Fashion Designer Subin Hahn believes that fashion shouldn't have any divisions, and has set out to challenge the traditional male and unisex fashion aesthetics that can be typically be found within, the fashion industry.
Subin encourages individuals to explore fashion in their own way with his Fluidwear designs, and for them to discover the beauty that fluidity in gender expression can bring. Join us in conversation with Subin as he tells us more about his brand.
How did your brand begin?
Limited styles and choices in contemporary men's and unisex fashion are what inspired me to create a new gender-neutral brand that focuses on the fluidity of gender expression.
While figuring out my own point of view in the fashion design process through various projects at Parsons School of Design, I found myself really enjoying designing for both men and women instead of only designing for one specific group of people. From there, I gradually gravitated toward gender-fluid fashion which inspired me to start my own brand, Fluidwear.
Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?
Diversity of thoughts and freedom of self-expression are the core values of my brand. My brand aims to provide equal choices for audiences outside of traditionally gendered clothing. Fluidwear is completely off-label in the sense that the wearers can freely interpret what it is, whether they see it as genderless, menswear, womenswear, stage costume, or entirely fine art. Fluidity can be about gender expression, texture, silhouette, design line, cuts, colour palettes, or diverse styles and I believe this free-thinking allows me and my audiences to approach fashion in a more fluid, ambiguous, and creative way.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
One of my favourite sources of inspiration is old Disney concept arts and drawings. The amount of research put into creating the perfect visuals always fascinates me. My print designs are often inspired by these concept arts as they reflect my desire to visualize fantastical landscapes and mystical atmospheres in a highly stylized way that makes you get lost in thoughts.
How are your products made?
Most of the clothing is currently handmade in-house with the exception of t-shirts. Footwear is entirely handcrafted by local artisans in Seoul.
Have you won any awards for your work?
I've recently won the Muse award in the category of avant-garde fashion, as well as the IDA (International Design Award) in the category of avant-garde/men's fashion. During my time at Parsons, I won the Hugo Boss award for my thesis collection, "Impression of Tomorrow."
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
It'll be my dream to dress Jared Leto, Harry Styles, Billy Porter, and Troye Sivan.
How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?
One of the reasons I created Fluidwear is to eliminate the intimidation of shopping for opposite gendered clothing. I want people to feel comfortable and know they are all welcome to experiment with my designs regardless of their gender.
If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?
I love watching animated films and illustrated fairytale books so I might be an animator or a storybook illustrator.
Who is your favourite artist?
If I have to pick one, it'll be Walt Disney. Classic Disney animations are what led my interest in the field of art and design in the first place.
Are there any other designers whose work you particularly admire?
Thierry Mugler is my absolute favourite. It's so sad that he's passed away but his theatrical designs and the fantasy world he created are very inspiring. He has been a huge influence since my middle school days and he is part of the reason why I wanted to start learning fashion design.
I often listen to scores of classic Disney animation, old movies, or Broadway musicals as part of my source of inspiration. I think I can be more imaginative without verbal lyrics/spoken words. Just pure instrumental music is more inspiring and helps me to be creative.
How do your brand values align with those of JewelStreet?
My brand is independently run by myself focusing on creating seasonless handcrafted pieces with a personal touch of my own illustrations and paintings incorporated in the designs. I care about the longevity and quality of each item, which aligns with JewelStreet's value of supporting independent businesses creating uniquely handcrafted and ethically made items around the world.
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
The hand-painted yellow Belle gown from my first collection is my absolute favourite. I had always been dreaming of having my own yellow dress since childhood so being able to design and make this gown in real life was a dream come true moment.
Thank you for talking with us Subin!