Siki Im was selected as the winner of a Creative Promise Prize in Fashion for his menswear designs that draw inspiration from architecture, culture, politics, and psychology. Im is the fashion designer behind SIKI IM, a line of luxury menswear, and DEN IM, a denim and basics extension line.

A former architect, he is interested in the intersections of culture, theory, and psychology within the design process. Sold in stores worldwide, each of Im’s collections centers on a theme (from immigrants and xenophobia to The Lord of the Flies), which he researches in depth to build into a collection of draped, often unisex pieces.

He seeks to grow his company into a multi-focus creative design studio that also works in architecture and product design. Siki Im was born in Germany to Korean immigrant parents.

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The designer had been thinking about Georgia O’Keeffe, in particular the pre-eminent painter’s exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (one week left), which sheds as much light on her personal, recreational style as it does on the monumentality of her work. That she wore ordinary clothes—blue jeans, stripes, color—in her off-time, while reserving her dark, imposing, monastic wardrobe for her public persona, fascinated Im. “She had a secret attire, a sort of double life,” he said. “I feel like I’m on the same path.”

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His signature dramatic draping and clever use of black, indigo, maroon and gray hues with unexpected pops of bright pink are balanced in the form of asymmetrical outerwear, blazers, hoodies and more. The overall theme injects various cross-cultural references as a mix between S.E. Hinton’s Ponyboy character from The Outsiders, is fused with looks from urban cowboys and Buddhist monks.

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SPRING 2017 MENSWEAR The clothes are amazing as usual. I adore that trench coat, which is 100% wool, but apparently waterproof. The collection also has fantastic use of layering and angles. “That comes from my architectural training,” Im told me. “I love good proportions, good scale. It has to have a certain proportion, for me. Scale and mass, like a building.”

Siki Im

Siki Im Fall/ Winter 2016 Menswear Ready-To-Wear Collection by designer Siki Im.

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"I love you, New York, but you're bringing me down," singer Anthony Costanzo trilled from Siki Im's runway in quivering falsetto. The song, by LCD Soundsystem, is a cult anthem of dream chasers everywhere, and, arranged here with a forlorn electric guitar, it made for a poignant expression of the conflicted feelings the designer has for the city.

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Backstage before his show, Siki Im seemed sheepish to say his collection drew from the 1970s. "Not my favorite, really, but that's why I thought I should explore it," laughed the designer, grabbing a pair of wool felt trousers. "Boot leg!" he said. "I never had one in my life. It was a huge stretch for me." Aside from the boot legs and a few butterfly collars, Im's take on the decade was more avant-garde, less disco.

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Prison: so hot right now. Designer Siki Im, for one, is currently fascinated by the idea of institutions. More particularly, jail and hospital uniforms, which explains why Alix Lambert's Russian-prison documentary The Mark of Cain was a main source of information for the designer's Spring collection. "It's a pretty intense documentary," said Im backstage at his Monday runway show, which took place in an indoor parking lot. (Range Rovers and BMWs lined the grit-covered brick walls.)

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When Siki Im revisited Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler for the first time since his days as an architecture student, it struck him that the pomo masterwork was ripe for reinterpretation into clothes. Calvino even wrote paragraph-long outfit descriptions into the book—as ideal a prescription for an intellectual menswear collection as ever there was.

German-born designer Siki Im trained as an architect before switching disciplines to fashion, working under Karl Lagerfeld and as head designer at Helmut Lang until launching his namesake line in 2009. Bringing a fully realized conceptual depth and backstory to each collection, Im specializes in structured, minimalist Western tailoring with an intellectual bent.

Siki Im


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Hwan Heo has a thing for history. And not always the happier moments—his collection for Spring, entitled “The Wall,” was inspired by the Great Depression, and his new offering takes cues from both the fall of the Berlin Wall and Wolfgang Tillmans’s images of cyberpunk bands of the era.

Which isn’t to say that all this attention the past means that Heo isn’t forward-thinking. “The next 10 collections will be looking to explore new territory,” declared the designer via a written statement, “focusing on fashion tribes looking into the future, leaving fashion history behind with The wall.” And so his Fall collection, much like the breaking down of the Berlin Wall, was a culmination of sorts.

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It all came together in a long, lean, and vaguely retro silhouette meant to signify the cultural clash of Eastern and Western cultures, with graffiti and the German flag translated into tonally related neoprene, denim, and faux fur adorned with the occasional stripe or ruffled trim. These are clothes meant for kicking around in your urban locale rather than punk protests,

but that’s not to their detriment. Where things worked best was in the outerwear, which was well tailored and easy to imagine in a contemporary wardrobe, whether it was the clever takes on the ubiquitous bomber; the narrow black vinyl jackets; or the longer woolen toppers in an acidic verdant shade, cinched at the waist with a navy faux-fur accent that turned up on other looks as a collar or cuff. As for the future, we’ll all just have to wait and see.

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HEOHWAN SIMULATION is a London-based Womenswear label established by Korean-born designer Hwan Heo. Royal College of Arts (RCA) graduate, Hwan Heo created the brand’s vision for the next 10 years is to showcase “The Critique Collection Project” where the theme for each collection stems from Hwan’s experimental artwork and geopolitical aestheticism. Studying the fashion hisory and phenomenon from 1920 to 1990s and observing contemporary fashion, Hwan develops and rebuilds his own fashion statement.

Heohwan Simulation

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