Designer Soonjin Park has always been something of an iconoclast when it comes to fashion. At the helm of boundary-pushing, unisex clothing label, Kai-aakmann, Park tells Chris Frey of The Inside Source that as a child growing up in Seoul, Korea, she wore her fathers pants and experimented with other shapes to see what kinds of silhouettes she could create: I grew up free from any dressing conventions which lead me to push boundaries and experiment, Park explained.
She continues to play with the norms with Kai-aakmann, which consists mostly of sharply tailored, avant garde pieces in cool neutral colors that can be swapped between men and women. A classic double-breasted jacket looks sharp and tailored on a man and stylishly boxy and modern on a woman. Youth culture has a unisex sensibility that is genderless, timeless and ageless, Park says. My customers are not confined by those elements, which is a very youthful attitude.
Kai-aakmann Fall 2010
She also shares a bit more about her inspiration for the line, referencing Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto as a breath of fresh air. Her description of Yamamotos aesthetic sounds a lot how wed portray her own: He could use masculine fabric and a colorless palette, with no confining silhouettes, and still portray femininity.
Despite the slick, citified look of her collection, Park also reveals nature as a major influence in her work, specifically, the colors and freedom of expression brought on by the change of each season. At home, to keep up the inspiration, she surrounds herself with plants, as well as art, portraiture from flea markets around the world, trinkets and chairs.
For more on Soonjin Park and the goods that inspire her coolly minimal aesthetic, check out The Inside Source.
Meredith Barnett is the Editorial Director for The Inside Source, a digital style magazine presented by eBay. The Inside Source writer Chris Frey authored this article in its original form.
All images courtesy of Kai-aakmann