INTERVIEW: An inside look into Korean streetwear fashion brand Saint Ego, and their ‘Sub-way’ collection

April 4, 2020

London Fashion Week has come and gone again, and hundreds of designers from all over the world made their mark for the inaugural 2020 season. The world’s biggest and brightest creative minds set off all touched down  in London last month to showcase their new collections. With ready to wear collections being the staple of the season, designers demonstrated a unique individuality in each collection without compromising any of the practicality. With hundreds of runway shows and showcases happening over five days, standing out is such a challenge for most people, but one designer was able to accomplish just that.

SAINT EGO, a Korean streetwear brand, showcase their debut collection titled ‘Sub-Way’. The collection included deconstructed streetwear staples with TFL (Transport For London) inspiration at the heart of it all. Designer, Younghoo Kim, calls on memories of structures, colours and the plethora of visual sources consumed from his daily commute on the London Underground. He said the collection draws its inspiration from the well of visual information housed within the London Underground, which informed SAINT EGO’s exploration of transformative structures, familiar colour palettes to Travel For London’s commuters. SAINT EGO uses check patterns for his collection to reinterpret the Sub-ways visuals, the colour ways for this collection are based on the London Underground tube colours. Green and yellow representing the District & Circle Line to Pink being the Hammersmith & City line, scattering the collection with hi-vis and reflective materials.

We sat down with the designer Younghoo Kim and asked him about his debut collection, this is what he said:

What was your inspiration for the new collection? 

The Inspiration for the collection was started from structures and visual sources of London underground.  All the Inspiration from my daily commute when I worked at Liam Hodges. I tried to create check patterns for this collection using sources from London. 

Also, as we named our collection’SUB-WAY’, one of the interesting points of this collection is that some of the pieces are designed as transformable like a transformable jacket which can be transformed as a tote bag. These kinds of design make our collection title have two meanings which are Subway(underground) and “Sub way” meaning the other way

What challenges did you face with this collection?

We used tailor based techniques on our collection in order to create these kinds of details on garments, which requires hand sewing, like tailoring. I also wanted to design transformable garments such as a wool jacket which can be used as a tote bag. In order to create those kinds of pieces, I needed to spend time considering the whole structure and formation.

How did the local culture impact this new collection?

There were so many inspirations and sources around London Underground. Those inspirations might not be defined as London’s culture but, the City London is open mined for culture, art and design. So that helped allow me to be patient to catch sources on streets and places of London.

What inspired you to get into the high-end streetwear fashion space? 

For me, high end streetwear is positioned as a specific part in fashion. This kind of fashion is much more focused on the word ‘creativity’ and I want to introduce my fashion with my own creativity. For this reason, streetwear fashion is much more suitable to me in compare to commercial fashion, even if I design based on ready to wear, high end fashion is much more acceptable, I’d even go so far as to say ‘Unique’.

What future projects should we expect coming up?

Will keep introducing Saint Ego’s sensitivity and creativity through various kinds of projects. Me and my partner, we both are not limited to work as fashion designers. We love to work on a wide range of art and design and also like to collaborate with other artists and brands. So, I hope that we will be able to do collaboration projects in the coming future.