Born in South Korea, currently a Cloverdale local and about to hit the runway in Vancouver, Jenny Choi is ready to go international with her designs.
Choi is one of 28 emerging designers showcasing their collections at 2017 The Show, the biggest student fashion show in B.C., on April 5 and 6.
Her collection, Primrose, is about getting back to her roots. Inspired by her South Korean heritage, the garments are a contemporary evolution of hanbok.
She had become frustrated with seeing cultural fashions such as kimonos used by designers with no connection to the cultural roots of the pieces.
This collection has become a way for her to connect with her roots, but she says it’s also become a tool to share her culture and connect with others.
“In B.C. we have this idea of a cultural mosaic,” she says. “We have more of an opportunity to live together and appreciate cultures.”
Choi developed her collection as part of her final project before graduating Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s four-year Fashion Design and Technology program this May.
The rigorous, studio-based program is capped with a project involving extensive market and design research and tasks students with creating garments that meet a market need.
“This was one of the biggest challenges I have taken on, but it was the perfect environment and opportunity to explore,” said Choi. “Learning how to sew and draft from ground zero in the last four years was tough but it’s exhilarating to see what I have accomplished on the runway.”
“The collection is about tying back to my heritage and exploring fashion as a way to express the meaning of yourself, what represents you, in a way that’s so much more than a trend.”
Jenine Duytean and Keyede O wearing Jenny Choi’s Primrose collection. Ronald Chan
“KPU teaches you to be so much more,” she said. “KPU teaches you how to market, budget, [operate] design software,” she says.
Choi will pursue a career as a merchant after graduation – a position she describes as being between a designer and a manufacturer, a role that combines market and business analysis, fashion knowledge, communication skills and strategy.
“During my work experience at lululemon, I found number crunching and analyzing market reports to problem solve and forecast very satisfying,” said Choi. “Working with designers and manufacturers through retail management and design has given me so many useful skills.”
Her ultimate goal is to help develop a fashion industry in Vancouver. “I want to promote a better and stronger fashion industry in Vancouver,” she said. “I’m excited to grow together with this industry.”
For more on Choi and her designs, follow her on Instagram @heywree.
Presented by Tamoda Apparel, 2017 The Show will showcase 28 emerging designers and their collections on April 5 and 6 at the Imperial Vancouver. Tickets are $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: kpu.ca/2017fashionshow.