us poor girls into buying things that we don’t really “need” (but make us happy).

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13A Kiok girl is feminine but strong and passionate, elegant but casual, chic but nice.

14She knows style and is fashion conscious but is not headstrong; she’s willing to break the rules as needed which makes her the coolest kid on the block.

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18As someone who adores a look that embodies both femininity and masculinity, this collection is something like a prototype of what I want to see myself in for the rest of my life.

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37Check out Kiok F/W 2013 & S/S 2013

Our interview with Kiok

Life in Seoul: When honeymoon is over

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Many wonder how much fun it must be living in Seoul as an expat (though I’m more like a semi-expatriat, technically). To be honest, while it may be fun, it is a lot more challenging than one would expect… because I don’t look “American” enough. There are probably more disadvantages than advantages being a Korean American in contrast to being a foreigner and actually looking like one living in Seoul.

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Sometimes, I wonder how different life would have been if I were a different ethnicity, because Koreans tend to focus a lot on what they see on the outside when they form a judgment about a person. So since I look Korean on the outside, I’m automatically expected to think the same way as they do… when in reality, I probably disagree with 90% of the things they say or think.

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Don’t get me wrong though, I still am Korean and a proud one at that… but technically, I am not… but most importantly, the struggles I deal with in Korea come from my mindset being dramatically different from that of typical Koreans, creating a gap coming from their expectations versus what’s in my head which usually goes like this: ‘What is going on here?’

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That’s right, I don’t get ya’ll. and there are more than a few things that bother the heck out of me, especially when men have absolutely no manners, show no respect or concern for others… Just the other night in Hongdae, a dude carrying his girlfriend’s purse pushed me so hard for no apparent reason that I almost fell. The dude of course didn’t even bother to look back, not to mention apologize… That’s not all, I’ve almost gotten hit by a car more than enough times on the street because all the Korean drivers care about is to get to their destination and it needs to be done 8282 (quickly)- pedestrians are just obstacles in their eyes, not human beings. Also, so many times while grocery shopping, have I been hit by a shopping cart… Why is it that it’s so difficult for these people to say sorry? That’s all it takes to make another person feel better (sometimes it really can make a huge difference in that person’s day, too)… I’m getting used to it now (sadly) but at first, I was so upset, especially when it happened in an elevator with nobody else in there, just the cart owner and me. Being the expressive American I am, my natural reaction after getting my foot run over by his cart was, “Ouch!” and guess what, he didn’t even look back. Can you imagine what was going through my head? The first few times, I wanted to give them a break… but now that it’s happened more than too many times, it seems that I’m getting tired… tired of trying to understand them.

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Believe me, I’m constantly tempted to say something to these people… but then again, why bother? and it’s not like I can educate these people all the way from the fundamentals because to me, it seems that it’s not that they do these things intentionally, they just don’t know how to apologize… I find that such behaviors are based on what’s inside of them, maybe they never learned to show respect to strangers as so much focus is placed on competition since young age, winning and becoming better than the next person no matter the consequences.

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Or, perhaps I should start saying something to them regardless… just hope that I don’t appear on Naver or Facebook for doing so… You know Koreans and their smart phones.

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Denim Jacket and pants provided by Kiok, Shoes by Jeffrey Campbell

Ripped and Shredded but Still Intact

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How well do we really know each other?

We think we know- but the truth is, we have no idea. Isn’t that the case? But really, we tend to judge others based on first impression, but what that process really is is forming an idea about a person solely based on their appearance. Then, how much time do we need to spend with each other to truly “know” each other? Unfortunately, I doubt there is anyone in the world who can provide a straight and complete answer to that question. So if that’s the case, is it really necessary to spend so much time to get to know each other in the first place? (which is especially important when decision process is involved, ie job interviews, marriage, business partnership) If we are never going to fully “know” each other no matter how much time is spent together, what is the point of attempting to do so? Shouldn’t first impression (or the first few minutes spent together) be sufficient to determine whether you want to maintain a relationship with the person or not?

