Imagine designing clothing for the music video of one of K-pop's biggest groups. That's what fashion designer Hong Ki-young did for BLACKPINK.
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A fashion design major at Gacheon University in Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do Province, he began his career in 2008 at the fashion brand Chan+ge by Lee Hyun-chan. While an assistant for two years, he started thinking of his own fashion ideas. A few months later, his enthusiasm was noticed by a noted image consultant.
Hong went on to establish his own brand in 2012 in Seoul and opened his first store in 2016. He also participated in numerous exhibitions and designed clothing for both men and women and shoes popular among many K-pop stars including TVXQ, Shinee, Dindin and Giriboy. This year, he designed a jacket worn by Lisa of BLACKPINK in the group's record-breaking YouTube video "How You Like That."
The following are excerpts from an interview with the designer.
How did you get to design a jacket for BLACKPINK?
I was first contacted by YG Entertainment (the group's management agency) to make garments for the new BLACKPINK music video, especially for Lisa's scene. I booked a meeting and designed the new apparel. After concluding the deal, I followed the producer's requests for Lisa's attire and custom-designed new apparel for her.
What garment did you design?
I designed a jacket made of jacquard fabric featured in the rap scene of her walking to the camera at the 1:13 mark of the video. I originally designed a suit with matching elegant silhouette pants but only the jacket appeared. I personally believe it was more stylish for Lisa to wear my jacket without the pants. It was a better fit with the scene's color.
How was the process of designing the jacket?
I was given a rough explanation of the scene and a short timeframe to produce it. BLACKPINK's management wanted everything to be perfect and we had little time. To meet the delivery date, I made an immediate decision on the design. I arranged all the garments and tried to maximize the glamorousness of the singer as well as the scene.
Will you put up the jacket for public sale?
If I wanted to make money, I could sell the jacket to the public. But I made it especially for Lisa and the music video. Lisa was very satisfied with my jacket and bought both the pants and the jacket suit. I have no plans to commercialize it yet.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
Fundamentally, it's become really difficult to do business abroad. It's hard to meet people since everyone is afraid to show off their new ideas amid the pandemic. However, everything has two sides. This critical situation will make individuals stronger and people more motivated to express themselves more creatively. So I expect huge changes in the fashion sector and I want to be a leader in this amid the crisis.
What are your plans in fashion design?
My new brand will debut after this long break in collaboration with my college friend, who also majored in fashion design. Our new concept is based on men's and women's apparel. We will create a very sensitive and considerate collection.
Watch the "How You Like That" live stage below to take a closer look of Lisa's outfit!
What Is The Most Beautiful Moment BLACKPINK Lisa Has Ever Experienced?
Being a part of BLACKPINK – the biggest K-Pop girl group nowadays may give Lisa an enormous amount of unforgettable moments and feelings that she could remember for a long time later. And for sure that in the future, more and more incredible things will come to all of the girl.
But have you ever wondered that up to now, which moment that the group’s main dancer, Lisa has felt as the most beautiful and happiest time she’s ever had?
“It’s so hard to choose, but… the most beautiful moment for me was one of the concerts in my home country: Thailand, when my family and my friends were there, that moment was touching."
“I was so proud. I could never forget that.”
From a little foreign girl who wanted to follow her dream despite lots of obstacles on her way to a famous K-Pop idol and inspiration for many young generations, Lisa did come a long way. It is totally understandable when Lisa chose the moment she could perform and prove that her choice was right in front of her family and friends. Not just that, she felt once loved and embraced than ever when she knew that they were truly proud of her.
Nothing successful and tremendous comes easily without determination. Lisa once shared that she used to spent 15 hours per day just practice dancing and perform, and she would never stop until everything was perfect. “I’m a perfectionist? Yes!”. Things back then were all about competition, and she knew that she must try her best to achieve her dream.
It is said the most intimidating people are not born talented, but those who work hard and try hard. What made her stand out since trainee days was her persistence and stability – trying harder every day to reach success. The little girl is now BLACKPINK’s main dancer Lisa, the ambassadors of world-famous luxury brands and moreover, an inspiring role model for people of never giving up.