Yesterday we met up with Minju Kim, you know, the Antwerp Fashion Academy graduate we've been plugging since her 'Love, Power' collection in 2011 and who went on to win the 2013 H&M Design Awards.
Her collection for the Swedish retailer drops exactly one week from now, but we already got a chance to chat to the Walter Van Beirendonck protégée.
About the collection : do you know how much I loved the Comme des Garçons for H&M duo-deal back in 2008? Well, I can honestly say Minju's designs bumped that effort to the 2nd place on my list of all-time favourite H&M collaborations.
The girl walked up to me all smiles.
KNOTORYUS : Minju! Congratulations! How are you feeling?
MINJU KIM : I am happy and scared at the same time.
KNOTORYUS : Why are you scared?
MINJU KIM : Because of the volume! It's going to be in a lot of stores. I just hope it sells! It's so different from the norm!
KNOTORYUS : That is what's so great about it!
MINJU KIM : Thank you so much! So you like it?
KNOTORYUS : Are you kidding? I'll have it all, please! Except for the peplum top. I can't deal with peplum anything. Peplums and wedged sneakers. But I'm not here to bore you with my personal issues.
MINJU KIM : (laughs) It's a happy and joyful collection! I'm all about high energy!
(thinks for a moment)
MINJU KIM : But there is some darkness in there too.
KNOTORYUS : Good!
MINJU KIM : Yes, I have dark moments that I try to incorporate subtly in my designs. No one will ever notice, though.
KNOTORYUS : I love it, it means you are making honest work. That is always what attracts me to people. Don't pretend everything is really great all the time. Life can get pretty shitty, too.
MINJU KIM : I know! (laughs) If you look at my drawings, for instance the ones I did for my final collection, you will see a lot of screwed up faces. And my shapes have a danger and anger to them as well.
KNOTORYUS : Has this collaboration been a challenging experience?
MINJU KIM : For sure. It was the first time I did knitwear. Never did that before. Never did t-shirts before. So that was exciting. The collars are laser cut. I am so glad we got to produce everything in a good quality.
KNOTORYUS : It has been an amazing year for you : graduating with a marvelous collection, winning the 2013 H&M Design Award, being part of the "Happy Birthday Dear Academie" exhibition, ... What is next for you?
MINJU KIM : Finishing my script. But it's theory. It'll be fine. Afterwards, I'm going to use the next year to think about me. I'm not going to ponder about what I'm going to do next in fashion, or art wise. I want to think about where I want to go. About what I want to get out of life. I need to get to know myself. Figure out what I want.
KNOTORYUS : That sounds like the best plan ever. Do you miss the Academy? Being at school?
MINJU KIM : I miss it so much! It is such a free time. You get to experiment. Make exactly what you want. Get constructive feedback. You don't need to worry about whether things are going to sell or not. I want to get back to that. That is what I want my work life to be like as well. I want to fight to keep that freedom.
KNOTORYUS : We know Walter Van Beirendonck is crazy about you and your work. Are you still using his mentoring skills from time to time?
MINJU KIM : I send him new stuff via mail, but I don't want to take up too much of his time. He has got a lot of students to take care of.
Can I tell you something?
KNOTORYUS : Yes, please!
MINJU KIM : Walter always pinches my belly when he sees me! I do not know what is up with that! I need to ask him!
KNOTORYUS : I love your necklace by the way!
MINJU KIM : Walter made it. What can I say? He is my spirit animal!
The Minju Kim for H&M collection will be sold in selected stores and at Opening Ceremony from October 17th.
More info here