We first came across Hyein Seo in the back of a Soho boutique in London, resting on a rack between contemporary gods like MM6 and Raf Simons. Still, something set Seo apart.
A royal blue corduroy jacket, embellished with chunky pins and patches, gleamed resiliently under the harsh lights. You can see yourself within the piece; punk but polished, with a shameless authenticity you couldn’t possibly be mad at if you tried. We were reminded of the ways in which fashion is a form of power, how it can set you free. Our favorite pieces are our key to existing authentically; to liberating, expressing, resisting. We’ve been keeping up with Hyein Seo meticulously as she leads fashion’s streetwear revolution from the underground.
Korean-born Hyein Seo made her debut in 2014, with her graduate collection “Bad Education” at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Alumni of the prestigious Berlin Academy include fashions’ greatest; Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, and Ann Demeulemeester, to name a few. In the fall of 2014, Seo managed to show the collection at Vfiles Runway during New York Fashion Week. None other than Rihanna happened to take note, ordering the entire collection which she would go on to wear for her iconic MTV Movie Awards performance with Eminem. Soon after, Seo would find herself diving into the industry head first, leading a new era.
Five collections later, Hyein Seo remains a champion for women in the male-dominated streetwear arena. Themes of the authentic female experience have proven to be a leading inspiration in Seo’s creative process, as she explores and celebrates the overlooked roles women occupy around the globe. Previous collections have shone light onto characters being kicked out of school, seeking vengeance, or even preparing for battle at the ‘South of the Border,’ in response to the oppressive rhetoric tossed around in the United States’ current political climate. Her most recent collection ‘Final Boss,’ shown in London this February, draws inspiration from Seo’s Korean roots, while maintaining her signature element of rebellion with leather biker trousers and utility belts. The collection is a dedication to the strong-minded woman; the boss girls who rise above the odds.
Words by Taiba