Gen Arts Styles Internation Fashion Designer Oak NYC Shin Shin Won Yoon

Interview with designer of SHIN: Shinwon Yoon

Imagine wearing an outfit that could be played around with to create different silhouettes.  That’s the concept behind many of the designs for the fall season of SHIN, a dramatic knitwear line based in NYC.  Designer Shinwon Yoon was nominated for the Gen Arts Styles International Fashion Designer award in 2008 and launched her line in 2009.  In just a few years, her sophisticated collection has been picked up by the cutting edge Oak NYC store. I love the layered and asymmetric looks of Shin and met up with Shin recently to talk about her background and exciting fall collection. 

What’s your background?
I worked for an architectural firm for 3 years in Seoul, Korea.  Then I moved to New York and went to FIT for one year.  When I first graduated I interned at Zach Posen, and Three as Four and then I started my own line.

Why did you decide to go into fashion?
The reason why I wanted to work in Fashion after I quit being an architect is because I like to play with shapes.  When you work on a architecture project, it takes 4 or 5 years to see the results of your project.  I wanted something that communicates with the people better.  I wanted to work on something that after 2 or 3 months, you see people wearing it around and get feedback from them. That’s why I enjoy fashion better in a way.

What is your influence for fall and has architectural background helped?
I don’t follow trends.   All the silhouettes have architectural influence together.  I’m always playing with the shape.  

Any influences in general?
When I first started, my biggest influence was Yohji Yamamoto.  But now I try not to look at other designers.

What is your favorite piece from your line?
The Asymmetrical jacket, (style JOO2WK) in Italian wool because I think it reflects me the best.  I like to make clothes that people can change around and make a new shape out of it.  This one piece shows everything.  People can play with the silhouette.  The layers.  It gives them the option of creating a look.  It’s not about one piece wearing it one way one time.  You can wear it many ways.

Shin’s favorite piece: The Asymmetrical jacket, (style JOO2WK)

Where do you want to be in the next few years?
I’d like to expand to a mens line.  I don’t know if it’s my architectural background but a lot of guys are interested in my designs.  Next season, I will be working with a photographer and using his photography and my paintings into my print.  We’re working on an art collaboration.  I don’t want to remain as a fashion designer.  It’s important to me to be successful in fashion and be a better business person.  At the same time I don’t want to be just a fashion brand.  I want to constantly be involved with art.  First season I did a lot of print and hand painting.  But 2nd and 3rd season, I focused more on shape.  Next season, I’m going to do  more of my specialty, painting.

Has your Asian background influenced you?
Yes, it has influenced me, especially a lot of the prints, and the way I draw.  I actually use Chinese ink. 

Why did you come to New York to start your line?
In Korea, it’s a hard to start your own line and your own company.  That’s the main reason.  There isn’t really a market for independent designers.  It’s either a big company or someone that sells $10 t shirts. 

What’s the most difficult and best part of having your own line?
Most difficult – The business side, getting sales and meeting people.  The best part – The creative part!

Who are your clothes for?
When I design my clothes, I think about myself and what I would wear.  But anyone who wants to wear my clothes, they can use my clothes as a medium to express themself.

What’s the Price Range?  $300-$500

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