Black Magazine - - Contents -

Who are you and what do you do? My name is Steven Junil Park. I'm an art school grad­u­ate. I like to make things. Your la­bel is called 6 x 4 – where did the name come from? 6x4 de­scribes the di­men­sions of the la­bel. The la­bel is a piece of fab­ric 6cms long and 4cms high. The fab­ric is the same as what­ever the gar­ment is made of. Your path to fash­ion through Elam School of Arts is not the tra­di­tional one, tell us about why you chose to cre­ate a fash­ion brand as part of your art de­gree…. 6x4 be­gan as a hy­po­thet­i­cal la­bel. It pro­vided a phys­i­cal way of think­ing about the func­tion of cloth­ing, its so­cial sig­nif­i­cance and how it pur­veys mean­ing. I was able to speed through ideas with­out hav­ing to worry about com­mer­cial ap­peal or au­di­ence. It al­lowed me to make cloth­ing that was about cloth­ing, not about sell­ing. It re­mains much the same. Your look book fea­tures mod­els that are almost en­tirely friends, flat mates and fel­low Elam stu­dents – what was your think­ing be­hind this decision? I pre­fer to have peo­ple who I know wear­ing my clothes. I am friends with them: I like them as peo­ple. It is a very per­sonal thing, to have peo­ple wear­ing your clothes. It makes much more sense for me to use friends and ac­quain­tances rather than peo­ple I don't know, purely based on their looks. You work with many dif­fer­ent fab­rics and ma­te­ri­als from cot­ton to rayon to cal­ico to hes­sian among many oth­ers – do you have favourite fab­rics to work with? For me, the con­tex­tual mean­ings of ma­te­ri­als are much richer and in­ter­est­ing than their phys­i­cal prop­er­ties. The his­tory of their use, their cul­tural as­so­ci­a­tions and so­cial sig­nif­i­cance are a lan­guage which can be used to cre­ate mean­ing in cloth­ing. Of course this re­sults in some un­wear­able pieces. Un­der 6x4 there is the “6x4 (re­mod­elled)” line, which de­scribes pre-ex­ist­ing gar­ments that have been taken apart and re-as­sem­bled into new pieces. For the prac­ti­cal cloth­ing I make for my­self, I pre­fer to use strong, hard-wear­ing, nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als. You ref­er­ence your own Korean her­itage and other cul­tures in your work – what sort of sig­na­tures do you ap­ply within 6 x 4 and how im­por­tant to the in­tegrity of the brand are the cul­tural ref­er­ences? I think it's im­por­tant that cloth­ing does not be­come a “glob­alised” stan­dard. I think of cloth­ing as be­ing some­thing which in­volves all cul­tural his­to­ries of cloth­ing. Cloth­ing is in­evitably tied with cul­ture; I would like mine to re­flect my own. Peo­ple should be free (and en­cour­aged) to wear cloth­ing that re­flects their in­her­ited cul­ture and per­sonal his­tory with­out be­ing con­strained by a so­cial norms around cloth­ing. What sort of ob­sta­cles or chal­lenges have you had to over­come whilst de­vel­op­ing 6 x 4? I have man­aged to gain an in­ter­ested, al­beit small, au­di­ence with no real ad­ver­tis­ing. A lack of for­mal train­ing has been an oc­ca­sional hin­drance in the re­al­i­sa­tion of am­bi­tious projects, but it has also made the learn­ing much more re­ward­ing. What does the fu­ture hold for Steven Junil Park the de­signer? Where do you hope to take 6 x 4? I would like to con­tinue mak­ing fur­ni­ture. I am very keen to start mak­ing shoes also. I be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with mak­ing per­fume last year, and I think it will be some­thing fun to pick up again. www.face­book.com/steven­ju­nil


Styling: Se­bas­tian Mcgirr-hunt & Dy­lan James Richards. Groom­ing: Shar­lene Cas­sidy us­ing M.A..C Cos­met­ics Steven wears: Vest, jacket, shirt, gloves and trousers by 6x4

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