Launching a new brand at WLLWPOPUP is a big deal to me. It’s one of those things that I enjoy thoroughly because I know that I’m sharing someone’s amazing talent with you, talent that would otherwise be overlooked in the world of fast fashion.
Following yesterday’s unveiling of fashion label YESIMFRENCH at WLLWPOPUP, here’s a fun interview that I did with Sandra Meynier Kang, the heart and soul behind the brand.
#1 I guess this is the question that most people would like to ask… How did a beautiful French woman end up in South Korea? Haha! you made me blush! I arrived in South Korea around 3.5 years ago as a commercial agent for several French brands and have decided to make this home following a series of circumstances.
#2. What is it about sports silhouettes that attract you? I’m just in love with sports clothing. Some of my favourite brands are Adidas Originals, Y3 and Stella McCartney for Adidas… Sportswear is a big part of me because I think it’s really important for us ladies to have something that’s chic, casual and comfy to wear everyday when juggling all that are thrown at us in life.
#3. What are some of the major differences between fashion in France as opposed to fashion in South Korea? Fashion in Europe has more of an emotional element to it. We tend to incorporate history and emotions into our designs. In Korea, or maybe Asia as well, clothing is regarded as pieces of cloths, i.e. products. They are worn for a season and thrown out when the next season arrives.
#4. What are your favourite materials to work with? Cotton, leatherette, linen, mesh etc… I like to mix shiny and matte materials together
#5. Having released 5 collections now, where did you predominantly get your inspirations from? Every collection has a different story, a theme. I had split the usual SS collection into 2 separate collections. For me, SPRING 2014 was the real start of my brand and that collection was inspired by the art of Kendo. As for my latest collection which is SUMMER 2014, I created the whole range according to the colours and mood in a French movie by Alexandre Arcady called ‘Ce que le jour doit a la unit’.
#6. What were some of the obstacles that you were faced with when you first started YESIMFRENCH and how did you overcome them? To get people to remember that my brand is YESIMFRENCH and not Yes I’m French! haha! I guess the 2 difficulties were language and money. I didn’t speak enough Korean so the language barrier was a big thing for me. I also had to work a second job to pay for fabrics and sampling. Everything else was fine. The one big thing that I learnt was that building a brand takes time and to never give up.
#7. What advice would you give to people who are unfamiliar with sports inspired fashion but are keen on trying it out? Be courageous and give it a try. Once you’ve tried it, it’s hard to turn back 🙂
#8. Would you branch out to another design genre in the future or are you quite comfortable with what you’re doing at the moment? It all depends. Things are fluid and nothing is stable… I’m always in for a challenge when times are appropriate.
#9. When are you releasing your next collection? Could you possibly reveal to us a little bit about it? I’m running a little late but my FALL collection will be released sometime this month (APRIL 2014). FALL is inspired by BULMA, the female character in Dragon Ball Z. A lot of people have told me that I look like her… Kim HongBum, Cres. E Dim.’s designer told me that quite often when I was working for him… I think it’ll be fun to make something out of that!
#10. What are your top 3 things that are essential for your survival as a foreigner in South Korea? My husband Inki Kang + my cat <3, my work + friends and le petit Journal on canal +
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Go on and experience sports luxe here >SHOP YESIMFRENCH . Have fun shopping!