JULYCOLUMN by Park Sooy and Park Jay

The two art directors of JULYCOLUMN, Park Sooy and Park Jay, are the daughters of designer Park Youn-Soo. These two, who were born with fashion DNA, studied women’s fashion at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion in England respectively. After working in the UK for a while, they moved to Korea and launched an art studio, JULYCOLUMN.

JULYCOLUMN depicts a bright and warm atmosphere.  It reaches everyone with a welcoming gesture rather than engaging in a heavy philosophical discussion.  The meaning of JULYCOLUMN preserves an enchanting background.  “We have more interesting stories in July due to holidays.  Both of our sisters’ birthdays are in July.  We wanted to develop those good and lod stories,” two sisters explained.  An atelier/workroom of JULYCOLUMN opened in July 2017 in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul and is a place where Park Sooy and Park Jay intend to fill in with new stories while listening to people and communicating with them.

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JULYCOLUMN operates in the form of an art studio.  It experiments diverse fields of creative projects such as making special edition paintings commissioned by their client, designing special furniture and space, books, binding books, and etc. The two often portray themes rest on their special experience of being brought up in a ‘fashion family.’  The private collections of their parents who were active in fashion scenes in Korea since the late 80s are the legacy and the primary source of JULYCOLUMN’s inspiration, for example, the shirts their father collected since he was young and the ornaments their mother used to wear. They have special sentiments and found values in reinterpreting objects with such originality.

One of the most significant projects that JULYCOLUMN forsees is the collaboration with ‘BIG PARK,’ in which designer Park Youn-Soo works as a creative director.  The Park Sooy and Park Jay duo have joined BIG PARK as internal staff members since its New York Collection in 2012. The sisters have been important guest designers to BIG PARK since its 2016 Spring Summer collection by sharing new concepts and stories. The sisters started designing Capsule items for BIG PARK collection since 2017, and expanding their independent areas.

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When was the date of your first fashion show?
By participating as guest designers of BIG PARK in the Spring Summer fashion season of 2016 and by launching the Holiday Capsule Collection and Leisure Capsule Collection while opening JULYCOLUMN’s own independent atelier in July, 2017.
What would you be if you were not a fashion designer?
We would probably be working on space designing, as we are interested in styling large spaces.
Why did you choose to be a fashion designer?
We have seen the fatigue involving the other side of the glamorous fashion world through our designer parents since we were little. So we are very careful with using the word, designer, as our title. It is probably a reason why we call ourselves art directors. Also, we actually interact more frequently with professionals of different fields other than fashion, such as architects, curators and artists.
What is the pleasure of living as a fashion designer?
Always seeking for something new, learning something new, and leading your life. We like that it is hard to fall into mannerism as a designer.
What do you think fashion is?
A very big clock whose hands come back to their original positions every 20 years.
What are well-designed clothes?
Clothes that could share empathy and be understood and looked again even by one person. Clothes that could be passed on for generations.
How would you describe the customers of your brand?
They are special in a sense that they are true friends who try out new things and give feedback through communication.
What is your signature design?
Although we have launched recently, what we focus on are simple items with decorative elements that could be comfortably worn by anyone. For example, Holiday Capsule Collection’s dresses, and feminine tops and mini skirts featured in Leisure Collection.
What would you like to say about fabrics?
This is a stage where various attempts are made. We have developed a neoprene material with a velvet texture. It does not wrinkle, so it is an easy material for travel packing. The reaction to this material was good.
What inspires you for your designs?
As we are sisters, we share a lot of ideas through conversations. We often get inspired while talking about objects we liked, clothes we have worn, and the space and time we shared together when we were little.
What is on your mind when you design?
Although we resemble each other as sisters, our body shapes and preferences are different. We start with the style that suits each of us, that each of us wants to solve, and then try to harmoniously match each other’s style.
What is your definition of beauty?
Inner beauty rather than a glamorous appearance. There are people who know themselves well and know their positions. We feel beauty in their eyes when we meet and talk to them.
What is your motto?
We often think that we should become those who could help others and could give good vibes to others. We work while wishing that a client who purchases a clothes from Julycolumn could think ‘this is my lucky item’ while looking at the clothes and could wear them for a long time with pleasant feelings.
Whom do you wish that you will be remembered by?
Designers who could honestly propose products. Designers who are consistently present at one place and could always be found again at the same place.
If you can describe JULYCOLUMN style in one word, what would that be?
Like friends who you could always trust and count on. If we may further explain – rather than JULYCOLUMN stating ‘this suits you better,’ we hope JULYCOLUMN could break some of preconceived notions such as ‘this doesn’t suit me’ and provide new experiences to people.

WRITTEN BY : MYUNG SUJIN (FREELANCE FASHION WRITER)

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