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The funny and colorful designs by Ji Won Choi are conversation starters

When culture and fashion meet only good things can come up

The funny and colorful designs by Ji Won Choi are conversation starters When culture and fashion meet only good things can come up

Having a multifaceted cultural background is an asset to bring to the world, and Ji Won Choi, an American designer, born in Seoul, raised in the Midwestern United States, with an international education obtained through studies in New York and Paris, has made this principle a guide in building her eponymous brand. The style of her garments is colorful, functional and extremely thoughtful when it comes to structural elements: the textile techniques she uses "are a tool to understand and unite the differences between cultures and between people," explains the designer, who was recently included in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for the American category. The use of cuts from Eastern culture, mixed with color and the concept of multiplication of elements represented with strips of contrasting white fabric running across the body, are a way of finding a point of contact between communities that identify with references to Eastern tradition but also to the needs and particularities of contemporary fashion.

The contrasting seams and strong use of stripes also attracted Adidas, which asked to collaborate on two consecutive collections that also showed at London Fashion Week in 2018. Adidas Originals X Ji Won Choi is the perfect demonstration of the union of Korean tradition and the more pop aspect of a fashion that is captivated by simplicity, the same one that has also won a place among the 33,000 historical objects preserved at The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Being included in the selection for me was a sign that I'm going in the right direction and made me aim the bar higher." The designer has always had an eye capable of including the collective in her creations and rather than looking to icons, "I'm more inspired by people I see in everyday life, I think wearing impactful garments in everyday life is worth more than having ideal models to refer to." Still, some fashion icons Ji Won Choi met during Making the Cut, the TV series she participated in as a recent graduate of Parsons School of Design where Carine Roitfeld and Naomi Campbell judged her creations test after test.

"My fondest memory was when we shot the first episode. We were on set at the Jardins du Trocadéro in Paris just as the lights of the Eiffel Tower were coming on. We had just found out that the judges were Naomi Campbell and Carine Roitfeld, and then we saw my looks parading down the runway with the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower sparkling. It was surreal." Although during the show her talent did not particularly emerge because of the pressure and expectations Ji Won Choi felt on her, that experience laid the foundation for a style that to this day is recognizable and continues to expand. The brand's next step is to structure itself creatively and commercially, and to continue to develop