Produced by Oh Jiyoung
Photography offered by KIMHEKIM
Please introduce about your brand.
KIMHEKIM is a brand founded by designer Kim In-tae in Paris, France in 2014, with a title of Korean ancient royal castle which was known as kingdom of gold. KIMHEKIM is showing collections in Paris every season, attracting global buyers and SNS bloggers receiving lots of good responses.
KIMHEKIM was lauched in Paris in 2014, how were the procedures?
I already had an infrastructure in Paris because I graduated from Paris and started working in Paris. That's why I thought there was no better place to make my dreams come true. Most of my friends were in Paris at the time, and I thought 'Let’s let the world know from where I started,' and I started the collection in Paris. The first collection was displayed in front of this flower shop called 'Sylvine' at the Arts et Métiers station in the 3rd district of Paris. Over 100 people visited and most of them were my friends or co-workers. I am still really grateful for the friends who have helped me to get started back then.
The first collection of KIMHEKIM, which was showcased at the florist in Paris in 2014, was very impressive. How did you come up with an idea to give presentation in a flower shop that is actually in operation?
The theme of the collection was "Perce-Neige", a snow flower that endures the cold winter. It was also a collection of myself expressing that I was alone in that winter of Paris which was really cold. When I was looking for a place to showcase my collections, I passed by a flower shop in the Marais district of Paris, and I thought, "If I show a collection of a certain flower at a flower shop, it will be beautiful!" So I gave an enthusiastic explanation about the collection to the owner of the florist and got permission to proceed.
What is the process of stories that are released through each season's collection?
I just enjoying thinking. Thoughts lays thoughts, then you start observing the surroundings and ultimately to look for an answer to certain question. Meeting someone during a trip always gives you an answer. Then I put the things that enlightened me into the collection. These abstract concepts are unintentionally expressed in the collection by specific elements such as color, material, detail, and silhouette.
Personally, KIMHEKIM's costumes feels romantic. Do you wish people to feel certain why when they look at or wear your costumes?
Even in a tedious and repetitive life, in the corner of everyone’s heart, they seem to have a small fantasy living like a fairy. I designed KIMHEKIM, in the hope of people feeling completely like themselves, being able to feel the person they always wanted to be.
You moved your showroom from Paris to Seoul? Why?
The showroom that welcomes buyers is currently in Paris only. Since 2017, I started to produce collections in Seoul and has opened an athlete for design work in Seoul. This allowed me to stay longer in Korea except for Paris and London showroom period. Now, we are planning to make KIMHEKIM, to become worldwide with a strong background of 'Made in Korea'.
What kind of message do you want to deliver through KIMHEKIM?
When a person looks in the mirror, the first thing that look at is their eyes. I don’t think a person will feel genuinely happy unless they cannot find certainty in their eyes even though they are covered with fancy clothes. Although fashion is usually considered as a part of the decorative arts based on human instincts that wants to wrap themselves beautifully to look good in front of others, but I hope the brand KIMHEKIM to be a representation of self-love more than just a concept of decorative art.
What are you interested in these days?
I am interested in physical activity these days. The more you move your body, the more ideas you get. I have been challenging myself to do rock climbing, ballet, and pilates last year.
What is your plan for 2018?
KIMHEKIM plans to open a flagship store for offline customers and is preparing to hold a runway show at Paris Fashion Week as an official member of the Paris Fashion Association.