Images by Yoong Jang

“It’s the appropriate time for us to decorate for ourselves and never for different folks.”

Since launching her line in 2014, London-based designer Rejina Pyo has develop into a favorite on town’s style week calendar and a beloved presence within the wardrobes of the world’s savviest model experts. We caught up along with her for FASHION’s April challenge to speak about how she grew to become excited about design, her model’s method to sustainability, and the creatives who encourage her suave items.

What was your relationship with model rising up?

My mother was a clothier when she was in her 20s. She has an exquisite sense of favor, and he or she took nice pleasure in dressing me. We all the time had materials mendacity round the home; she’d make every little thing from curtains to my garments, so the idea of constructing issues was all the time round me. I requested her to show me how one can sew, and I made my first gown once I was 12. She had an old-fashioned sketchbook with drawings of Peter Pan collars and bell sleeves. I believed it was essentially the most stunning factor, and I might attempt to attract the identical method she did. However she didn’t need me to pursue style, so she would cover the e book. [Laughs] I used to be additionally impressed by tv reveals with conventional Korean clothes referred to as ‘hanbok’; it’s very vibrant and has plenty of layers — it’s very fascinating. Any time one thing like a interval drama got here on, no one might change the channel as a result of I used to be guarding the TV.

Images courtesy of Rejina Pyo

Inform us in regards to the model’s philosophy and its sustainability journey.

I’ve all the time felt unhealthy about style being one of the polluting industries, and that individuals don’t care about how a bit of clothes will be so low-cost. It actually bothers me. And there’s additionally been a pattern of individuals shopping for issues that they don’t truly put on many occasions, like shopping for issues simply to put on to exit at evening. I felt like ladies didn’t have plenty of selection when it comes to having good garments to put on to work — items that aren’t one-off, showy style, however that give the wearer a way of enjoyment and luxury as they go about their day by day routine. Expressing your self is sweet, but when folks should endure sporting it…I don’t assume that’s proper. And girls have been objectified all through historical past, so it’s the appropriate time for us to now gown for ourselves and never for different folks.

At any time when I’d begin to really feel very unhealthy about all this stuff, I’d have conversations with my good good friend, who’s now the model’s managing director; she’s an skilled in style sustainability. She’d say that I shouldn’t stroll away, however be on this [industry] to make precious modifications.

You possibly can’t do issues in a single day — it takes so lengthy to analysis certifications for biodegradability, for instance, or what a recycled cloth is definitely fabricated from. Now that sustainability is such a pattern, some folks will attempt to rip-off you. We’ve got a pyramid metric for supplies that we use, and every season we monitor the sustainability ranking of materials so we now have a sensible purpose as an alternative of simply saying, oh, let’s be sustainable.

We’ve additionally opted out of constructing enormous units for our style reveals as a result of we all know these are thrown away straight after, and have rethought how we made invites for [fashion week]. For Spring 2020, we used outdated library playing cards and had the present in a library to indicate off its stunning structure. And for our most up-to-date present we opted out of sending bodily invitations and as an alternative despatched an e-vite.

Did you miss doing style week final yr?

I didn’t miss it as a lot as I believed I might. It was good to spend time with our crew and speak about totally different concepts. You possibly can’t actually do this while you’re within the cycle of style week. Lots of issues are final minute throughout that point, and also you’re certain to be working till 1 or 2 a.m. That provides you pleasure and hype, however now there’s a unique method. Since COVID, there’s been a dialog within the trade about how we are able to make issues higher — particularly for the surroundings. That’s recent and welcoming for me.

rejina pyo
Images courtesy of Rejina Pyo

Why did you resolve to create unisex clothes?

I’ve all the time been within the life side of style. I used to be seeing folks, together with myself and the women in my workplace, sporting males’s clothes, and it gave me an thought — why don’t we simply share garments? Retail consumers have been confused about the place to place these items of their shops as a result of genders are separated, however I believe we’ll get there ultimately and I consider within the thought. It’s good to have one piece of clothes that sooner or later you possibly can put on and the following day, your companion might put on it — you get extra use out of it.

Which artists have been most influential to you when it comes to your designs?

I really like wonderful artwork, and I usually joke that once I retire at 65, I’ll be portray and making sculptures. I typically like very natural, summary work from artists like Isamu Noguchi and Constantin Brancusi. However I’ve additionally found plenty of feminine artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Angela de la Cruz. Angela explores the boundary between 2-D and 3-D and makes sculptural items out of canvas. They’re so stunning. She had a stroke years in the past, so she’s not capable of do them herself now, but it surely’s so inspiring to see her working along with her crew to articulate her concepts. And Helen Frankenthaler’s colors are so stunning…. It’s an countless record.

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