Nana: Fashion has infinite possibilities, and new power is born from it. As a carrier of culture and times, fashion encompasses everything. From trendy to traditional culture, from celebrities, idols to everyone’s daily life, and from West to East, it is our discourse, our power, our time. Through Asian Voice, we hope to spread the local Asian fashion culture to the world by moving cross languages and borders.
In this edition of ASIAN VOICE, we welcome Kimrakkeun, the CEO of INSTANTFUNK from Korea, established in 2015. This unique brand sets itself apart by being founded by a collective of skilled stylists. The name “InstantFunk” perfectly captures the brand’s essence, combining the notions of immediacy and fascination, reflecting its core philosophy of providing thrilling and instantaneous experiences. “Boredom is not an option,” states the CEO, as the brand strives to deliver an unparalleled sensory journey within the realm of popular culture, including support for K-POP and fostering a culture of inspiration. Moving forward, INSTANTFUNK aspires to expand its mission worldwide, empowering individuals to inspire others on a global scale.
Nana: Can you briefly introduce your previous career a little bit?Kimrakkeun: Before INSTANTFUNK, I started my career path as an editor for a streetwear magazine, marking my initial foray into the industry.
Nana: What inspired you to
Kimrakkeun: The brand name is a combination of Instant, which means “immediate” and the “moment”, and Funk, which means shocking and fascinating. It’s a brand created by a stylist who responds sensitively to the current trends, not by an esoteric and non-popular designer. A brand that has a boldness or uniqueness that is born from a new transformation of a classic yet popular theme.
In other words, it means that we will create a brand that has a quirky and unique sensibility that can be felt immediately, which can give an unforgettable new experience and thrill.
create your own brand and name “INSTANTFUNK“?
Nana: Can you tell us more about
Kimrakkeun: INSTANTFUNK that empathizes with the generation at the Instant, that stimulates the sixth sense by creating culture shock with Funk.
Our essence lies in hijacking contexts, breaking stereotypes, and inspiring multiple perspectives. We thrive on banishing boredom with our innovative mindset. Our unique design motif offers an unprecedented sensory experience in popular culture. Our mission is to create a world where everyone can inspire others.
the core concept of “FUNCTION” and FUNK” that your brand has?
Nana: INSTANTFUNK is famous for
Kimrakkeun: Denim items hold a unique significance as they originated from practical business considerations. In the Korean market, affordable men’s denim brands emerged as alternatives to Levi’s and enjoyed success. However, there was a dearth of popular women’s denim brands capable of replacing CK or Guess.
As a brand known for our strong outerwear collection, the introduction of bootcut denim tailored to Asian body types garnered attention and admiration from Korean celebrities like BLACKPINK. With our commitment to utilizing Asian fit fabrics and offering reasonable prices, we have the confidence that we will thrive in the denim market.
its denim clothes. Can you tell us about the most consciously considered part of the design and concept?
Nana: Do you have any thoughts
Kimrakkeun: It’s been 15 years since I’ve been in the fashion industry. I don’t think Korea has ever received so much attention and love as it does now in 5,000 years of Korean history. I am very grateful that I am nearing the peak of my career with such a good market opportunity.
INSTANTFUNK has evolved into a beloved brand among celebrities, including KPOP idols. Each day, I am humbled by the attention and adoration we receive from the global fandom. We approach brand development with a strong sense of responsibility, considering multiple facets. Going global poses challenges, and we are actively studying, overcoming obstacles, and progressing steadily. We eagerly look forward to connecting with more individuals worldwide at the earliest opportunity.
on the current global KPOP movement in brand development?
Nana: INSTANTFUNK’s flagship
Kimrakkeun: In branding that makes marketing unnecessary, the first is visibility which means you don’t have to know which brand it is once you see it, but it’s a design that gives you a memory of seeing it, and I think the second is establishing a relationship with fans. I believe that the most powerful part in establishing that relationship is a new experience offline.
A lot of effort was put into fixing the brand’s signature color to enhance visibility. And, we want to provide a variety of sensory experiences that remind us of ourselves, including mint color, at various points of contact, including stores.
store uses the signature mint color for space design. Can you share the concept for the store design and layout?
Nana: What are some INSTANTFUNK’s
Kimrakkeun: The first is global expansion. These days, 70% of customers visiting flagship stores are overseas customers. A lot of people talk a lot about how sad they can’t meet us overseas. Starting with Japan, we plan to advance into Europe and various countries. So, I want to open the way for younger brands who are growing after seeing us. Korea is full of many good brands that are lesser known. We want to help them grow without going through the hardships we struggled through.
The second is the expansion of the menswear line. In addition to the current unisex line, we plan to expand the designs and items for men pursued by INSTANTFUNK.
Nana: Do you have any advice for
Kimrakkeun: Fashion is an industry that thrives on selling excitement, which emanates from the sensibility of the brand creators. In today’s era, the accessibility of clothing production and sales has increased significantly. Moreover, the identity of the seller holds equal importance alongside the product being sold. While numerous brands excel in their business operations, not many can truly deliver a sense of exhilaration.
INSTANTFUNK has been likened to the anticipation of a new album release by one’s favorite band, generating a thrilling experience. As our brand expands, we remain committed to preserving this excitement. We recognize the importance of possessing a sensibility that can evoke excitement in others, as well as the insight and discernment needed to make market-aligned decisions.
readers looking to start their own business or career in the fashion industry?
Fashion is an industry that thrives on selling excitement, which emanates from the sensibility of the brand creators.