INTERVIEW| Merit Award Winner Gyo Yuni Kimchoe SS15

Gyo Kim and Yuni Choe are the Korean-born designers behind Gyo Yuni KimChoe, an environmentally inspired label with a philosophy of ‘respect life and nature’. Catching them backstage after their SS15 Merit Award Winner show, Fashion Scout hear about their new vision for sustainable fashion, without organic cotton. 

Are you happy with your collection and the way it was received?

Yes, so much! It’s so emotional, we cannot believe it’s on the catwalk. It’s a really amazing experience. We wanted to talk about good things, social issues and environmental issues, to reflect that. It was such an amazing chance and opportunity to show what we wanted to talk about.

What was your inspiration behind this collection?

We wanted to talk about war and conflict going on right now in the world. We used the gardener as a metaphor - a gardener usually kills weeds, just like the army soldier kills their enemies. Instead, we imagined a gardener who goes and plants weeds, like an army soldier who goes and looks after his enemies.

Are you aiming to design for a new kind of sustainable woman?

Yes, we always wanted to find a new sort of woman who was very strong and unique woman who cares about the world, nature and life.

Do you think your take on environmental fashion is different from other designers?

Yes, it’s totally different. We don’t necessarily always use natural cotton. We don’t use leather and fur, but the most important issue is that even though you can use natural cotton. It still has a bad impact on nature. We thought differently and wanted to narrow our focus, and hope that showing something good for the environment can change people’s minds.

Have you always designed together?

Yes. We’ve been together for almost seven years now, after meeting in New York City. We moved to London together, and then we started designing together.

Does London give you a chance to express your creativity more than New York?

Yes, I think so. It’s a difficult question, but I think New York is more commercial maybe, with a bigger market. But London offers great opportunities for younger designers to show their creativity and vision.

How do you feel about Fashion Scout as a platform?

It’s such an amazing platform for designers like us, young designers. We don’t really have a chance otherwise. So many designers want to say something and they want to show their vision. There are so many creative designers out there. It’s such an amazing experience for us to show as Merit Award winners.

By Isabella Silvers, Contributor, (@izzymks).
Photo by Elizabeth Hodston