A Im-Propp is not your typical designer. In case being a full-fledged pop star in her native South Korea was not enough, Sang A set her sights on US fashion. After graduating from Parsons, she launched her collection of exotic skin and leather accessories in Spring 2006 to rave reviews. If you take one look at her collection, its not difficult to tell why! She spoke exclusively with The Fashion Law about her brand, the CFDA, and Gossip Girl!
THE FASHION LAW: Tell me a little bit about your brand. What do you think makes you and your brand different from other designers?
SANG A: The SANG A brand stands out in the market because of three distinct factors: First, SANG A's essence of fun, innovative & rebellious luxury, defined by soft playful shapes, modern minimalism, little-to-no hardware, a stone-cold palette and rich textures combined with the finest skins, inventive finishes and old world craftsmanship differentiate our brand in the marketplace.
Second, SANG A has approachable high-end price points that offer customers great value.
Third, SANG A’s design aesthetic is future classic, while our competitors share a modern classic point of view.
THE FASHION LAW: You put that so well! It's really no wonder that SANG A is such an in-demand brand! Congratulations on being chosen to be part of the first CFDA Fashion Incubator Program! Your two years there are nearly over. I'd love to know about any reflections on your experience and how you think your brand has changed as a result of the Incubator?
SANG A: The Incubator experience was helpful and provided insight from different viewpoints, which I really enjoyed hearing. It was interesting to hear about other designer's experiences and challenges; however, the SANG A brand is the same as it was before the being in Incubator program.
THE FASHION LAW: Do you ever worry about others stealing or replicating your designs?
SANG A: No, I don't... In the fashion industry, designs are being copied everyday. As they say, "imitation is the highest form of flattery." I believe if your designs are innovative and crafted with beautiful workmanship, even if they are copied, consumers will still prefer to wear the original.
THE FASON LAW
: There really is no replacing a beautiful and well-made design! Speaking of which, it seems these days that two things kind of announce that you’ve made it in the US: Michelle Obama wears your designs or your designs are featured on Gossip Girl. Your bags have been on Gossip Girl! What was that like?
SANG A: It was very exciting...it is always gives me pleasure to see a women wearing my bag. I enjoy seeing how she wears it, what she wears it with, and how it molds to the individual's sense of aesthetic... even on TV shows.
THE FASHION LAW: Your bags are masterpieces! You use the most amazing materials (alligator, crocodile, python, ostrich, lizard, stingray, woven eel) and I cannot do justice to the craftsmanship in words! Did you feel like there was a void in the market for bags like this when you started SANG A?
SANG A: Yes, definitely...I felt that most exotic skins were made into bags that had a "classic beauty." Not only are the shapes more conventional but the finishes are usually a super high shine or glossy finish. I wanted to create shapes that were both fun and functional, something that can be worn out at night or be used everyday. The finishes that I choose convey a sense of "organic-luxe" giving the wearer more flexibility. I love buffed and brushed finishes where the skin looks "textured" and "rustic." The bag is still exotic and precious but in a very subtle way. When my customers wear my bags, the bags "adapt" to the person's own style and character. It punctuates the individual aesthetic that the person already has.
THE FASHION LAW
: Your name is synonymous with bags but you have designed some amazing bracelets (including the wrap that is currently on your site) and I know that you have the desire to expand one day.
: There is quite a bit on the horizon...I'm looking forward to debuting my F/W 2012 collection during New York Fashion Week next month. In addition to that, you can expect to see some new bracelets and graphic T-shirts in the near future...
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Special thank you to Sang A and Joseph!