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People are always surprised when I tell them that it didn’t take longer than six months for my husband to propose to me. And then, I’ve also heard of couples who had been together for years yet end up going their own way. I mean, think about how you met some of your closest friends… didn’t it just kind of happen? There must had been something that “sparked” when youguys first met for you to subconsciously decide to continue/develop that relationship; same goes for romantic relationships.

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As mentioned on my Instagram a while ago, I’m reading Blink (finally), which is about Thin-Slicing, a rapid cognitive ability in which we unconsciously identify situational and behavioral patterns based on narrow slices of personal experiences. The first time I became acquainted with this book was back in grad school in one of the required Evaluation courses. Though it was only an excerpt, apparently I found it compelling enough to be brought back into life even after so many years.

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Well, just because I’m reading the book, it doesn’t mean that my beliefs on the subject are completely in congruence with that of the author’s but he raises some truly thought-provoking points such as these:

- We need to accept our ignorance and say ‘I don’t know’ more often.

- Our unconscious attitudes may be utterly incompatible with our stated conscious values.

- What we think of as free will is largely an illusion: much of the time, we are simply operating on automatic pilot, and the way we think and act – and how well we think and act on the spur of the moment- are a lot more susceptible to outside influences than we realize.

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The points made in this book are supported by academic and clinical studies (as usual)… which I find contradicting (not the study itself but the author’s decision to use such as supporting material, but then again, what else would you use? lol) because what these research and studies really are are a form of justification to prove hypotheses by analyzing data collected over time, which is the complete opposite of the idea that the book introduces. Don’t get me wrong though, as a person with a great interest in Psychology, I do believe in the importance of academic studies and research, and really do believe that often the findings can make positive impact on our lives; however, as much as data consist of a great part of any study, if it’s not 100% (which is never), how much better is it than 0%? There, I said it, and you are probably able to tell by now that I’m not a big fan of statistics… Well, while the author mentions both success stories and failures using the method of thinking without thinking, if the entire idea is based on not having to process a large set of data in order to arrive at conclusion (which he considers a better way to decision making), I don’t see a point of making references to academic studies to begin with. After all, academic studies are based on data that attempt to prove a point which is always “may or may not” because the idea is never applicable to 100% of the sample.

Am I making a valid point here or what. If not, forget it.. that’s just me brain farting… sometimes I just have to, because it’s not easy to find people who are willing to sit around to listen to all my mumbo-jumbo… ;(

But in all seriousness, kind of afraid that this post may actually be legally sufficient to get my diploma confiscated…

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Am I making a valid point here or what. If not, forget it.. that’s just me brain farting… sometimes I just have to, because it’s not easy to find people who are willing to sit around to listen to all my mumbo-jumbo… ;(

But in all seriousness, kind of afraid that this post may actually be legally sufficient to get my diploma confiscated…

In conclusion and back to my main point, what it comes down to is that the process (time spent together, memories made together) is so much more important and meaningful than the result (actually feeling like you know someone completely) itself when it comes to relationships. Relationship ain’t no business and there never isn’t a straight answer to relationships, so my experiences tell me… What I do know however, is that it frustrates me like there’s no tomorrow when I get a feeling of being “used” when I’ve treated the other party in the most respectful, genuine, loving-kind of way. I may not know you fully, but I’m willing to give you what I can, because life is most meaningful when love comes before anything else. On that note, I want to try harder to stop unconsciously judging people based on what I see. If you’ve read Blink, you know this is harder than you think (though the study the author refers to regarding this topic is most likely also stat-based and should be used with caution)… but in any case, trying is better than not trying at all, yeah? ;)

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Anyhow, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been in So Cal, and now I’m starting to miss Seoul.. little.. by little. These shots were taken at one of the parks by the Han River on a very very hot, humid day… Hearing it’s actually a good time to be away from Seoul… thank God. Wearing Kiok again, because it’s by far the bomb-diggitiest brand I’ve come across in Korea. Love how this shirt makes you look like you are wearing a super cool denim vest from afar when it really is to give you two more arms.

