Born and raised in a humble family in Seoul, my mother never bought me new clothes while I was growing up. I inherited clothes from aunts, cousins, children of my mother's friends. It was like a treasure hunt, and I had fun, styling old clothes to my taste. Though our family wasn't able to afford any designer or expensive clothes, or maybe precisely because of that, I learned to cherish them.
From a very young age, I knew I wanted to do fashion. I used to spend hours looking at people. Everyone dressed differently, and it was fascinating how people choose what to wear and how to wear. Fashion was one of the most direct socio-cultural-economic and individual expression, yet a necessity in everyday life. I felt there were endless possibilities.
After studying two institutions, I started my professional journey as an assistant designer. I was fortunate enough to do what I love for the past 14 years, but through the experience, I gradually learned about intricately entangled issues that came with the products. It pained me to know that fashion harms the environment and people. One of my particular concerns was the amount and speed of product consumption. Overproduction was the norm in the industry, and lots of clothes were produced without life-cycle consideration. Pricing competition was never-ending, and the quality suffered inevitably. I knew I had to do something about it but often became frustrated at my lack of ability to do so.
Later in 2018, something shook me, and I realized that I had to make my dream reality. It was now or never moment. From then, learning about how to make fashion more sustainable has become my daily activity. After taking an online-class called <Fashion and Sustainability>, which helped shape my purpose further, I decided to go back to tailoring. Delicate cuts of collar and lapel, perfectly shaped shoulder and armhole, fine thread stitches – to me, these are the essence of fashion, and I wanted to restore the spirit of tailoring and make it relevant and friendly.
So AGENdA was born from the desire for well-made tailoring products that would last many years.
From understanding various characteristics of materials, design with the circular economy mindset to learning how to operate a business, there is so much that I am learning every day.
The company was established in, and my first set of samples were finished in June. Now AGENdA is in the stage of funding the first production. Every day is a learning curve and I am enjoying every second of it. In the future, I would love to take old clothes back and make something valuable out of them. Just like the black winter coat that I inherited from my mother 18 years ago, I aim to create thoughtful and beautiful clothes that a mother can pass down to her daughter. And pave a new way of doing fashion business through succeeding- this is my AGENdA.