Five things you may not know about Ximon Lee, Hong Kong-raised designer who’s wowing the fashion crowd
Ximon Lee’s autumn/winter 2017 collection was unveiled on the catwalk at London Fashion Week ... and the much travelled, widely hailed young designer nailed it. This is his story
1. Ximon Lee is a Berlin-based, New York-trained Korean designer born on the Russian border in northeastern China and raised (keep up) in Hong Kong and all over China – his Korean immigrant parents moved around a lot. So far, so complicated. His XimonLee (sic) collections, and there are only four to date, have been shown in New York, Paris and, the last two to critical acclaim under GQ China’s sponsorship, at London Fashion Week Men.
2. A year after graduating in 2014 in menswear from Parsons School of Design in New York, Lee landed the coveted H&M Design Award, the first menswear designer to do so. He won US$50,000 and the opportunity to develop pieces from his collection to be sold in selected H&M stores and online. The collection – remember, he was born on the Russian border – was inspired by a Russian documentary about homeless children in the depths of winter in the post-Soviet era. The film reminded him of his early childhood and the town where he was born.
3. A conceptualist, he refers to his collections as “studies”. “I like exploring something [one season], reflecting on what was not good enough and taking that as a lesson to bring into the next ‘study’ (season).” His first collection, the one that won him the H&M Design Award, was in layered denim, plastic and cardboard, used in exaggerated shapes. His latest has the title “Shame” and is about revealing and concealing parts of the body with pearls and deconstructed leather bras (for men).
4. Lee was one of four Chinese designers chosen by Joyce in Hong Kong in 2015 to create an exclusive capsule collection to be sold at avant-garde boutique Machine-A in London and filmed by the founder of SHOWstudio, Nick Knight.
5. In addition to being endorsed by H&M and Joyce, Tasha Liu of Dong Liang, who has an eye for talent, is a key supporter of Lee and a strong believer in what he is doing. Last year he featured on the highly respected Forbes 30 Under 30 list of bright stars from the world of art and style seen as future industry leaders. He was also shortlisted for the 2015 LVMH Prize in Paris. He’s clearly a man with a big future in fashion.