We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Moon Jung Chang ("MJC").
Moon Jung Chang earned her master of fine art degree at Fashion Institute of Technology of school of grad study (2017-2019), as a first cohort. When she graduated, she won the first prize from the department due to the excellent works.When she graduated, she won the first prize medal from the department due to the excellent works. She earned her BFA fashion design from Pratt Institute in New York (2016). When Moon entered Pratt, she received $96,000 scholarship, and awarded as Seemann-Burse Fund scholarship recipient because she placed in the President list annually, and she has graduated from Pratt with honors and received Pratt Circle Award. Moon’s aesthetic focus on the dichotomy between beauty and ugliness is an invaluable asset of her own visual vocabulary as a designer. The massive size and weight of black with cute elements such as a flowers, bows, and ruffles create the tensions of contrasts and emphasize the aesthetic of massive minimalism as well as the cuteness in ugly ways.
Moon Jung Chang Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Moon Jung Chang.
Designer Interview of Moon Jung Chang:
DI: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
MJC : When I was young, I wanted to become a painter because I love art and painting. But I wanted to communicate and interact with people more through what I create, so I chose to become a designer, especially a fashion designer because we cannot live without fashion. I had always admired New York City for being one of the most influential fashion capitals in the world. When I was 19, I finally moved here to study fashion, and that’s how my journey started.
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
MJC : Moon Chang is the brand which promotes hybrid couture, which means wearable couture in modern and future days, we also have a second brand named, VENUS IN BLACK, a life style brand, which promotes wearable couture in sustainability.
DI: What is "design" for you?
MJC : Design for me is, it can be anything with conception and functionality.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
MJC : I like to design "experience", such as PTSD, something I or other people experience, it can be personal, and I love to extend it as a social, and test it out with garments. I use fashion as a visual language and tool.
DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
MJC : I love all of my collection, especially, the aesthetically techniques I developed and cooperated them into my designs.
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
MJC : I fall in love with Traditional millinery, and couture techniques, with traditional velvet, silk, satin, and organza. As a contrast, I combined these fabrics with functional materials, like waterproof nylon, and heat-sealed rubber.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
MJC : The most creative is something easy, simple but surprise.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
MJC : I focus on aesthetic with functionality, to make people want that design.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
MJC : Love and Hate. I am inspired by my PTSD experience, the mental health, and want to express the hardness and beauty of it, and overcome the trauma with fashion.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
MJC : I feel more challengeable and hopeful to move on to next experiment.
DI: What makes a design successful?
MJC : Play, Research, Making and Testing are the key success of my design process.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
MJC : I follow my instinct and senses to define good or bad first, and try to figure out why this become good or bad, is there story behind.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
MJC : I wish my brand to be sustainable in the design and production process because this will lead to my brand to be prolonged in a healthy way. I want my brand to be sustainable and ethical in both the design and production process. This is the duty of a creator.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
MJC : Hybrid will be the future! The mix of new combinations of unusual, oddity and difference will create new aesthetic and future.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
MJC : My last exhibition and show were in NYC, and I am planning to hold upcoming exhibition in Asia regions.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
MJC : I can be inspired by everything, even food, like vegetables. However, my favorite inspiration is my own personal story and experience. I believe there is power in a human’s story. I am always inspired by personal stories and stretch this to social movement to validity.
DI: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
MJC : I focus on the dichotomy between beauty and ugliness is an invaluable asset of my own visual vocabulary as a designer. The massive size and weight of black with cute elements such as flowers, bows, and ruffles create the tensions of contrasts and emphasize the aesthetic of massive minimalism as well as the cuteness in ugly ways.
DI: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
MJC : I am from South Korea, but living in NYC for 10years. I can see my design is conversion of eastern and western cultural heritage. In my collection, I reinterpreted couture techniques, which is from Europe. I followed European techniques, but in the meantime, my background as a Korea, definitely would have an impacts on this process, and this creates something aesthetically unusual and different.
DI: How do you work with companies?
MJC : I do many meetings to communicate with companies. I think verbal and visual presentation is very important to convey the idea of design and also listen and reflect what they want.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
MJC : I read and research a lot first, academically study. I imagine how this can be visual and narrative into design, something you can touch, feel, and wear, so I make many testing samples in 3D to see how it looks in real. I repeat this process many times to make the real happen.
DI: Can you describe a day in your life?
MJC : I love to play with my French bulldog, Venus, who is my muse for our brand, VENUS IN BLACK.
DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
MJC : I want to say "play and experiment a lot in the design process".
DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
MJC : The positive is mentally, I can stay young to keep my imagination and fantasy to design, and being proud when I see people wearing my collection, which I design. The negative is physically so tired and too much stress to get a new idea and inspiration to create something new.
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
MJC : Making skill is the most important, especially in fashion. Many people can imagine, design in 2D, but if you do not have a power to make in 3D, which is real, design will lose the power of function, I believe function is the key of differencing art and design.
DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
MJC : Adobe Creative Clouds are my best friends. Sources are unlimited, even I look up from science, medical book, to cooking and gardening book.
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
MJC : I always write the design planners, which contains from the process to outcomes, which is production. However, it always delays or running out of times, due to many works, but still I do planners, and can estimate my times and schedules based on the experiences.
DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
MJC : Why do you choose to become a fashion designer? Where do you get inspirations? When you are being proud to become a designer? Who is your favorite designer?
DI: What was your most important job experience?
MJC : I think my internships, which I did early age of 20s. At that time, I did not know much about fashion and industry, and I could learn very fast and see the distinct of the academic and industrial fields.
DI: Who are some of your clients?
MJC : Mostly based in New York and Seoul.
DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
MJC : I have upcoming major department stores' stocks in this Summer and Fall.
DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MJC : For design, I do it by myself, and for production, I have a team.
DI: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
MJC : VENUS IN BLACK, my second lifestyle brand, will be launched soon. VIB is ready to wear and product-based, that customers can wear it while walking with their dogs.
DI: How can people contact you?
MJC : Please find me at my website, moon-chang.com or my instagram, @moonchangny