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Hyein Seo | Fear Eats The Soul

Hyein Seo is a South Korean fashion designer currently doing her master's year at the renowned Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. Her last collection is entitled Fear Eats The Soul which is a mixture of old horror movies and street wear, it's youthful, fun and wearable and one of her coats makes an appearance in G-Dragon's Crooked video. Read the interview to find out more!

So let's start at the beginning, tell me where you were born and where you grew up?

Born and raised in Korea. I was studying in Seoul before coming to Antwerp.
Back then, I was also studying fashion design but I decided to move on and take myself to a place where it’s more challenging, yet more inspiring.

Can you remember the moment you wanted to study fashion?

I could never have guessed that I’ll be doing my master's degree here in Antwerp.
Ever since I was little, I had the opportunity to tryout different kinds of art techniques and media.
Having fashion as it’s main core, I combine all those experiences and come up with garments that reflect what I want to tell, even tiny bits of personal stories.
I always think that fashion is a new platform that combines different genres.
And I guess that’s what drives me to continue design.
It’s much more fun when I try to picture the bigger image and come up with the right ways to present them. It’s not always easy, but that’s been a great pleasure every time I made my collections presentation.

What was your most recent collection about?

This year my collection started off with this cinematic character with a unique atmosphere from old horror films.
Because of it's old­ fashion effect, I feel more humorous than scared.
In those movies, there's always beautiful a rich woman who becomes the victim.
She wears luxury fur coats with lots of jewels, red lips, pale skins. It's cliche for horror film heroines, but then I wanted to make this woman young and contemporary.
So I mixed this gothic horror atmosphere with street culture, yet it has humor in it.

Are you planning on returning to South Korea?

I feel that more people are showing their interests and respects for the things that are being created/made in Seoul.
Now the younger generation in Korea is open to small labels and young designers, and this has brought out a good change to the whole system. Both design­ wise and profit­wise.
And yes, After some more experience like an internship in Europe, I'd definitely want to go back to my city and work there.

What are some of your recent inspirations?

Teenager movies, school uniforms, and street and hip­ hop culture.

Has your life changed a lot in the past 4 years?

Yes it has, Antwerp is small grey city but here I can go deep into myself. It's long winter stays for 5­6 weeks, almost a half year of darkness and silence. All I could do was just stay home and work.
Teachers guide students very individually, so that everybody focuses on themselves with different taste of beauty, and I think I almost found my way to keep going on.

Are you thinking about your next collection?

I'm focusing on my final year now, and I want to stay more realistic but come up with garments that can fulfill both the public and my teachers.
I’d love to see this collection hanging on the racks, not somewhere in the basement.

Any last words?

Biggest compliment I got recently was when a guy came up to me and said he’d wear my collection. I’ve got some requests and orders for my previous collections.
I’m considering to produce them in small quantities. So if you are reading this and interested, please send inquiries to

Photography: Che Soonhyun
Model: Yana Bovenistier

Check out some more photos after the jump

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coco - 11.22.2013 File under - Fashion


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