In this issue, we welcome GANGYOUNG, one of a kind and eye-catching brand based in Seoul of South Korea. Setting itself apart from its many counterparts with vivid designs, we ask them about where GANGYOUNG as a brand is at the moment and where it hopes to go in the future.
Nana : It’s so nice to meet you! Can you tell us a little bit about your brand?
GANGYOUNG : Nice to meet you guys. And I’m the founder and also the designer of GANGYOUNG. GANGYOUNG means to be independent and we sell women’s clothing based in Seoul, Korea.
Nana : What kind of experiences in fashion have you had before starting the brand?
GANGYOUNG : Actually, my major in University was fashion.
Nana : Oh, I see! And why did you decide to name the brand GANGYOUNG?
CHEPENG : It is a name that is easy to remember and you know, I always wanted my gang to support each other. Fun fact, my Korean name has “Young” in it. Also, “gang young” in Chinese characters means strong and shiny so I took that from there too.
Nana : Oh wow, and now you have stores in Taipei too.
What are some things that inspired you during the creation of the brand?
GANGYOUNG : We take inspiration from all over and every kind of art form like books, films and anything can be my inspiration for sure. I think the thing for me is movies and especially those in the 70s or 90s.
Nana : We see that your directions for each collection are very well structured and thought out in complex ways. What do you most value when deciding on a theme for each collection?
GANGYOUNG : I think excellent design and works must have thought and vitality. I wish to tell different stories through my collections, to inspire the public and to make some efforts for the development of fashion. Based on equalitarianism, I will try to find interesting and easy-understanding viewpoints to deliver my feelings.
Nana : So, all things retro, nice!
Do you have any partners in creating the design or some kind of team?
GANGYOUNG : So far, I’m doing it by myself. But recently, I really feel like the team supporting me has allowed me to run the brand in a better way.
Nana : The brand currently has over 90,000 followers on Instagram and I assume that you have customers from not only Korea but from all over the world right?
GANGYOUNG : Thankfully, yeah.
Nana : How do you use social media to deliver your designs?
GANGYOUNG: I mostly only use Instagram for marketing. I use the store feature and that ties directly to wholesale.
Nana : Wow, I mean, it’s easy to say but a lot of brands struggle with this phase.
How long have you been running the brand?
GANGYOUNG : My first collection was in 2017 so five years? My first collection wasn’t a huge one and I made a dress and like a T-shirt.
Nana : Is your fan base mainly in South Korea or no?
GANGYOUNG : A majority of my fan base is in the US and especially California.
I have so many designer friends from Korea but GANGYOUNG’s design is so different. My own aesthetic is inspired a lot by the US.
Nana : We see that you feature models of diverse nationalities in your collections.
GANGYOUNG : These days, customers are increasing and if I want our campaigns to be seen by a global audience, we thought that the best way was to do so.
Nana : Would you want to move somewhere like, let’s say, Los Angeles?
GANGYOUNG : Definitely, since I feel like in Seoul, there’s one kind of style and if you’re brand’s not that, it’s harder to grow.
Nana : Were there any challenges during the course of five years?
GANGYOUNG : There is some pleasure in overcoming the process of a challenge but if I had to say one thing is trying to find the balance between my dream design and what our customers want to see form us. So sometimes, I find that challenging.
Nana : Are you passionate about opening more stores in say Japan or other Asian countries?
GANGYOUNG : Absolutely! That’s like my goal.
Nana : Nice to hear!
If you can, can you tell us a little bit about your next drop?
GANGYOUNG : Yeah, recently I started focusing on our original identity which is easy, comfy and cute. But now, I decided not to set a specific theme and just try making everything I want. I wanted to start from scratch.
Nana : That’s so cool and we can’t wait to see it.
Lastly, do you have any advice for our readers who want to start their own eye-catching brand like “GANGYOUNG”?
GANGYOUNG : First of all, I want to thank you guys for calling our brand eye-catching. I think the most important thing is to make sure what message you want to deliver to the audience. And that the direction incorporates your own voice.So focusing on the message. It’s important not to lose your imagination even in stressful times.
It’s important not to lose your imagination, even in stressful times.by gangyoung