Injoo Lee is one of the designers injecting a new spark of individualism into London’s fashion industry with her brand Moon Lee. Heavily influenced by both her Korean roots and modern city surroundings, her collections draw on the idea of strength through femininity. For spring/summer 2017, ruffle collars were one of the key features of the collection, appearing on sleeveless shift dresses as well as bow-covered smocks. Lee is definitely one to watch, so read our interview with her here.
What inspired you to have a career in fashion?
I was inspired by my parents, as my father is a sculptor and my mother is a hanbok [traditional Korean outfit] designer. Also, I was hugely inspired by Alexander McQueen’s AW06 fashion show. His work truly captivated me and pushed me into designing similar pieces with the same effect.
What is your earliest fashion memory?
One of my earliest fashion memories is my mother’s fashion show in South Korea when I was 16. I felt extremely proud of my mother. I was fascinated by her work and the beautiful Korean clothes she designed.
What is the ethos behind your brand?
My aim is to create art and express my own emotions using fabrics as my canvas, mixed with modern pattern-cutting techniques and a nod to the traditional Korean textiles of my heritage.
Who would you like to see wearing your clothes?
People with strong characters and people who love wearing unique garments. If I had to choose between celebrities, my top two would be Tilda Swinton and Anne Hathaway.
What’s your favourite piece in your newest collection?
My favourite piece from my current collection is a long red gown. It was a very tough time for me when I was designing this collection, and by creating this gown my mind was healed. It is definitely one piece that I love and will treasure.
What are your hopes for your brand in 2017?
I hope that my work will be shown to more people. In order for this to happen, I would like to collaborate with more artists, especially someone avant-garde like Neil Harbisson. I am sure it would be amazing to work with him.
Where do you go to unwind?
I like spending my free time at galleries or watching films. The latest exhibition I visited was a David Hockney one at Tate Britain. I believe that every painting he’s created is unique and the colours he’s used are so vivid.
Where are your favourite spots in London and Korea?
In London, I love visiting Crescent Trading in Shoreditch, a textile merchant where I can find great quality silk and wool fabrics. In South Korea, I love Insadong. It is a famous place for folk goods and art, and you can always find unique pieces hidden beyond the clutter.
Where are your top travel destinations for inspiration?
One of my favourite cities in Europe is Barcelona. Every time I think of travelling, my first thought is to go there. The great weather, nice food and friendly people are the basic elements of the city that make me want to visit it again and again. And, of course, the architecture of Antoni Gaudí found throughout the city is something to admire and get inspired by. I feel really inspired every time I spend some time observing one of his creations.
If you had to move your studio to another country, where would you go and why?
I love London, but if I had to relocate I think I would have to choose Spain.