Student designers look to make their mark at Paris fashion fair

December 3, 2013
Student designer Kim Ga-eun, second from right, poses with Plan 6 colleagues at the brand’s pop-up store at a department store in Seoul.  / Courtesy of Plan 6

Student designer Kim Ga-eun, second from right, poses with Plan 6 colleagues at the brand’s pop-up store at a department store in Seoul.
(Courtesy of Plan 6)

By Chung Hyun-chae

A team of student designers from Konkuk University will head to the fashion capital of Paris next month to promote their own brand, “Plan 6.”

Created by 12 design majors, Plan 6 is the first students’ apparel brand from Korea to make inroads into Europe’s largest fashion fair, “Who’s Next.”

The inclusion of Plan 6 at Who’s Next is a no small feat for the students, considering that even established brands face a tough selection process.

In particular, the Korean team will participate in the hottest pavilion called “Fame,” the most coveted area of the event for European brands.

“I heard that the Fame pavilion is the first place many buyers visit. In light of that, our teacher told us it was a near-miracle for us to secure a place there,” said Kim Ga-eun, 22, a Plan 6 designer.

The name “Plan 6” was inspired by their studio at the Art and Design building of Konkuk University.

The designers’ international debut was at the 2014 S/S Hong Kong Fashion Fair in July.

“It was remarkable to witness the interest in our sample products and also to be evaluated by real customers,” said Kim. Since then, they have launched a pop-up store at the Mokdong and Shinchon branches of Hyundai Department Store. Some of their products have sold out.

“It is the first time for a student-made clothing brand to become commercially viable. We aspire to set a good precedent for future student designers,” said Kim.

The brand features fashions with a sense of youthfulness and focus on practicality.
“Plan 6 is made by young designers, and our youthfulness is reflected in our designs. We strive to be creative to set us apart from the rest of the competition,” Kim said.

“We don’t single-mindedly pursue something new or unique. We always start from the question, ‘Is this beautiful fabric wearable?’”

Plan 6 initially targeted women in their 20s and 30s, but some trendy older women are also taking notice of the brand. The designers’ next goal is to secure orders from French buyers and enter the French market, while expanding the brand’s presence here.

“Student fashion brands are only just getting started here, but they have fared well in the local market. I think this caught the attention of foreign fashion insiders,” said Shim Sang-bo, a teacher at Konkuk University who works with the Plan 6 designers.

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