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LVMH Award 2022: Ashlyn, the heiress of the Anti-Moda fashion of the 90s

On Thursday, March 24, 2022, the LVMH Prize unveiled the shortlist of eight finalists for its ninth edition, including Korean designer Ashlynn Park, who launched her Ashlynn brand in 2021 in New York and whose radical creations evoke Anti-American designers. -Fashion of the 90s. .


  • LVMH Award 2022: Ashlyn, the heiress of the Anti-Moda fashion of the 90s

Ashlynn Park, Founder of the Ashlyn Label and Finalist for the 2022 LVMH Prize

A few months after its official launch in January 2021, the Ashlyn brand joined the collections of the Costume Institute, within the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art, which bought its emblematic creation, the Dillan shirt dress, whose particularity is that it is designed with a single piece of fabric, without any loss. A dazzling consecration for the Korean designer based in New York, Ashlynn Park, who is also one of the eight finalists for the LVMH 2022 award, seducing a jury made up of the biggest names in the industry. Both radical and pragmatic, Ashlyn’s creations draw from the tradition of 1990s Anti-Fashion movement designers such as Martin Margiela, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, whom Ashlynn Park cites as her mentor. Tailoring occupies a prominent place in its collections, which also privilege the art of draping, heir to French haute couture, as well as Japanese know-how present in the finishes and certain sober but structured cuts, while a palette of raw colors and graphic colors illuminated by a fiery red, exalt the beauty of its timeless and designer designs. For Numéro, Ashlynn Park recalls her exceptional journey between Korea, Japan, France and the United States, as well as her desire to preserve the planet through a manufacturing process that minimizes waste and environmental damage at every stage of production. manufacturing.

NUMERO: What is your first memory related to fashion?

ASHLYNN PARK: I still have vivid memories of that moment. I was about five years old at the time and a local college invited me to a fashion show as a child model. I put on a sequined sapphire dress with a big white bow neck. I proudly walked down to the podium and looked at everyone around me. I loved !

Was that when you decided to become a fashion designer?

No, I grew up wanting to be an architect and at university I chose this discipline as my main subject. During my first summer vacation, I took fashion illustration classes and submitted my designs to a contest organized by the Korean Ministry of Industry, which I won. After which, I changed my major to fashion design.

Dillan shirt dresses from the Ashlyn Fall-Winter 2021-2022 and Fall-Winter 2022-2023 collection.
Dillan shirt dresses from the Ashlyn Fall-Winter 2021-2022 and Fall-Winter 2022-2023 collection.

Dillan shirt dresses from the Ashlyn Fall-Winter 2021-2022 and Fall-Winter 2022-2023 collection.

Throughout your career, which designers, living or not, have inspired you and why?

I always aspired to follow the path of my mentor Yohji Yamamoto, who throughout his career honed himself in both design and patronage. He instilled in me a sense of pride and commitment to the quality of a garment as opposed to a world where overproduction and overconsumption in fashion has become the norm. Yohji taught me to question everything in my creations: what is each detail for? Do we really need this ornament? I have also always been attracted to the creations of Charles James. I love his unconventional way of dressing for his day and his careful attention to detail.

After winning the Japanese SO-EN award in 2008, you worked for Yohji Yamamoto in Paris, what was that experience like?

Working for Yohji developed a sense of respect for his artistry, attention to every detail and garment construction. I will continue to work this way and share your techniques with my teams and future generations of designers.

After that, you move to New York to work with Alexander Wang and then Raf Simons at Calvin Klein. What did you learn from them?

At Alexander Wang’s studio, I applied my skills as a model maker and male designer to design tailored pieces and evening wear for women. Later, at Calvin Klein with Raf Simons, I went back to making menswear, especially jackets and coats. The Calvin Klein brand has established itself as the reference when it comes to minimalist creations and working with Raf Simons has helped me push the limits of this traditional technique that is tailoring.

Quinn wears Japanese crepe from the Ashlyn Fall-Winter 2021-2022 collection.
Quinn wears Japanese crepe from the Ashlyn Fall-Winter 2021-2022 collection.

Quinn wears Japanese crepe from the Ashlyn Fall-Winter 2021-2022 collection.

Eventually, you launched your own label. How did you know it was the right time to do it?

It took me a period of three years to develop the perfect cuts of the pieces that are now the heart of my brand, introduced in early 2021, because I was freelancing for another house and making them at night, at home. I started designing my first collection during the pandemic, a period of great reflection and rebirth, during which I challenged myself to reassess my role as a designer and above all to think about how to change the fashion system to reduce its negative impact. in the environment. . Since then, I have committed myself and my company to undertake this change by eliminating waste during the cutting stage, in particular by adjusting my production system: items are ordered in advance, never mass produced.

You were born in Seoul, where you studied fashion, before going to study in Tokyo, then Paris and New York. How do all of these cultures shape your vision and influence you today for your brand?

I am grateful to have experienced such a rich culture that has not only shaped my unique vision, but also who I am as a designer and has instilled in me values ​​that I hope to pass on to future generations of designers. I will also say that throughout these years I have always remained faithful to the precepts of Japanese conceptual design, which consists of working a project until it reaches perfection.

Left: Payton dress in Japanese crepe from the Fall/Winter 2022-2023 collection.  Right: jacket, skirt and petticoat from the fall-winter 2022-2023 collection.
Left: Payton dress in Japanese crepe from the Fall/Winter 2022-2023 collection.  Right: jacket, skirt and petticoat from the fall-winter 2022-2023 collection.

Left: Payton dress in Japanese crepe from the Fall/Winter 2022-2023 collection. Right: jacket, skirt and petticoat from the fall-winter 2022-2023 collection.

Can you name three iconic Ashlynn designs and explain why they are representative of your brand?

I want women to feel good in my clothes, and I am committed to making only high-quality clothing that is well made and can be worn for many years to reduce unnecessary consumption and waste. Among my collections, I will say that the Dillan shirt dress, a zero waste model constructed from a single piece of draped fabric, illustrates Ashlyn’s commitment to the environment. The Metropolitan Museum of Art recognized the importance of this piece and purchased the original version (Fall-Winter 2021-2022) to become part of its permanent collection. With the Quinn and Payton dresses, I explored a new form of modernity. I added a hand drawn cropped line to the back of Quinn’s dress and moved it to the front bodice of Payton’s dress. It eventually became one of Ashlyn’s signature looks.

Find Ashlyn’s collections at www.ashlynnewyork.com.

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