JINTEOK by JinTeok

Korean designer who was listed as one of the top 500 world fashion iconsKorean designer who was listed as one of the top 500 world fashion icons

A vase, books, wildflowers, a black dot set on white background, denim, cotton, white and sandy beige, bloodred, hot pink, white foreground, wide-leg trousers, twinkle sequins as bright as morning dew and above all, white shirts. These are keywords that remind me of Jinteok. Infused with traditional oriental lusciousness, her designs hold an aura of stillness. Certainly, unforgettable.

JinTeok is one of the most acclaimed first-generation Korean fashion designers. In 1965, she first opened a dress shop called ‘Francoise” in Myung-dong, Seoul, and pioneered ‘fashion’ in the early stage of postwar South Korea.

She designed the official uniforms of the national team of South Korea in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, and the uniforms for flight attendants of Asiana Airline.

Soon after did she become the first chairperson of S.F.A.A. (Seoul Fashion Artists Association) in 1990, she introduced the concept of the ‘fashion collection’ in South Korean fashion industry, igniting a radical change.

Soon after did she become the first chairperson of S.F.A.A. (Seoul Fashion Artists Association) in 1990, she introduced the concept of the ‘fashion collection’ in South Korean fashion industry, igniting a radical change.

She is the first and only Korean designer who was listed as one of the top 500 world fashion icons in The Fashion Book, published by Phaidon Publisher in U.K. in 1998.

Suzy Menkes, the editor for 19 international editions of Vogue online, said that Jinteok’s clothes are  “like a poem” honouring the designer. She wrote: In her fashion, white is in the foreground. With the different textures of slithering satin, crunchy mesh, the lightest chiffon, dense lace and the smoothest silk, the designer’s vision is of white as a colour…Jinteok’s clothes are like a poem. They speak from her soul, sometimes as a whisper, occasionally with a shout, always with grace..

White shirts are the monument of her design. JinTeok’s mesmerizing power comes from her unique ambivalence. Her clothes are modest but graceful, cool yet warm, elegant and powerful, light albeit dignified.  She is not only keen to the fashion trends but also able to produce her own style by transcending those trends. It is the reason why she gained a large and loyal client base over time.

Clothes that are made by a fashion virtuosa who has a distinguished and celebrated career over a half century are not just clothes. JinTeok’s style is elegant in an aura of stillness like the white porcelain from old Korean dynasties. Without mentioning her name, the history of fashion design in Korea cannot be written.

1 & 2 – Fall/Winter 2015 Collection
3 & 4 – Spring/Summer 2017 Collection

What was the date of your first fashion show?
I do not dwell in the past.
Why did you choose to become a fashion designer?
Because I like ‘style’.
What is the pleasure of living as a fashion designer?
Joy of creating; Pleasure of seeing and feeling beauty.
What do you think fashion is?
Life.
What are well-designed clothes?
Clothes that are simple but have a clear message.
How would you describe the customers of your brand JINTEOK?
They are intelligent. They are ones with the highest sensibility in Korea.
What is the signature design item in your collection?
Shirts.
Anything to say about clothing materials?
I often emphasized to my employees that materials are like the skin. I cannot tolerate to see the materials draggle-tailed. The materials for my clothes are like my own skin.
What inspires you for your designs?
Ballerinas, slim silhouette, clavicle bones, spine, muscles around the neck, and ankles.
What do you think while designing your clothes?
I imagine those who will wear my clothes: whose posture, appearance, and aura, and the femininity that emerges from the space between my cloth and her body.
Whom do you wish that you will be remembered by?
One who designed the pleasure of her clients.
What dream have you achieved? What forthcoming achievement do you wish to make?
I have too many I wish to achieve. I never stopped. I walk toward future with one goal in mind: making beautiful things.
What is your motto?
To live truthfully. To be truthful to my work.
If you can describe JINTEOK style in one word, what would that be?
Nature.

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