Seoul Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017
Something About Visits The Songzio Studio

seoul fashion week spring summer 2017 songzio studio interview
seoul fashion week spring summer 2017 songzio studio interview


Seoul Fashion Week

Over the course of just a few years, Seoul Fashion Week, the twice annual event taking over the South Korean capital in January and October, has risen to become a colourful platform for some of the most innovative brands. Such is the international interest in the event, that this season homegrown talent such as D-Antidote is joined by travelling guests; both Caruso and Manish Arora feature on the Spring Summer 2017 schedule. With the third day of shows about to start, we joined designer Songzio in his Seoul studio to learn more about the city’s fashion, and how the industry has changed since the brand’s launch in 1993.

seoul fashion week spring summer 2017 songzio studio interview
seoul fashion week spring summer 2017 songzio studio interview


 Things You Need To Know About Songzio

What defines fashion made and designed in Seoul?

Songzio : ‘Seoul fashion is the essence of urban fashion. It is trendy – but at the same time very chic. Because it is so trendy, it is hard to give you one typical look that could describe the fashion of this city. In the old days, the streets were very formal and filled with dark colors as if people were all wearing a uniform, but it is nice to see more light and diversity these days.

You launched your brand in 1993; how has Seoul fashion changed since then?

Songzio : ‘Back in the 1990s and even up to early 2000s, the  fashion market in Seoul was not very developed and quite local. Not many foreign brands were in Korea and the concept of designer made clothes was not a very commercial concept. The same way Korea didn’t know many brands overseas, neither did those overseas and given this kind of environment, I think it was harder back than for people overseas to appreciate fashion made in Seoul. Some didn’t even know what Korea was. Now, as I previously mentioned, the level of recognition and respect for this country has grown quite substantially and I think it’s a great time for Korean designers.’

Your early key piece was the black suit, how do you re-invent this classic item for current and subsequent seasons?

Songzio :The black peaked lapel suit has been our key piece since the very beginning. We think it’s the one classic product men will forever want and given this classic value, we do nothing but add a slightly different touch to this classic look: perhaps a sharper lapel, different inner lining, a slimmer fit…

 In addition to designing your eponymous brand here in the studio, you have acted as Chairman of Council of Fashion Designers of Korea since 2016. What are the council’s goals?

Songzio : ‘ CFDK oversees 340 designers in South Korea and as a council we have three ambitious aims for the future. First, as we have always done, we truly seek to help the young and new designers who are starting up in this challenging industry and to provide a solid industrial infrastructure so that anybody working in Fashion could do it with much ease. Our second aim is to truly promote creativity above clothes as simple products that are merely for sale. Finally, with k-pop and Korean culture gaining much popularity around the world particularly in Asia, CFDK will seek to fully exploit new opportunities for Korean Fashion and to promote Korean Culture as a whole.’

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Do you work from this studio?

Songzio :  We travel a lot between Paris and Seoul, but we do most of our work in Seoul. I see skycrapers and the Han River from my window, a very modern and contrasting view to what we can see in Paris

What inspires your work? What role does traditional Korean dress play?

Songzio : ‘I used to read a lot in the past for inspiration, but lately I am inspired by fine art, music and films. As time goes by, I think my appreciation and respect for films is growing deeper. It’s very admirable how films can be so conceptually expressive and telling from the characters, set, costumes, music…etc. It seems like a more elaborate fashion show Every Korean encounters occasions in which the traditional Korean dress has to be worn. I love how it is but I would also love to see someone reinventing it’

Who is the Songzio man?

Songzio : ‘Songzio man is the modern man of the city, chic in style and modern in essence yet dreaming in his own romantic way’.Our Fall 2016 collection was called Vermillion Hue. I was quite inspired by Macbeth this collection and the collection is mixture of oriental romantic and warrior like toughness.

You have shown in Paris and London, and are based in Paris and Seoul. How did you experience these European shows and how does working in Paris affect Songzio?

Songzio : ‘Paris is in a way my home, it is where I studied and where I used to live for a long time. The city itself is an inspiration, and given the romantic-modern Identity of the brand, going between Paris and Seoul does help me stay more in touch with the conceptual essence of my brand’.

seoul fashion week spring summer 2017 songzio studio interview
seoul fashion week spring summer 2017 songzio studio interview