We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Suk-kyung Lee ("SL").
On April 18, 1980, Suk-Kyung Lee was born in Busan, Korea. From her earliest childhood, Lee is passionate about drawing, she creates silhouettes and already associates different outfits. Later, she begins her first work in a clothing store and likes to combine pieces from different collections. She also plays on the different subjects and this experience develops the richness of her tastes and her creativity. Convinced that this is the way she should follow, Lee moved to Tokyo to study fashion. The second act of his life begins in 2009 in Japan. She learns language, culture and, although close to Korea, she is alone in an unknown country. Now immersed in the world of fashion at Mode Gakuen school, she affirms her talent and wins the school contest at the end of 2013. However, another turning point in her life is emerging. An encounter with a man will influence his destiny that is traced in fashion in Tokyo. The choice between a professional career all traced in Tokyo or following the great love in Geneva and clearing a path in fashion in Europe. The third act of his life opens with the decision to follow the path of the heart and settle in Geneva. Lee, however, does not forget the request of her teacher at Mode Gakuen "Do not stop studying, even if you are in Switzerland!". The path followed is not easy, between the differences of languages and cultures. Always attracted by fashion and convinced of her talent, she seeks the energy that will make her move forward. Lee discovers the school IPAC DESIGN GENEVE and his team which gives her confidence and motivation. She finds the little girl who is in her, develops her European cultural identity and integrates it into her Asian culture. His knowledge, ideas, and fashion universe are growing and exacerbated by her motivation and support from the IPAC faculty. In the Bachelor project, she tells her story and also your story. Each of us can be alone, isolated in a group with the same codes. As Lee says, "I never want to stop, keep trying, develop my creativity. Continue to pass the obstacles too. On the way to the fourth act of my life."
Suk-kyung Lee Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Suk-kyung Lee.
Designer Interview of Suk-kyung Lee:
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?
SL : From my earliest childhood, I'm passionate about drawing, I create silhouettes and already associates different outfits. Later, I started working in a clothing store and I experienced mixing plenty of different types of clothes. This experience enriched my tastes and my creativity. Convinced that this was my way, I went back to study fashion design in Tokyo at Mode Gakuen. For a personal reason, I had to leave Tokyo and to settle in Geneva. After having learned French, I started my study again at the IPAC DESIGN GENEVA where I’ve just graduated. With the passionate help of many teachers, I was able to further develop as a designer by learning how to develop even further my imagination and creativity to sublimate ideas from my mind into an actual design.
DI: What is "design" for you?
SL : Bringing things to life and gives pleasure to someone. Like air, design exists all around us. I breathe it and generate ideas out of it.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
SL : The moment when feeling inspired, plenty of funny ideas in my head, I cannot wait to try these new ideas.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SL : There are beautiful clothes everywhere but, in my view, they must contain a story that is special and that everyone can feel sympathy with. A combination of good fabrics, unique and special design and a neat finish is my focus to create meaningful clothes.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SL : I get energized by imagining someone wearing the clothes that I made. Creating new ideas that fill my head makes me fully motivated. When I see the progress and the result matching what I have planned, I feel full of happiness. I feel a sense of accomplishment, I feel alive.
DI: What makes a design successful?
SL : I think that the design is the result of my passion, endless imagination, willingness to give as well as my personal story. All of these, combined to create a new harmony, fulfill a successful design.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SL : Design is extremely subjective. Each individual has a different perspective, but I believe that it’s all about the first feeling. A good design should be able to catch the customer's attention in a very short time. Good design should be created by meeting these needs, convincing ideas and emotions that appeal to the customers. Another key element to include in any creation is the respect of the environment.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SL : It's a little stale, banal, or cliché opinion but we need to protege this earth where nature and humans can coexist. We're borrowing the Earth for a while where the next generation will live on, so we need to be careful in choosing materials: actively reuse of recycling clothes, how materials are produced, … I think this is the minimal actionable way for everyone to coexist.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SL : The collection 'Coexistence' was exhibited Geneva in May 2019 in Le Bal des Createurs, with the help of the director and founder Christophe Durand, a renowned hairdresser and a make-up artist who evolves in the world of Beauty. I’m preparing my next exhibition for this year in Geneva where music and lyrics will meet fashion.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SL : My inspiration comes from everywhere. I enjoy watching movies and artworks’ exhibitions; observing people is another source. Even when dreaming, I find ideas. My daily life, my experiences, my thoughts, everything is a source of inspiration.
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?
SL : Identifying intangible emotions, feelings, and abstract images from my mind to transform into clothes' silhouette, color, fabrics, and materials selection; then rearrange them into my designs and breathe new life into them. Practicality is also an important element of my design. I try to create items that have their own identity and also that many people can sympathize with. I believe that if the public turns away, even if it is Art, it cannot exist.
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?
SL : Currently, I live in Geneva, Switzerland. However, I was born in Korea and have lived in Japan for many years. I think these experiences are a valuable asset to my creative activities. I can see and consider things from various perspectives, mix elements of both the Eastern and Western cultures; melt my experiences to create my own unique identity.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SL : Usually, I take a couple of months to develop the concept, illustrate my work, develop the textile, and produce the pattern. Then, another two months to produce the actual outfit design. Finally, a few weeks for photo shooting and producing the book.
DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SL : I am excited about new ideas every day. Every moment I design makes me happy and makes me feel I’m developing myself. But I cannot settle there. I feel anxious about the idea that I always have to find a new trend. I am obsessed with the pressure when thinking that I must not be left behind. But even that pressure is a good stimulant that develops me and moderates all tension.
DI: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SL : My golden rule is to create a quality that makes me not to be ashamed when I look at the clothes I made. Making valuable clothes that I would be keen to wear, to purchase, and pursuing a practical and customer-oriented design.
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
SL : There are many skills that a designer should have, but I think the infinite imagination, unbiased perspective, ability to embody as well as having a persuasive creative ability are the most important.
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SL : Once I get into work, I can't stop. It may be a bit extreme, but I don't even take time to sleep, I'm thinking about the project all day long, and I prefer to work at speed. When I need a new idea and encounter an obstacle, I put it out for a while and do something unrelated to design, waiting for a change of thought. When a new idea comes up, I immediately incorporate it into the design. Then, after a tense project, I enjoy relaxing before coming up with the next project.
DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SL : Every design work gives me pleasure. Amongst them, working on developing the concept is what enjoys me the most. I love my imagination being stimulated by that exercise and opening a window on so many and various possibilities.
DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SL : I want to continue experimenting. I will continue to take on new challenges without fear of adventure like I have lived so far. But first of all, I will enjoy working on my new show where music and lyrics will meet fashion.
DI: How can people contact you?
SL : firstname.lastname@example.org