Interview with Pale Turquoise Designer Lyn Jun Park

Fashion journalist Anna Kim talks to emerging Korean designer Lyn Jun Park, digging deep into his conscience to get a better idea of who he is and where he is going.

1. Hello, I just want to start off by saying I loved your last collection for Pale Turquoise. Can you tell me how long have you been designing?

I first started to have an interest in dyeing clothes from when I was in school, about 15 years old. I knew how to sew since middle school, but I only created my brand two years ago. Before starting my own brand, I worked in PARTsPARTs as an assistant designer.

2. It is interesting to know that you have been interested in the dyeing process from such a young age; did you go to a special school for this?

Unfortunately, my private school had no fashion or design specialty classes. It did, however, have classes about dyeing. This is not considered a specialty class, since I am from Jeju Island and this is considered common there.

3. Tell me more about your brand.

The main concept, or inspiration, for Pale Turquoise is an aquarium full of sea creatures like turtles or jellyfish. Since my brand is so intimately connected to sea life, I have a pass to Lotte Aquarium [in Seoul], because I go there very often—About twice a week.

4. Can you tell me what luxury means to you? Your brand is eco-lux—what does that mean to you?

It is important to be not arrogant, but creative. The main idea of luxury is that it is not affordable. This means my clothes and bags are not for everyone; it is more exclusive. However, despite this, I always keep the environment and nature in mind—This is what luxury means to me.

5. Do you think Korea is ready for luxury brands?

No, unfortunately I don’t think it’s quite ready. Practically, most prefer to buy low-quality clothes, because it’s affordable. But, affordable clothes, or “fast fashion”, are bad for the environment. Like I said earlier, I love the brand PARTsPARTs, where I used to work. Their goal is zero waste, and they create and make clothes in an economical way. They position fabrics as close as possible to minimize waste and cutting fabrics.

6. Do you also follow this principle of zero waste?

Unfortunately, I cannot follow this principle at the moment, but I am really working on decreasing any waste for [future collections].

7. Have you experienced luxury in Seoul?

If you’re asking me about the most luxurious place in Korea, for me a “luxurious” place should reflect a country’s culture and essence. This is why for me the most luxurious place is Gyeongbokgung Palace or Inwang Mountain. I love nature, probably because I’m from Jeju. It is different than what most people think of as luxury. I’m sure most would say gold or something expensive, but for Korea, I think it’s Gyeongbokgung.

8. You said that you have been inspired by the aquarium and PARTsPARTs, but are there any other things that inspire you, like art, movies, or music?

Yes, I am really influenced by music. I listen to different kinds of music, but I prefer fusion hip-hop, which includes Korean traditional instruments. During fashion shows I usually use music with the sound of water and birds. I can even say that it is more like meditation music, good for yoga. Also, I like shapes. Some inspire me, like Korean vases or glasses

9. What will your next collection look like?

I already made a title for the collection; the title will be: The Year 2030. It would have a similar theme to past collections, but a bit more developed and futuristic. When I checked global trends, trend forecasters say that for the next year futuristic themes will be the most popular.

10. Have you collaborated with other designers?

No, I do not want to collaborate with other fashion designers since I’m the best at what I do. But, it would be probably good to collaborate with other designers in other categories, like interior design, for example.

11. Can you give some advice to new designers? What is the best way for new designers to start out?

I would recommend to start from an online store and later have an offline store in shopping centers; however, in reality the best way is to have your own store, which requires a lot of money. In shopping centers you have to pay rent to use the space, so having your own store is really the best way.

패션 기자 김 안나가 최근 인기를 얻고 있는 한국 디자이너 박린준과 함께 그가 어떤 그리고 앞으로 그의 계획이 무엇인지 이야기한다. 


1. 최근 페일 터콰이즈 컬렉션은 정말 아름다웠습니다. 언제부터 디자인을 시작했나요?

15살쯤 이었을때 부터 옷감을 염색하는 것에 관심을 가지기 시작했습니다. 중학생 때부터 바느질하는 법을 알았지만 제 브랜드는 2년전에 만들었습니다. 제 브랜드를 만들기 전에는 PARTsPARTs에서 디자이너로 일 했습니다.





2. 어렸을 때부터 옷감을 염색하는 것에 대해 관심이 있었다니 특이하네요. 특별히 이것을 위해 수업을 들었나요?

안타깝게도 제가 다녔던 사립학교에는 패션이나 디자인 관련 수업이 없었습니다. 하지만 염색에 관련된 수업은 있었죠. 제주도에서는 특별한 수업이 아닌 흔히 볼 수 있는 수업입니다.  






3. 브랜드에 대해 좀 소개 해 주세요.