If you have yet to read our interview with Kiok, please do so now- she’s not only a denim expert, but an expert in dedication, determination, and commitment. She does everything with passion until she becomes an expert at it which you can kind of tell by looking at these shots but the only way to truly get to know Kiok is to interact with her creations… Touch it, feel it, let your skin get intimate with it.

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Wide-leg silk pants, Button down shirt/dress with denim accents by Kiok. Shoes by Jeffrey Campbell. 80% of makeup products by Style Nanda.

Between Reality and Illusion

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Sometimes, the line between the two is extremely blurry, don’t you think? and by illusion, I mean what we see, or what we decide to believe about the things we see. In short, I’m referring to perception.

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Perception has always been a topic of interest to me, especially back in the college days when I lived in New York. I used to wonder if I would be treated differently if I had different hair color, skin tone, etcetera, but didn’t really have the courage to transform my looks to experiment until… years later (hence the ombre you see nowadays).

This interest grew so big that it led me to study Psychology later on though it wasn’t until years after graduation that I really started understanding the truth and realizing the fallacy of my embryonic theory that people are how they portray themselves in public.

And after years of studying, working in various fields, living in different continents and cities, and meeting about a zillion people, I realize that life isn’t simply what you see on the surface. There is more to it, there is so much more to it which is what makes it so interesting.

You don’t know someone until you get to know them personally. Skin color, hair color, the Hermes they are holding, the Wang they are wearing means nothing until you get to know them on a personal level. Humans were created to live together harmoniously, that is why we need to try harder everyday… not only to love ourselves more, but to understand others as well. Happy community, Happy life.

I hope that this blog is one of those communities where friends from all over the world can freely come and enjoy, communicate, and share insights. I’ve said many times before, but I appreciate every one of you for reading, especially those who leave thoughtful comments (here as well as Lookbook & Chictopia), and send me messages on Facebook. I want you to know that you really are the reason why I do what I do. God bless.

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Green PVC dress by Kiok, Hologram ‘Deetz’ Flat Sandals & White Clear ‘Granted’ Wedges by Jeffrey Campbell, Chanel Rouge Allure  red lips in 99.

Familiar yet strange, that’s what home is

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Back home in California for a while and the first thing I noticed was something that’s seemingly so obvious yet strange. Thankfully, we are back here more often than ever imagined- and for some reason, my mind tends to expect something new and different every time when it’s only natural that things  remain the same… It could be that I’m getting used to the fast-paced lifestyle in Korea where there is rarely a day that passes without something new happening… whichever the case, it’s a great feeling to be back and be able to see familiar faces, feel the sunshine, and everything else that makes California so perfect.

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While I enjoy Seoul’s energetic lifestyle, there definitely are aspects of California that are irreplaceable- think produce, the beaches, etc.

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and because of that, I find myself completely obsessing over everything fresh, organic, different, awesome… Whole Foods, basically. Kind of regretting not taking more advantage of all that awesomeness when I lived down the street from it.

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Especially since adopting a new diet a few weeks ago, I had basically been stuck with same food choices in Seoul. So you wouldn’t believe how grateful and glad I am to have access to all the wonderful vegan and produce selections here in SoCal. I’ve literally been drowning in avocados, figs, blueberries along with homemade salsa made with Roma Tomatoes since getting here (Consider that an avocado costs at least twice as much in Korea and that Roma Tomatoes are totally nonexistent.).

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Also totally missed veggie juice… so my first stop naturally was a juicery… which definitely needs to be brought over to Seoul soon.. I know there are some cafes that offer something similar but we need one without the ridiculous price tag. Seriously, who pays $15 for a glass of juice? Some of those Gang-Nam folks do, apparently, but myself am not into that, at all, when I pay $5 for a much better, creative, healthier option here.

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Or… I need to find a way to make it at home… maybe that’s a better way to do it… hmm.

