Thus far, we have looked at a few of the most promising womenswear designers coming out of Parsons Bachelor of Arts Fashion graduating class, and so, it is time to turn our attention to menswear. We caught up with Moon Hwang and Inseop Keum, two of the menswear designers who have had our attention of the past several weeks. They spoke to us about their brands, what designers they love, what they are obsessed with right now and more …
Moon Hwang, 24, was born in South Korea and moved to the United States in 2006. Hwang says her menswear focus, as demonstrated in her final collection, entitled, "Detective", reflects the designer's role: to solve and unfold by discovering missing pieces among what already exists. She was named a finalist for this year's Kering x Parsons Empowering Imagination competition.
MY BRAND IN ONE SENTENCE: My goal as menswear designer is to designs that are timeless but with a modern twist in them, so men can fashionably wear these clothes even after generations pass.
THE MUSIC THAT INSPIRED MY COLLECTION: I love to listen to Korean song from 60s and 70s, which is from my mother's generation. This puts me in a classical mindset, which I think translates into timeless designs.
MY FAVORITE DESIGNER IS … Wooyoungmi. She is also Korean female menswear designer, and has great balance between feminine and musculine taste into menswear. She started from Korea and now she shows her collection in Paris and even has her own flagship store there now. She uses interesting fabrication, colors and constructional detail, which is very much my goal as a menswear designer.
MY FAVORITE INTERNSHIP: Luckily, I have interned at three very different companies: TSE Cashmere, Gap inc. and John Varvatos. TSE had many prototypes produced in NY's Garment District and they were well known for knitwear, which helped me to understand the big difference between woven and knit design.
The Gap, a corporate company was a totally different world. I got to see not only the design process but also the business part of it. This taught me the reality of the fashion industry and helped me to understand fashion design in a broader way.
Lastly, I interned at John Varvatos for 1 year, which was my longest internship. I started as a Knit & Sweater department intern. However, I ended up helping in a few different departments, such as wovens, jeans, and collection team. Working there helped me to become a more creative designer and a designer who understands MEN.
RIGHT NOW, I'M OBSESSED WITH: Green! It used to be my the least favorite color. However, since camouflage was on trend for Fall 2013, I started to looking at all different tones of green and realized the beauty of green and now I am looking forward to creating a green collection!
I LOVE PARSONS BECAUSE … Parsons has great balance between, Creativity and Reality, and School life and Industry life. While I attended Parsons, I got the experience from the New York fashion industry by learning from people from the industry and working in the industry in internship. This helped me get ready to go into real industry right after graduation.
Inseop Keum, 26, is from Seoul, South Korea and moved to New York specifically upon enrolling at Parsons. He says his thesis collection, Keum, is inspired by the differentiation of light and shadows.
MY BRAND IN ONE SENTENCE: Innovative, unique design in both couture and wearable collection.
THE MUSIC THAT INSPIRED MY COLLECTION: Chris Lake - Helium. It really explains the mood of my collection and the dramatic tempos help me to get inspired.
MY FAVORITE DESIGNERS ARE … Christopher Kane , Robert Geller, and Dries Van Noten because they are designers who keep the masculine silhouette but show unique ideas (layering, print, etc) through the garments.
MY FAVORITE INTERNSHIP: It was with Robert Geller.
RIGHT NOW, I'M OBSESSED WITH: A new project I'm working on targeting a specific market in US/UK at the same time. Showing both accessible and editorial garments for the market is what I always dreamed as a menswear designer.
I LOVE PARSONS BECAUSE … Parsons has allowed me to explore all different design aspects, such as sportswear, tailored garments, and couture collections, etc. This has helped me to reach my goals a design student and has helped me to find my aesthetic. With passionate students and faculty, we all share ideas and give advice to develop.