Minju Kim: Bubbling with Passion

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The best part in the hit movie “The Devil Wears Prada”  is when self-righteous assistant “Andy” (Anne Hathaway) realizes that her mean, know-it-all boss (Meryl Streep) actually has some valuable insight. She begins to understand fashion as a lifestyle and a way to remember decades of time. It’s a way of transformation and bold representation rather than pure vanity. Similarly, young designer Minju Kim, constructed a line for H&M in which she hopes will transform and push fashion forward.

Kim loves the thrill of wearing a new identity everyday and draws inspiration from seeing people change. Her perceptions often mimic mystical transformations of creatures and other supernatural beings from which she illustrates in drawings. These same pictures inspired her most recent line and caused her to gain notoriety and capture the 2013 H&M Design Award.

“If I feel some kind of emotion from something, I directly feel like transferring it into fashion and drawings. With this collection it started with me going to Korea for the holidays and I was so inspired by Ito Junji’s Manga illustrations. He lives in a world of his own, where girls can change into other creatures, to versions of love and hatred. I felt so many affinities that it made me want to do something similar. I started observing and drawing the people around me, not just friends; anybody who provoked some kind of emotion in me. Then I finally transformed those drawings into clothes,” Kim said to England based fashion website company.co.uk.

mik7Girly and delicate, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp graduate displays a futuristic line full of color and angular shapes. Appropriately titled “Dear, My Friend,”, Kim’s colors are bold and the designs represent a transition from girl to woman. Shirts with bright prints, teal colored dresses, bows etched onto sweaters and crop pants cut in neat lines are all apart of the award winning collection.  In a way, the clothing is representative of superheroes in their baddest uniforms. Some of the designs seem to be character pieces that could be worn on a couture runway or out to lunch in New York on a Saturday afternoon.

It’s no wonder Kim snagged the prestigious award with H&M as her ideas truly capture the future of fashion. The judges had to be captivated by the fact that she drew by hand the illustrations on many of the shirts herself. Or that she garners deep inspiration from Manga, or Anime style illustrations, which are clearly seen in every piece of clothing. “Every designer was talented…but Minju was the element of fun we were looking for,” design judge and journalist Kristopher Arden Houser said at the H&M fashion show in 2013. Original only begins to describe Minju Kim as a growing fashionista.

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Part of Kim’s challenge for the H&M runway show was to design a nine piece collection, which has recently been expanded into a twenty piece collection, and display it on the runway for VIPs of the fashion world. Kim’s line is sold in select H&M stores all around the country as well as internationally after being crowned winner in 2013. She expressed her love of how the line is about “happy moods” and “fantasies” according to yahoo.com, Kim explained that expanding this line has helped her really go in depth with her thoughts and study herself as a result.

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As a 27 year old, Kim has a mature attitude and uses her artistic past to help shape her thoughts into garments. She uses visual art in every one of her designs and seems to genuinely find her niche in artsy inspired

Be sure to etch Minju Kim’s name into your brain as 2014 progresses into summer. Kim has no thoughts of shying away from the attention that has been showered on her. As an artist and a young woman with a strong sense of self, this confident and blossoming designer’s ideas are overflowing with creativity. She aims high and inspires a new generation of fashion. Kim hopes to become a household brand while

-Courtney Blackann