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Jisoo from Blackpink in a look by Miss Sohee. We talk to the London-based Korean designer about her couture creations and more. Photo: @miss_sohee/Instagram

‘I feel lucky’: Miss Sohee, worn by Blackpink, Miley Cyrus and Gigi Hadid, on why London is home, her unique Christmas tree and not identifying as a K-designer

  • Miss Sohee, or Sohee Park, is taking the world of fashion by storm – stars such as Miley Cyrus, Cardi B, Blackpink and Gigi Hadid have all worn her creations
  • The London-based Korean designer is behind this year’s Christmas tree at London’s V&A museum and her work is featured in an exhibition in Hong Kong

Standing in the middle of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is an unusually beautiful Christmas tree.

Well, less of a tree and more of an ethereal cloaked figure 3 metres (10 feet) high that emits a brilliant white light.

It is the brainchild of Miss Sohee, or Sohee Park, who follows in the footsteps of designers like Alexander McQueen in creating the festive centrepiece for one of Britain’s most prestigious institutions.

This is merely the cherry on top of an extraordinary year for Miss Sohee. The now 26-year-old designer arrived in London from Seoul, South Korea, as a student to attend fashion school Central Saint Martins – her aspirations then included “getting a visa and finding a job in fashion”.

Miss Sohee’s Christmas installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Photo: @miss_sohee/Instagram
A creation by Miss Sohee at a K11 Musea exhibition in Hong Kong.

Now, thanks to her colourful, beautifully cut, embellished couture designs, she has become one of the city’s most feted young designers.

To date she has worked with Dolce & Gabbana, launched a ready-to-wear collection and is taking part in an exhibition for K11 Musea in Hong Kong, and all within two years of graduating.
Miss Sohee moved from Seoul to London as a student to attend Central Saint Martins.

“I was thrilled when K11 invited me to take part,” Park says of the exhibition that opens in Hong Kong this week. “I’m one of six designers showcasing work.

“Four of the looks come from my Alta Moda collection [for Dolce & Gabbana] and one is a newly revealed look inspired by a dress in the Victoria and Albert museum. I’ve loved working closely with [curator] William Chang – he’s very talented and his vision is amazing.”

To understand how Miss Sohee became one of the most successful young designers of a generation, we need to rewind to the pandemic.

A creation by Miss Sohee at the K11 exhibition.
A Miss Sohee autumn/winter 2022 look.
Unable to hold a graduate show because of lockdown restrictions, Miss Sohee had her final-year collection photographed and uploaded to Instagram. The feedback was instantaneous – she had thousands of likes within minutes and, a month later, one of her dresses was on the cover of Love magazine.
Weeks after that, singer Miley Cyrus asked to borrow a design, swiftly followed by rapper Cardi B. More recently, K-pop band Blackpink, model Gigi Hadid, singer Rita Ora and actress Gemma Chan have all worn her show-stopping creations.

“I never thought success would come so quickly,” she says. “When I was studying I had normal ambitions. I wasn’t dreaming of huge amounts of attention. But with social media, the world has become a lot smaller.

“People are curious as to what’s happening on the [other] side of the planet. I feel lucky to be born in such a generation.”

The members of Blackpink in custom Miss Sohee. Photo: @miss_sohee/Instagram

Soon, Dolce & Gabbana came knocking. The Italian duo had previously supported young designers like Harris Reed and they were looking for a new emerging talent. For Miss Sohee – who later showed four pieces at their Alta Moda show in Venice in Italy in 2021 – their support was life-changing.

Now Miss Sohee is in the lucky position of having to choose between a future for her eponymous brand in ready-to-wear or couture.

Of course, she can do both (her collections are available online on Net-a-Porter and will soon be sold on Moda Operandi and Mytheresa) but she is aware that she needs to have a focus. For now, that is on her slot at next year’s couture week in Paris.
A Miss Sohee autumn/winter 2022 look.
Cardi B in a look by Miss Sohee. Photo: @miss_sohee/Instagram

“We have couture clients from all over the world,” she says. “Mostly the Middle East and we’re doing our first bridal in January. My main attention is on planning the show in Paris because for me, couture is what I love. There is so much potential – and we’re just starting to discover it.”

While her work will be shown in Paris, Miss Sohee is very much rooted to London – her studio is in Finsbury Park, a multicultural inner-city neighbourhood, and she lives nearby.

“I would love to stay in London. It’s like home. It’s the best place for a young designer to be discovered and thrive because people here are more open-minded than they are anywhere else.”

A Miss Sohee autumn/winter 2022 look.

Having said that, she will always consider herself South Korean. We talk about the huge wave of popularity for all things Korean – beginning in Asia and now engulfing the West – and she notes that while K-pop is wildly popular, K-fashion is still growing.

“I’m not a K-designer, though,” she clarifies. “I wasn’t educated fully there. I came here to Britain to Central Saint Martins.

“My work does look back into my heritage and being born and raised there undoubtedly shaped me, but I learned how to sew a proper garment here in London.”

A Miss Sohee autumn/winter 2022 look.
Miss Sohee has become one of London’s most feted young designers.

Her clothes are all made in her north London atelier by her team of 10, although some of the fabrics are imported from Italy and France.

She uses the handcrafting techniques designers have used for centuries, but credits some of her success to the current push in fashion to innovate and look to the new – and to give young designers like her a chance.

“People are now more interested in what’s going on around the world. I notice that they’re so much more open to things that aren’t in English. There’s so much information on the internet that everything can feel boring, so people crave the new.”