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U.S.-Based Fashion Designer Jene Park Hopes to Collaborate With Korean Celebrities and Mentor Young Korean Designers to Create a South Korean Fashion House

by Therese Agcopra / Oct 28, 2015 03:28 AM EDT
Jene Park presents Thomas Wylde's 2016 Spring Collection at the 2015 New York Fashion Week. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

South Korean designer Jene Park has assigned as the new creative director of Los-Angeles based label Thomas Wylde, and her first official act as creative director is the re-imaging of the brand's rock-n-roll vibe, skull-print-heavy reputation.

Under Park's creative leadership, Thomas Wylde aims to  become a lifestyle brand that exudes the kind of quality that will appeal to women in their 20s to 40s.

True enough, Park presented a new version of Thomas Wylde at September's New York Fashion Week with the brand's 2016 spring collection aptly titled "Evolution".

Park maintained Thomas Wylde's signature silhouettes, but lightened up the show with a softer color palette adding in white, ivory and dusty rose, the Los Angeles Times noted Oct. 9

In an interview with Korea Times, Park emphasized on the importance of quality and style that will last a lief

"Why has a brand like Hermes been respected through so many decades, and by consumers of all ages? Because they don't compromise quality," Park told Korea Times.

Although she built her career stateside, Jene Park has not forgotten her roots. She still speaks fluent Korean with a touch of her regional Busan dialect.

"Koreans are creative and hard-working and smart," said the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising graduate.

She also revealed that South Koreans also contributed to the creation of Thomas Wylde.

During the brand's early stages, Park was struggling to find factories that were willing to make product samples in small batches.She eventually went with manufacturers in South Korea.

"The only people who could make our ideas become product were the Koreans. Our labels still read, 'Made In Korea.' We're the only luxury fashion house here that does that - that's a point of great pride to me."

Thomas Wylde is already a popular option among celebrities in America, with Carrie Underwood and Nicole Scherzinger as regular clients. However, Jene Park hopes to expand her collaborations with Korean celebrities.

More recently, South Korean actress Jun Ji Hyun was seen wearing a pink Thomas Wylde jacket in the hit drama series "My Love from the Stars".

"I didn't even know what the drama was, but day after the episode aired, I received emails from all over the world," Park shared. "I was so surprised at the amount of star power [Korean stars] wield."

Park noted the need for an "internationally-recognized South Korean fashion house," while praising Koreans for being excellent stylists and creative people. Presently, her next goal is to mentor young Korean designers.

Park said, "Korean designers have a huge advantage in that they already have infrastructure, smart business people, and the eyes of the world on them. All they need is someone who has a dream. If you don't give up, dreams will come true."

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