Edited by Kong Sasha
Photography offered by CONQUEST
Please introduce us about CONQUEST.
CONQUEST is a brand of jewelry that means overcoming.
The Conquest wants to overcome is the harmony between the meaning of "overcoming" experienced by Chae Kyung-hoon, the designer who has color blindness, and the English word "Conquest" in an aggressive sense of conquest. The harmony between the two was intended to express the "overcoming" of a more progressive, agitated and aggressive personality, the brand ‘CONQUEST’ is the result of them. Based on this, I try to communicate with the public through CONQUEST's products, with the slogan of "DIFFERENT NOT DEFECTIVE".
How and why did you launch your brand?
Year of 2015 was a year where I first launched the brand, I was a college student studying art. If you are a student studying art or design, you have a desire to present your story to people in a vague manner. The society that we wish to create through the launch of CONQUEST is not very big. I would like to see more people understanding the word ‘difference’. I would like to meet them in more places than now. ‘Being different’ is beautiful because it is different. Negative differences such as complex and phobia are also just different from others. Therefore, we launched [COMPLES & PHOBIA] line, which focuses on our weaknesses and phobia. I would not be able to overcome complications or phobias fundamentally by wearing this product, but by presenting it to people on the surface, I want to create a situation where I can comfortably say "it's just my thing".
Are you born with special talents or dexterity?
No. Since my childhood, my brother has been more dexterous than I am, and I have drawn pictures well so I envied my brother. However, I liked painting and making since I was young, but I wondered if I made it well. I had to make three attempts to get into college I wanted and I still do not think that I am talented. I will work hard for my life.
What does the main material of your brand ‘silver’, means to you as a designer?
I think that 'silver' is very attractive because it is imperfect. Silver is oxidized in the air and discolored. I am mainly attracted by this aspect of discolored silver. Jeans change every time people wear it, and as time goes by, there are parts of the silver jewelry that reveals the tendencies and behaviors of the person who wears it. There were some memorable customers' products. It was a bracelet of this customer for after service. He was a cook, so there was a lot of scratches that made the glorious product almost matte, like the bracelet exposed to the harsh environment. It was so cool. I think silver is all about this progress.
The concept of current editorial is very unique. How do you want the readers to understand?
Basically, all of our content is about ‘overcome’. The model Han Hyun Min, of 2018 project lookbook ‘silhouette’ is an icon of overcoming the Koreans living in Korea with different skin colors. This lookbook also contains the meaning of overcoming, expressing it against the object to be overcome - shadow created by the hand or the face. Each project has its own main theme, but it is not explained in text. Our mission is to provide only visual images and to interpret them well. We think that whatever people think, is all right.
What are the five special affectionate items? Tell us why.
Eye in ring, Eye in cube, Eye in bracelet, Sharp ring, ODD. First, Eye in ring product was designed for the first time before launch, and it is a product that made the story of my eyes which is our brand identity. Eye in bracelet is a product that is consistently loved by the public and is the main product in the eye collection. Eye in cube is a product that turns your eyes 360 degrees in a pendant. It is the product that takes the longest production period to complete. The Sharp ring is the best representation of the aging caused by the discoloration of silver, and I always wear the ring since I like discoloration. Lastly, Odd is a collaboration product with OURGREY eyeglass brand. It is a first collaboration product, and it is a product that I think I will remember forever.
What are some of the most important factors in creating and designing a product?
What I use as design elements is people's emotions. I am currently designing and designing the language of molding with the elements from my feelings, but I will concentrate on the feelings of others more. Also, I think it is important to listen to and explain the example of small detail in calmness rather than excessive design. So I like the design that gives details that can be seen with affection.
I am impressed by the experience and scenes through 'narcissism'. Can you explain more in detail?
I think design itself is a visualization of some unconsciousness in the designer. So I think that I can get good results if I love and know myself best. Because of this, I get design inspiration from the elements obtained through constant self-inquiry and narcissism. I was 27 years old and did not even know me about me. I needed time to find who I am. It was an ego trip to look back myself again. Looking back at the scribbles, thoughts, photos and clothes I wrote down in my life. For a month I searched my traces and that set me up like a sculpture again. So from that moment on, I keep writing notes or diaries for myself in the future, and I think that any thought that matters is important.
Where do you get ideas or inspiration?
I get inspiration or theme to design in my own self and solve it figuratively. I think the formative sense to visualize is the accumulated source. So I try to accumulate as much as possible through watching many exhibitions. Exhibitions I go to are not limited to jewelery, but also sculpture, painting, photography, architecture, and fashion.
What are you most interested in these days?
I have been working on metal for about 6 years and now I am beginning to get interested in flexible material, not rigid material like metal such as leather or fabric. I think that the combination of organic forms and other materials is always fresh. Based on the excitement these days, I try not to be restricted to the design as much as possible due to the material. Maybe I will try to make new materials next year. In the process of studying materials, the diversity of design direction is also why we are interested in other materials.