UL:KIN’s Lee Seongdong delves into philosophy and is a fascinating storyteller with an endless stream of messages to convey. He also has the drive.
Lee’s career in fashion took a professional turn early when he won the Doota Venture Designer Conference in 2010 while he was studying fashion and apparel at Hanyang University. He then served in the army, where as an officer in a mechanized unit had to make decisions while driving a tank. This was an experience which he professes to have helped acquiring the aptitude for the business. After fulfilling his duty, he had a brief stint at a designer label ‘Studio K’ before striking out on his own in February 2014.
UL:KIN debuted on the runway in 2016 through Generation Next, Seoul Fashion Week’s platform for aspiring designers. He has been well appreciated for his genderless casual wear and is fast expanding the brand as demonstrated by fastidious categories; ‘Collection Label’ shown at Seoul Fashion Week, ‘Upcycling Label’ for limited-edition bags, ‘Gallery Label’ for collaborations with artists, and ‘Campaign Label’ for more commercial range.
What makes UL:KIN the hottest label is the bags from Upcycling Label. He collects paintings by rookie artists to which he adds his unique touch. This only allows 100 bags a month and all are one of a kind with strong artistic character, making it popular among men looking for style choices more diverse than the ordinarily offered by clothes. Lee is building up a narrative of his own with “talents cycling project,” offering young artists canvasses and sometimes even spaces for to exhibit.
WRITTEN BY : MYUNG SUJIN (FREELANCE FASHION WRITER)