This past Oct., designers from Korea gathered in Seoul to showcase their Spring and Summer 2018 collections in the Seoul Fashion Week. Many designers expressed a great deal of diversity throughout their shows, including the first black Korean model, Han Hyun-min. This 15-year-old Korean high school student is making a name for himself, having already walked in three different designers’ shows. The model feels that “people assume [he’s] a foreigner” but that “[he’s] gotten used to it.” Han is bringing diversity to Seoul, which is considered one of the most “ethnically homogeneous nations.”
The main attraction was more focused on the message Seoul is trying to convey through their runway show. Designers chose to mimic North Korea and the situation that is happening with the two close countries in order to bring attention to the matter, as Vogue’s Fashion News Editor Monica Kim states. If you “ask any local and you’ll know that it is rarely on the mind—only when a curious foreigner inquires do they remember the hostile neighbor just 35 miles from Seoul.” During the fashion show Kim also expresses that, “the mood felt tense and more restrained than in the past.” One designer in particular captured the pain that majority of North Korean citizens are in. Designer Baroque expressed this issue from the start, with the model who opened his show. Wearing black pants and a bandage wrapped all over his torso, the message that North Koreans are being treated unfairly is conveyed.
(Sources: Vogue, Al Jazeera)