“I wanted to recontextualize such a traditional garment, and turn it into something that could be worn everyday,” says 23-year-old FIT student Junghan Lew. Who took home the grand prize at the inaugural Designow x The Collective show this spring with his five-piece collection titled “The Honor of Infinite Beauty.”
Taking his design cues from the ceremonial “Hanbok” dress of his native South Korea, Lew deconstructed the complex garment, rendering iterations from a highly wearable khaki trench featuring navy and bordeaux to a softly tailored pinstriped suiting ensemble. Among the judge favorites: two moto-inspired jackets scattered with zippered pockets and accented with utilitarian details such as parachute rip cords.
Something else Lew took home: a $1000 cash prize as well as an internship as a designer at the Designow Studio, where one design from his collection will be developed, manufactured, photographed and sold on designow.com.
Despite the early accolades, the measured, soon-to-be senior has no intention of diving head first into building a brand of his own. Rather, Lew is enjoying an internship at Theory where he hopes to expand not only his design skills but absorb some of the tricks of the trade that go into the construction and management of a major brand. Wise, indeed, as Lew aims to follow in the footsteps of his favorite American designer, Thom Browne.