제 브랜드의 메인 컨샙은 바다 거북과 해파리 같은 해양 생물을 가득한 수족관입니다. 제 브랜드는 해양 생물과 밀접한 관계를 가지고 있기 때문에 저는 롯데 수족관 패스도 가지고 있습니다. 일주일에 두 번 정도 가기떄문이죠.



4. 럭셔리는 어떤 의미입니까? 디자이너님의 브랜드는 eco-lux인데 이것은 디자이너님께 어떤 의미 입니까?

 오만하지 않고 창의적인 것이 가장 중요합니다. 호화로움, 럭셔리함은 가격이 저렴하지 않다는 의미를 담고 있습니다. 이것은 제 옷과 가방은 모두를 위한 것이 아닌, 특별한 것이죠. 하지만 저는 항상 환경과 자연을 생각합니다. 호화로움 이란 저에게 이러한 의미입니다. 




5. 한국 사람들이 럭셔리한 브랜드를 좋아할까요?

 안타깝게도 아직이라고 생각합니다. 대부분의 한국 사람들이 가격이 저렴하고 낮은 퀄리티의 옷을 좋아합니다. 하지만 가격이 저렴한 옷 즉 “빠른 패션 (fast fashion)은 환경에 좋지 않습니다. 제가 이전에도 말했듯 저는 제가 일했었던 PARTsPARTs를 매우 좋아합니다. 그들의 목표는 낭비를 하지 않는 것이죠. 그들은 옷감을 자르거나 옷을 만들 때 최대한 낭비를 하지 않으려고 노력합니다.





6. 디자이너님도 무폐기물 규칙을 따르나요? 

안타깝게도 지금은 따르지 못하고 있습니다. 하지만 저는 앞으로의 제 컬렉션에서는 최대한 낭비가 없도록 하기 위해 노력하고 있습니다. 


7. 서울에서 호화로운 경험을 한 적이 있었습니까?

 한국에서 가장 호화로운 장소라고 한다면 저는 ‘호화로운, 럭셔리한’ 장소는 그 나라의 문화를 잘 반영한 곳이어야 한다고 합니다. 이러한 의미에서 저에게 호화로운 장소는 경복궁, 혹은 인왕산 입니다. 아마 제가 제주도에서 와서 그런지 몰라도 저는 자연을 사랑합니다. 대부분의 사람들이 생각하는 호화로움과는 조금 다를 것 이라고 생각합니다. 대부분의 사람들이 호화로움을 생각하면 금 혹은다른 비싼 것들을 생각할 것입니다. 하지만 한국의 호화로움은 저는 경복궁이라고 생각합니다. 



8. PARTsPARTs, 그리고 수족관에서 영감을 받는다고 이야기 하셨는데, 음악이나 영화처럼 다른 것에도 영감을 받나요?

 네, 음악에서 영감을 많이 받습니다. 여러 가지 음악을 듣지만 저는 한국 전통 악기의 연주가 포함된 퓨전 힙합을 가장 좋아합니다. 패션쇼에서 저는 물과 새 소리를 많이 씁니다. 명상, 그리고 요가를 할 때 듣는 음악과 비슷하겠네요.  또한 저는 형태를 좋아합니다. 한국의 자기나 그릇들이 저에게 영감을 주기도 합니다. 




9. 다음 컬렉션은 어떠한가요? 

제 다음 컬렉션의 주제에 대해 생각을 해 보았습니다. 바로  ‘2013년’입니다. 최근 컬렉의 주제와 좀 비슷하지만 조금 더 발전되고미래 지향적인 룩 입니다.. 글로벌 트렌드를 보았을 때 이런 미래 지향적인 주제는 인기가 많을 것이라 생각됩니다. 



10. 다른 디자이너와 함께 일한 적이 있습니까?

 아니요, 저는 제가 잘 한다고 생각하기 때문에 다른 디자이너와 별로 일을 같이 하고 싶지 않습니다. 하지만 다른 분야의 디자이너들과는 함께 일해보고 싶습니다. 예를들어 인테리어 디자이너 같은 경우 말이죠. 



11. 새로운 디자이너에게 조언을 해줄 수 있을까요? 신입 디자이너들은 어떻게 시작하는 것이 좋을까요? 

온라인 샵을 먼저 만들고 나중에 쇼핑센터에 오프라인 샵을 만드는 것을 추천하지만 가장 좋은 방법은 자신의 샵을 가지는 것입니다. 물론 돈이 많이 들기는 합니다. 쇼핑센터에서는 임대료를 내야 하기 때문에 자신만의 샵을 가지는 것이 가장 훌륭한 방법입니다. 

Original Interview: Anna Kim
Translation: Diana Horsfall