Ones To Watch | Minju Kim
The H&M Design Award winner talks to MTV after her collection launch
Minju Kim, the Antwerp Royal Academy graduate who won H&M's Design Award in January this year, sees the fruits of her labour pay off today as her collection launches in stores across the globe. Also available online, Minju's collection includes chunky knits, structured scuba dresses and jacquard cropped jackets, in this season's prettiest pastel shades. Here Minju explains the manga origins of the collection and why, if she catches you wearing her designs, you won't get away without a hug.
MTV: You won the H&M Design Award back in January; how does it feel to have your collection finally going on sale in stores?
Minju Kim: Yesterday I was installing my collection in the windows of the Antwerp H&M ready for launch day today. I am very excited, but also feel nervous, and hope everyone loves the collection as much as I do. It's difficult to describe the feeling right now, because everything is a first, and something I haven`t experienced yet. I couldn't sleep last night with excitement!
MTV: When did you first hear about the award and what made you decide to enter?
MK: I remember the big pink poster on the wall at the fashion academy – H&M Design Award 2013. When I saw the poster, I started to imagine showing my collection to people I had never meet before, and that made me decide to apply. I was curious as to how other people would perceive my collection.
MTV: Talk us through your inspirations for the collection…
MK: During the summer holidays I went back to my hometown in Korea. I bought almost 50 manga books and spent most of the summer lying on my bed reading them. It was a total coincidence that I found this amazing cartoonist, Ito Junji. I read [his book] Tomie and fell into his world. How he transformed the beautiful girl Tomie into a grotesque creature surprised me and evoked new emotions that I had never experienced before. I wished that I could draw like him and I decided then that I wanted to make creatures like his.
MTV: What's your favourite piece from the collection?
MK: All of the pieces are my favourites, but if I had to choose one piece, I would choose the yellow monster coat. I love how the clashing colours are mixed freely, and the huge volume of the material, with the lovely suspender skirt at the back. This item shows off my character a lot. I also love the printed T-shirt, pastel jumper, leather collar and, of course, the shoes. Oh I really don't want to choose only one favourite…
MTV: Who would you love to see wearing your clothes?
MK: I worry that I'll be so excited to see people wearing my collection in the street that I'll end up saying "hi" and giving them a hug. I hope I don't surprise people too much. If you are wearing the collection, and suddenly a weird girls comes up to you wearing a huge smile, that will be me!
MTV: What are you going to be working on next?
MK: Just for now, I want to carry on the dream, making whatever I want. I want to be more experimental and enjoy drawing. If possible I just want to continue what I was doing at college – dreaming in fashion.
Written by Jennifer Lynn