ROUTE 1 by Park Jahyun

There are so many nice clothes in the world. Instantaneous sensibility is considered cool. But when everything seems to be falling into the category of consumables so fast, how many more of those can make your heart beat faster? This is the question that led to the inception of ROUTE 1, a contemporary range from Rubina. Under the slogan of ‘BECOME THE BEAT OF THE CITY,’ it launched in February this year, ambitiously declaring that it will set your heart aflutter.

ROUTE 1 fully inherits the strengths of Rubina including its unique tailoring and use of fabrics. One of Korea’s established fashion houses, Rubina has designed based on its draping technique over the past three decades, and has its own factories that specialize in knitting, dyeing and weaving. Making the most of all these resources, ROUTE 1 takes on a more contemporary sensitivity, and lowered the price range to bring down the barriers. There is no wondering “have I seen it somewhere before” when you see the collection. Asymmetrical ruffle blouse is sophisticated enough to resemble a marble statue. Several colors and textures are expertly mixed and matched to artfully demonstrate what a designer’s touch is. A knitted dress with bold pattern is an artwork in itself. For those who love fashion, its creations indeed are works of art that will make your heart race.

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ROUTE 1’s creative director Park Jahyun has joined Rubina when she was 23, and starting from the knit section she has earned her stripes in all divisions including accessories and fur. In the past 16 years, she has honed her skills and it emanates through the brand. Quiet, calm yet with confidence.

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Do you remember the day of your first runway show?
February 2017. We have been discussing branching off a second label for Rubina and had a soft launch the year before. And decided it really was the time and gave it a run.
What was the first item while preparing for the launch?
A tailored jacket. It is considered cool to throw on an oversized jacket these days but you still really must own a well-tailored jacket and pants.
What kind of women do you imagine when you design for ROUTE 1?
An urban, stylish, trendy, independent and strong woman comes to my mind.
What is your signature item?
One that mixes different materials or techniques. This does not come easy to a designer as it not only demands technical finesse but also raises price. ROUTE 1 can utilize all the resources of Rubina, which has its own manufacturing facilities for knitting, leather and dyeing, which allows us freedom to experiment.
Why did you choose designer as a job?
Rubina is my aunt and I have been watching her work since I was a child, and naturally felt becoming a designer was my destiny.
What would you be if not a designer?
Probably an art teacher.
What joy do you get from being a designer?
Although 90 percent of the job is hard work, there still is ten percent of joy, and that is what carries me through. I am fascinated by beautiful things and had I not been a designer I would not have been able to indulge in beauty as much as I do now.
What do you think is fashion?
A way to show myself and prove myself
What are well-designed clothes?
Clothes that can move people. And those you clamor for more for the comfort they offer.
How are the clients of ROUTE 1 special?
Seems like once you shop at ROUTE 1, you are bound to come back for more. Some customers buy several items at once. Probably for the draping as it is better when you put it on than seeing it on a rack.
What inspires you when you work on your design?
I make time to go see exhibitions on weekends. I absorb art regardless of genre, be it photography or painting, and when I work it pops up as an image and inspires me.
What is your definition of beauty?
A naturally exuding poise. Confidence.
What is your life’s motto?
Since I am a devout Christian, I leave everything in God’s hands. This lets me not worry about anything whatever I do. And be dedicated to this day and the person I am with.
How would you like to be remembered?
Rather than a certain kind of designer, I envision myself as a certain kind of person.
Describe designer Park Jahyun’s world of fashion in a single word.
Self-confidence without being afraid of diversity.

WRITTEN BY : MYUNG SUJIN (FREELANCE FASHION WRITER)

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