Re­jina Pyo

Emirates Woman - - #britishdesigners -

Do your South Korean roots in­flu­ence your brand?

I feel my South Korean roots are ref­er­enced in my work ethic and the de­tails of my de­signs – the cut of a shirt for in­stance, or the shape of a but­ton. We have an of­fice in Korea where we man­u­fac­ture all of our cloth­ing, so it is still very much a strong pres­ence in my life and in the brand.

Your brand is rel­a­tively young and has done in­cred­i­bly well, sell­ing at over 100 stock­ists, as well as be­ing nom­i­nated for the Vogue Fash­ion Fund Award. Did you ex­pect the com­pany to do sow­ell? It has been very chal­leng­ing launch­ing and

run­ning a busi­ness. Al­though we are quite young, it feels as though we have worked long and hard to get to where we are. I have dreams for de­vel­op­ing new facets of the brand, how­ever, I don’t want there to be too much hype, I want to make sure if we grow, we do so care­fully and sus­tain­ably.

Was it dif­fi­cult break­ing into the in­dus­try or do you think at­tend­ing Cen­tral Saint Martins gave you a bet­ter chance than most? It was an in­cred­i­ble

ex­pe­ri­ence. It pushed me to de­fine my point of view as a de­signer. It gave me the chance to show­case my grad­u­ate col­lec­tion on an in­ter­na­tional plat­form, but it was win­ning the Han Ne­fkens Award for this col­lec­tion which re­ally gave me the con­fi­dence and op­por­tu­nity to launch my brand.

You are an ad­vo­cate for diver­sity on the cat­walk. What do you think a de­signer’s role is to­day for cre­at­ing diver­sity in the in­dus­try? For me it was a

very nat­u­ral way to show the col­lec­tion on women who ac­tu­ally wear and love the brand. I do think the in­dus­try is mov­ing to­wards a more nat­u­ral and au­then­tic kind of beauty – beauty that re­flects life in all its stages and rep­re­sents the truly di­verse na­ture of women around the world. I hope that all de­sign­ers want to cel­e­brate the true na­ture of women and em­power them through the clothes that they cre­ate.

Who would you say is your go-to friend in the in­dus­try that you could talk to about any­thing?

My hus­band Jor­dan has been amaz­ingly sup­port­ive since I started the busi­ness. Also, my manag­ing direc­tor and long time friend, Re­nee – we met at Cen­tral Saint Martins years ago and she joined the team ear­lier in the year.

What is it about Lon­don that in­spires you?

I am lucky to live in a city where there is al­ways a new art ex­hi­bi­tion, his­toric mu­seum or great restau­rant to check out. Such an amaz­ing city at­tracts great tal­ent, so the women who sur­round me ev­ery day are a con­stant source of in­spi­ra­tion.

What do you think of the K ar dash ian sand the rise of re­al­ity stars hav­ing an im­pact on the fash­ion in­dus­try? I am fas­ci­nated by this new era we seem

to be liv­ing in and the rise of in­flu­encers. It is quite in­cred­i­ble the way com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools like In­sta­gram al­low you to dis­cover the life of some­one who lives on the other side of the world. Per­son­ally, I am in­spired by the re­al­i­ties of ev­ery day life. I love raw im­ages and the women who have some­thing to say but don’t take them­selves too se­ri­ously.

What do you think about Mid­dle East­ern beauty and how can you see your de­signs be­ing re­ceived in this re­gion? I feel my aes­thetic is very aligned to Mid­dle

East­ern beauty – I try to make sil­hou­ettes which are el­e­gant, mod­ern and fem­i­nine rather than overtly sexy. We have re­ceived a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back from our Mid­dle East­ern stock­ists so I hope that women across the re­gion are en­joy­ing the col­lec­tions!

It has been well-doc­u­mented that you and your chef hus­band Jor­dan are mas­sive food­ies. What is your favourite dish? I love eat­ing Kim­chi

pan­cake, a de­li­cious tra­di­tional Korean dish that is very quick and easy to pre­pare.

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