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Ever since leaving LA, one thing I learned is to really appreciate and take advantage of your surroundings while you can because you never know when they will be taken away… when the resources will become substantially minimal, you know. I thought I was doing pretty good but quite honestly, I feel like I wasn’t being adventurous enough with food choices, at least. Looking at all the fresh vegetables and fruits yesterday at Whole Foods that I had never even heard of, I regretted not trying enough of them when I could… because in Korea, anything that doesn’t grow domestically are ridiculously pricey for obvious reasons, while the options being extremely limited as well.

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Particularly in love with are the limes, avocados, whole wheat everything, almond and coconut everything, all the vegan options, and juices made with all the awesomely healthy produces. Oh, how I wish I lived next to Whole Foods… so sad that there isn’t one within walking distance.. but then again, I’m in an area where no place is walkable. Can’t wait to try rest of what California offers, taking a mini break from Korean food just for a few weeks.

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Wearing shredded jeans and pleated silk top by Kiok

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‘Granted’ clear heeled wedges by Jeffrey Campbell

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Leather hat from Amazon, and Chanel 2.55 Reissue.

What Comes Around Goes Around

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I find it fascinating that fashion trends come, go, and come back years later… in a better, improved form (which is one of the issues I have with vintage, btw).

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Every season, designers from all around the world introduce thousands of new ideas in hopes that they make it big, but then of course, only a handful actually do, ending up on the streets and if they really hit it big, in our closets.

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Stripes have always been with us… in fact, I’ve always been a fan… my ten different (actually… maybe not so much different after all) types of striped t-shirts are a testament to it. While for years Justin constantly insisted that I stop buying things with any hints of stripes on them, for some reason, I just couldn’t convince myself to break off the relationship. There’s something about stripes that is strangely intriguing… they may appear the same at first glance, but details such as the width and length of the lines, distance between them, etc. make a whole lot of difference. It’s much less flamboyant than colorful prints yet still extremely effective in statement-making. In that sense, it’s a subtle way to rock prints.

 and it looks like the rest of the world has taken a notice too, as this past spring and summer, the streets and television in Korea have been flooding with striped-everything.

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and fortunately or unfortunately, it looks like it’s here to stay…

I don’t think it’s a bad thing that it’s becoming almost like a uniform here, I just find it amazing how sensitive Korea is to trends, whether it’s cosmetics, fashion, or lifestyle, say a diet plan. A certain brand would be worn by a certain celebrity, and within days (if not hours) their collective sales would skyrocket. Perhaps it’s the advanced technology that has helped in acceleration of information sharing here. On that note, oh, you wouldn’t believe how fast the internet is here in Seoul. I’m able to upload these humongous photos ten at a time, within seconds. You can only imagine how quickly information gets disseminated here, thanks to Naver. I mean, as far as I remember, Koreans have been using the smartphone since the 90′s… It was truly a shocking moment when I first encountered subway commuters watching live television on their phones when I visited Seoul in the late 90′s when I thought I was so cool with my Startac (remember those?).

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I don’t know, it’s probably a combination of many things but certainly, technology has something to do with this country being super sensitive to the news, trends, information, etc.

Oh yeah, back to the topic of stripes-oh. my. gosh. Literally every girl, boy, man, woman, their mother, father, grandma and kids are rocking stripes… I’m not even kidding, and sadly, Justin and I are not an exception, we are both equally guilty because we couldn’t resist picking up a shirt or two when we were at A-Land a few months ago but I promise, this was way before it became big, and I mean BIG. It’s a designer’s dream though, for an idea to make it this big, although it doesn’t always necessarily equal to profit. Not sure who was the first to come up with the idea (Saint James, was it?), but I’m enjoying seeing variations of it, especially verticals combined with horizontals, like this vest I’m wearing.

Curious what the next “big thing” will be. Have any idea? curiouscurious

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Striped Vest, ‘Life’ Sleeveless Top, Slitted Wide Pants by KIOK, Flat Cap borrowed from Justin, Aviators by Ray-ban, ‘Security’ boots by Jeffrey Campbell

Kiok: Live. Breathe. Fashion.

