We recently got a chance to go behind the scenes with our Women’s Creative Director, Eunjoo Kim — she shares about her inspiration, creative process, and favorites from the spring line.
Eunjoo Kim adds finishing touches on our Spring 2020 shoot.
What’s the inspiration behind this season?
Spring 20 East Meets West is inspired by Asian prints, vintage western styling, utility workwear, and an overall ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’ attitude.
What facets of culture inform your work/how do you stay inspired to create fresh designs?
I’m inspired by street style, youth culture, art, music, and beauty. That’s how I try to stay in the know of what’s going on out there, but I’m also into classic designs that don’t really have anything to do with trends. I’ve always loved punk rock, menswear prep, and workwear, so that’s the root of my designs, but every season will have different ideas depending on the theme. Travel is the biggest inspiration, though, because it’s so important to see what people are wearing globally as well as to be inspired by surroundings and environment.
How did you get your start in design, and did you always know you wanted to work in the creative/fashion industry?
I didn’t go to design school, but I worked at Paul Frank Industries as the receptionist many years ago, and they took a chance on me when a position for design assistant opened up. Everything I’ve learned is hands on, and I was lucky enough to have several great mentors along the way to help guide me to be the best designer I could possibly be. I was always interested in clothes and fashion as a young girl, but I never thought I would work in this industry until I was in college. I worked at a surf shop while I was attending college, and I wanted to become a sales rep since that’s who you see come into the store all the time, and they always seemed like rock stars! I never got the chance to go into sales, but I decided I wanted to work for one of the brands we carried at the shop because I loved the irreverent culture of surf and skate at that time, and I wanted to work somewhere that aligned with my lifestyle and ideals.
What does your creative process look like? Do you have specific rhythms or habits that keep you focused?
I definitely stick to a formula of starting with shopping and gathering inspiration tear sheets, but the big ideas can come at any time. I could think about an idea for fall while I’m designing spring. The most important thing for me is to be able to remember those a-ha moments because there are SO many ideas all the time. My job is to grab onto the great ones that will eventually help to shape an entire season for all categories.
I keep focused by reviewing designs over and over again to make sure that everything looks good together and is right for the line. I never believe the first go on a collection is the final and the best. It helps that I’m able to have all the designs on a wall next to my desk so I can just stare at it and see what it looks like as a whole collection. An individual piece can be amazing, but if it doesn’t fit into the collection, then that one amazing piece can throw off the entire line. Designing is a long process and can be stressful at times, but it’s honestly the time I’m the happiest.
Which are your top three pieces from the SP20 line and why?
1) Detroit Chore Coat – Love a great chore coat, and I love the wash on this one.
2) Natalia Trouser Pant – I love this classic pattern updated in a modern high waisted silhouette. Tomboy with a twist of punk rock prep.
3) Karlie Baby Tee – Everyone needs the perfect fitting tee, and this one is it. The linen/cotton blend makes it nice and drapey.