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IISE presents their FW19 collection

Plus an exclusive interview with nss

IISE presents their FW19 collection  Plus an exclusive interview with nss

It should come as no surprise to anyone, that Seoul, South Korea, has for the last few years been one of the most exciting cities in the world when it comes to fashion and street style. A bravery to push expressions to an extreme, coupled with a sensibility of pulling those styles off, has made South Korea a scene worthy to keep a very keen eye on. Within street fashion, a brand that's lying at the very forefront is IISE, headed up by the two brothers Kevin and Terrence Kim, IISE takes design cues, both from the rich heritage of traditional Korean design aesthetics, combined with contemporary inputs of modern-day Seoul, creating a clean, very well designed street style, with a unique twist.

This year presenting its second show at NYFW, standouts include a hanbok-inspired piece, utilizing traditional bojagi stitching techniques, overcoats, GORE-TEX collab jackets, Sherpa-fleece jackets, and vests, along with various pants and tops. We have to say that their FW19 collection is one of the best we’ve seen in New York this year, and we took the opportunity to grab an interview with co-founder Terence Kim to gain a deeper insight into the brand. 


For those that don’t know the brand, please give an introduction on how things started and tell us a little bit about the label?

IISE, which translates to "2nd generation" in Korean is a contemporary fashion brand that draws influences from different eras and elements of Korean culture. Kevin and I are both Korean-Americans, born and raised in the U.S. Growing up in the States, we were never really exposed to Korean culture. After visiting Korea 5 years ago for the first time in our adulthood, we witnessed so much Korean architecture, design, art, fabrics, etc for the first time. Our travels around the country were what spawned the concept for IISE and then we moved to Seoul to start the brand.

Whats the streetwear scene like in Seoul, what defines it, and where do you feel you fit in?

Seoul is one of the fastest trend absorbing and trend dispelling cities in the world. The city is hyper-connected so information is rapidly spread and shared throughout the country. This is also evident in fashion. Once a trend hits the city, you will find many people dressing in that trend, and then switching over to the next trend pretty quickly compared to other places so the style is constantly changing. We try to stay true to our brand concept and to not follow the trends which are challenging at times but we believe that is the key to longevity in this industry. 

Please tell us a bit about your design process, is the perspective more local or global?

The perspective is definitely more of a global approach. Although we are based in Seoul, most of our customers are from overseas. Unlike other East-Asian countries where culturally inspired brands thrive, Korea is a quite different market where Western inspired brands thrive. Not too many Korean-inspired brands are available in the West, so we believe we offer something unique to the market which is why most of our sales are outside Korea. 


You just had your second catwalk during NYFW, tell us how that felt?

We left the U.S. to Korea to start a Korean inspired brand. And then to go back and debut it last NYFW what we've been building was pretty interesting. Back then, we didn't really know what to expect, but the whole experience has been amazing. 


What is the biggest trend in Seoul at the moment?

Trends that are popular in other major cities are also popular in Seoul. Fashion is so global and fast now because of social media and Koreans are quick to adapt. With the FW season, we're looking forward to what the locals will be wearing. 


The FW19 collection above will start arriving in the second half of this year, head over to the IISE site for more details and stay locked for the developments on this very exciting brand.