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If I had to mention one brand that was most impactful and influential in getting myself interested in Korean fashion, it would have to be Kiok, led by the renowned Fashion Designer, Kiok Kang. What came as both a shock and a pleasant surprise during my first encounter with the brand is the quality of the runway production they put on, which involves everything from amazing graphics used in printed materials and film, the models, music, lighting, performance, and of course, the collection itself which is always daring, fresh, advanced, creative, and sexy.

(See Kiok from Seoul Fashion Week)

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After starting “Kang Mode” in 1979 and launching “Kang Kiok Boutique” in 1989, Kang has consistently and continually been striving to polish, evolve, and update the brand through various realms including revitalization of the brand identity, revised marketing strategy, and launch of a sub-brand called Purify and Justice. This somewhat expectedly (and unexpectedly) prompted her two talented daughters to jump on the bandwagon somewhere along the way, providing assistance in a way that nobody else can by acting as bridges and adhesives as their skill sets were complementary to what Kang had to offer, and with three of them working towards the same goal, the synergistic result was none other than extraordinary. Her older daughter, Crayon, works as  Creative Director of the company, while Coco J assists with design. Both have been trained in New York, and they not only bring in a fresh perspective, but a young one that which cannot be learned nor bought… it’s one of those that you either have or don’t… and us, the older folks, unfortunately are in dire need of their help when it comes to deciphering the sensibility of the youth which is a critical element of the designing process. That’s where Crayon comes in, with her goal of updating the brand with ageless fun that’s both trendy and classic while maintaining excellent craftsmanship and strong details the brand has been known for the past 30 years.

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 To many in Korea, Kiok Kang is known as an expert in denim design and production, which all started in 2002 when she randomly and fatefully came across a bunch of people wearing jeans at a cross walk. It began with her strategic intent to take her brand overseas, and denim seemed to be the perfect tool to do so due to its versatility, flexibility, and popularity. After numerous sleepless nights and trial and error, denim became her specialty, and with the completed denim collection, she flew to Italy, where her hard work was not only recognized but praised for its uniqueness, exquisite details, and Korean elements not found in other brands. Her denim collection proved to be a huge hit and it seemed as if she was on the right track… until her Italian partner fled with a large sum of money. Meanwhile, her office staff back in Seoul were struggling to manage the dramatically increased workload both for domestic and international orders. So came the decision to let go… She would stop, take a break to review and reconstruct the company, the brand, business strategy, marketing plans, everything. It would stay small and focus on the domestic market for the time being… until she felt ready to go global again. And with help from the two trusty partners, it seems that the time is near.

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 Despite having trained herself to become a denim expert, Kang has relatively been distancing herself from it to prevent from letting the relationship grow a bit too intimate again, because contrary to popular belief, denim is one that requires a lot of research, analysis, and effort to develop. She considers everything from what changes “washing” will bring to the material, how to prevent shrinkage, how the embroidery will be affected by wears, to how different it will look when it ages and during the aging process, the color changes and all. Even to get to the color she wants initially takes a lot of work, she says. Trust me, I now have a newly developed appreciation for my 20 plus pairs of jeans that I never wear…

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When asked where she draws inspiration from, she doesn’t hesitate to say that she’s a workaholic and that inspiration is her everyday life. It comes from what someone says, what she sees… Once she finds something intriguing, she starts contemplating on it, trying on different perspectives (the way we try on different pairs of glasses), meditating… until it is materialized.

 Interestingly enough, Crayon, Creative Director of Kiok and her older daughter, actually had something similar to say, as she mentioned good times that include good coffee, good people, good chats, and good weather, which are generally considered “everyday things,” compared to resorting to the predicted sources such as art galleries or museums. Crayon specifically mentioned that she dislikes such places, in fact:

“I dislike going to galleries or museums. But it’s funny how I would actually go to a gallery with some good coffee and good friends to have good talk and get inspired either on my way to it or on my way back.” It seems that rather than the activity itself, it’s the good company that matters the most when it comes to inspiration for the Kiok team.

