‘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.
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”.
Now, thanks to her colourful, beautifully cut, embellished couture designs, she has become one of the city’s most feted young designers.
“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.
To understand how Miss Sohee became one of the most successful young designers of a generation, we need to rewind to the pandemic.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
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.”
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.”