We speak with Kathleen Kye, Designer and Creative Director of KYE, to talk about her standalone runway debut at New York Fashion Week this Fall/Winter 2014.
Hailing from South Korea, KYE started to gain international traction after joining Concept Korea, a small collective of Korean designers who showcase their collections together during New York Fashion Week. KYE’s successive lineup of strong garments placed themselves on our list of top Korean brands to know and they have since graduated from Concept Korea to produce their own standalone fashion show (the brand is now stocked in over 40 retailers globally). We took a quick moment with Kathleen Kye, Designer and Creative Director of KYE, to get her own words on what her Fall/Winter 2014 collection is about.
How do you feel about having your first runway in New York?
I was nervous because I don’t live here and I didn’t know how many people will turn up or how the New York crowd would like my stuff. But I think it turned out pretty well.
Do you see a big difference between the Korean and U.S. markets?
They are slightly different. In New York, it’s definitely more commercial and modern.
What was the overall concept and inspiration for this collection?
It’s about identity and two opposite contrasting things – white and black, and red and blue – because identity is like that. The chains represent the links between those worlds. I wanted to create something that’s not like two opposite contrasting things but something in the middle to show the identity of KYE.
What was the main material or silhouette that you used?
It’s pretty much oversized. The materials I used are faux fur and fake leather, but it feels real and they are produced in Korea.
What is your favorite look, piece or style?
It’s hard to pinpoint but I like the ones with the detail of the chain. It feels heavy but it’s really light.
You are one of the first Korean designers to emerge and become cool to Americans, to the West. Is there anything you’d like to tell consumers who aren’t used to Korean brands who want to know more?
I think Korean brands are getting bigger and the really cool thing about Korean brands is that they are so diverse. They have all these different styles. Korean brands are going to get bigger in international markets.
Photography: Jacob Breinholt for Highsnobiety.com