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 So having been surprised at the fact that Kiok is indeed a family business, we had to ask how it came about. Coco J, the younger sister who is involved in design, says, “As much as I hated my mom’s job as a designer (because she was never there to take care of them), when the time came to make a career decision, I really couldn’t think of another occupation, although…. I briefly dreamed of becoming a singer, which has now become more of a hobby.”

To the same question, Crayon said, “I got into the fashion field because of my mother. I went to PRATT for illustration/communication design. Then I got an internship at TRACE Magazine when I was in my senior year, a transcultural magazine that was based in London. It was about fashion, music, photography and art in general. I became an Art Director after a year and half and worked for them about 4 years. After TRACE Magazine, I started work as Creative Director at Kiok.”

It seems that fashion runs in the blood for these ladies… when it’s meant to be, it comes naturally, and when that destiny unfolds the way it should, the result is magical and beautiful.

I found myself genuinely envious. Once an aspiring fashion designer (who even moved all the way to New York at a young age to study fashion), I always dreamed of having such great support from the family (aside from financial help, my parents were amazing in that area, couldn’t have asked for more) such as having a mentor and environment that is naturally motivating and educational. I’m forever thankful to be where I am now, but it took quite a long time for me to come back to fashion… I’m not regretting (I’m truly, genuinely happy right now; in fact, couldn’t be happier), but if I had met a good mentor in the industry when I was trying to pursue fashion back in the days, who knows, I might be designing some crazy stuff by now.

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When asked about her favorite artist, Kang responded with Rei Kawakubo, head designer of Comme des Garcons, famous for its anti-fashion concept that’s both austere, strange and extreme at times. She also mentioned Vivienne Westwood, another designer famous for trying “new” things, mainly responsible for incorporating modern punk and new wave fashions. She said that she admires their unrelenting courage to always challenge themselves and take risks while creating something new and beautiful.

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 After responding with passion to every question regarding her world of fashion design, what is generally deemed absolutely “normal” seemed to  be awkward for Kang. We asked what her hobby was and she hesitated until she cautiously mentioned “Golf,” which she added was a sport that she only recently picked up in order to socialize with her friends. Apparently, she never leaves the office, even eating is a luxury for her. She told us a story when she got humiliated at a bank because she didn’t know how to make a deposit. Coco J agreed by saying that her mom not only has no idea how to cook, but has never even been to a supermarket, and all this is not because of disinterest but because she’s literally married to work.

Having imbued herself with work since young, for 30 years she says she only ran towards one thing, and it’s not money nor fame, but to “Create”, “Design” clothes. She is the type that once she starts something, she finishes it, and does it with passion. There is no other job she imagines herself to be in, and at that, I could see how intense this love for fashion is, and how immeasurably enormous her passion is in dressing people. In modern days in which younger generation seeks easy money, fame, and comfort, she had this to say:

Even if you are slow like a turtle, go all the way. Even if it takes a long time, keep trying, and money will come along if you do your best. Even if it doesn’t work the way you want the first time, keep at it. Success comes to those who work hard.

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Kiok is a success story that is still in progress, and it’s a result of none other than hard work, passion, and team effort which can be seen in a collection after another.

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While this is originally a blazer, thought it would be perfect for a party of sort, or even a fancy event to be worn as a mini dress.

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Boxing shorts reinterpreted.

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After seeing this PVC bomber jacket at the show, I was obsessed with anything PVC for a very… long time.

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It’s just that it’s a bit too hot to wear it right now, but still so cool in a futuristic, outer-space-kind of way.

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Backless Striped Blazer, Striped Sleeveless Top, Boxing Shorts, PVC Bomber Jacket by kiok. Shoes by Jeffrey Campbell (Security Boots, Madame Spike & Deetz Hologram). Clutch by Calvin Klein. Silver Elastic Headband from H&M. Red lips: Chanel Rouge Allure 99 Pirate