Ambassadors of design

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Ambassadors of design

In recent months, the hot topic in Korean fashion circles has been: Who will become the first World Designer?
Eligible were all Korean-citizen fashion designers ― established or debutante, working in Korea or abroad. The Korean government’s project, “World Designers,” was created to export Korean design and boost the development of the Korean fashion industry in the international market.
Starting in mid-June, 52 designers working in Korea and all over the world applied to receive monetary support from two government bodies, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy.
Last month, an impromptu committee consisting of fashion professionals was established, and based on designers’ potential growth, originality, experience and ability to adapt to international business and cultural scenes, the judges formulated an evaluation point system.
After months of panel discussions and reviews, earlier this month, the Korea Fashion Association announced the three winners: Kim Ji-haye, Hong Eun-ju and Moon Young-hee. All three designers are Paris-based, having gained reputations as emerging Asian designers.
Kim Ji-haye, better known by her brand Ji Haye, is the first Korean designer to be listed in the conservative Paris haute couture collection since 2000. Both Moon Young-hee, of her self-styled brand, and Hong Eun-ju of Enzuvan have participated in Paris pret-a-porter fashion shows in recent seasons.
Each recipient will receive a lump sum of 300 million won ($250,000), and will also be assisted with strategic support and advice to become more competitive in the coming year’s collections overseas.

by Ines Cho
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