SWBD Sewing Boundaries is our latest collaboration and we are very excited about it!
Sewing Boundaries is a Korean streetwear and genderless brand founded by the designer Dong-ho-ha. They started their first Fashion Week in Seoul in 2013 and the brand has kept growing in popularity in Korea with now celebreties (like the famous K-Pop singer Hyuna) wearing their clothes.
Let's meet the founder and designer Dong-ho Ha to talk about his brand and his vision of Korean fashion.
How would you describe SWBD?
SWBD literally means to link the boundaries with a needle. This name is the philosophy of the the brand: sewing and linking pieces together to create something new. The brand aims to create a connecting link between the different generations, between old and modern, and it is a unisex brand that goes beyond gender.
What is the inspiration of your brand?
Most designers are often inspired by everyday things. If you pick something out, that brings out a story. The images that come out from that story make a collection.
What’s the story behind your brand?
When starting the brand, our team only prepared the collection line. After the brand’s first collection, we offered sweatshirts made with the design from that collection to VIPs. The designs received great feedback and a lot of distributors were very interested in our garments. One shopping mall funded the entire production of the newly designed line and that’s how the commercial line called SWBD started.
*Sewing Boundaries by Dongho Ha is the collection line for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. SWBD is the commercial line, considered more affordable and casual and has various drops and campaigns throughout the year.
Many Korean celebrities such as famous K-pop singers or actors love your brand and wear your clothes. Why do you think your brand become so popular in Korea?
SWBD clothes were worn by many people and unexpectedly the designs became well known. The use of colours and details in my designs that is uncommon for menswear makes the brand unique and naturally more exposed. I am still grateful to many stylists and celebrities who have an interest in the brand and wear the brand’s clothes.
What do you think are the main difference between Korean and European fashion?
I think the difference is the fashion market. In Europe, a brand is still valued through tradition. By accepting that value, the European fashion market can be continuously stable. Whereas, in Korea, the market is quite small, creating more competition. Designers need to think about cost-efficiency a lot more. Various structures exist within the market and as consumers do not understand the value in the same way they do in Europe, they can experience diverse designs and clothes in a short space of time. There are pros and cons but the fast-paced fashion industry in Korea may be an advantage for the market.
Korean culture including Korean music has become very popular in Europe especially among young people. Why do you think Korean culture has become so attractive internationally?
There are probably many reasons but Korean contents are sensitive to trends. And development in technology, the quality of music, fashion and the way in which contents are being introduced all of these are improving. The Korean content that is becoming popular globally may not be traditional Korean culture but it's fresh and it's something completely different that people wouldn’t have a chance to encounter elsewhere. It is mixed with trend which would explain why Korean culture is certainly becoming an attractive point internationally.
If there was one place in South Korea we should visit, what would it be?
I am personally very interested in the history of Korea. Europeans may not know Korea very well but there are lots of parts of history that Koreans are proud of. I would recommend the palaces that are located in the city. They are well-preserved and the stories from those palaces will be fascinating to Europeans as well. I would certainly recommend visiting them as they have beautiful features and it is a place where you can experience Korea’s past.
Can you teach us one word in Korean?
My favourite word is “we” = 우리 (uri). It means “we” in English but it has deeper meaning in Korea. I believe “we” make people think and “we” have the power to keep us responsible. Thus, I try to use “we” more than “I”.
Thank you for this short language class^^ and Gomapseumnida SWBD! (Thank you SWBD)
And if you want to see the SWBD collection, check it out here.