Designers and models are in the same boat.
Models are required to present their designers' collections well enough to appeal to buyers and the media.
Yet, models are not supposed to steal the show, because if they do, the focus will be on them, not the clothes they are presenting.
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A post shared by Joshua Moon (@thejoshmoon) on Oct 19, 2017 at 10:57pm PDT
As always in every business partnership, however, risks lurk.
A conflict of interest between the two can happen.
Models have to brand themselves to succeed in their modelling careers, so some may be tempted to be faithful to their personal gain more than presenting their designers' collections.
Once this happens, Korean-American designer Grace Moon said designers suffered enormously, noting each model's catwalk was a project that cost about US$8,000.
“I mean the total value of the dress worn by each model is about US$8,000,” she said during a recent Korea Times interview in Seoul, which was also attended by her actor-model son, Joshua.
“All the money you put into the show for each piece of clothing is around that amount … [This is why] designers want to have good models who can best present their fashion to the audience.”
Moon, a Hollywood-based fashion designer, was in Seoul for the 2018 Asia Beauty Festival and Asia Model Awards held last Friday and Saturday, respectively.
She was invited to the opening show of the annual model awards to select top Asian models among the representatives from 27 countries in the region.
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A post shared by Joshua Moon (@thejoshmoon) on Mar 14, 2018 at 5:30pm PDT
Josua said catwalks were a “10-second game” and each model's first 10 seconds on the runway could make or break the show.
“On the runway, you have 20 seconds,” he said.
At the end of the catwalk you have maybe one or two seconds and you’ve got to go back. Once you turn around, the focus is on the next person, so technically only 10 seconds.
“Within the 10 or 11 seconds, you have to express the clothes. You have to make sure the clothes stand out. But as a model you also have to make sure you brand yourself.”
A post shared by Grace Moon ( Fashion Designer) (@gracemoon65) on Jan 6, 2018 at 5:45pm PST
He said models had to remember that they were walking on the catwalk to present the designers’ clothes, not to present themselves, and that being a model was a huge responsibility.
“The whole purpose of the fashion show is to brand and to market,” he said.
“If your model doesn't present the clothes in the right way, those clothes are done.
“You can't use the photos and videos and you can't market those clothes. If you think about it, it's a very huge responsibility.”
Joshua said his acting experiences helped him a lot on the runway.
He said he acted on the stage.
“That's what I was doing,” he said. “I take it as an acting job. The difference between acting and modelling is as a model I think clothes are the most important. It's the designer's show, not my show.”
For Grace, Joshua is much more than her first son. He is her business partner responsible for planning and organising all the events for her shows.
He has been modelling for his mother's shows and walked on the runways during the 2017 New York Fashion Week and 2017 London Fashion Week.
He is expected to walk the runway at Paris Fashion Week in September. New York, London and Paris are part of the Big 4 fashion weeks: the other is Milan.
At her shows on Friday and Saturday, during the 2018 Asia Beauty Festival and Asia Model Awards, Grace showcased her collections, which were based on her reinterpretation of the traditional Korean dress, or hanbok.
She said she chose to feature traditional Korean clothes to highlight the excellence of Korean textiles.
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A post shared by Grace Moon ( Fashion Designer) (@gracemoon65) on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:27pm PST
The mother-son partnership was forged three years ago when Grace launched her own brand JM Inspired Design in Hollywood, decades after first working in California's fashion industry in various capacities.
She initially worked with celebrities there as a stylist after she went to California in 1983, following the completion of her studies at fashion school in London.
Then she worked as a shop master for several years before working with big companies, including Guess and Zara.
Joshua joined her company after graduating with a business degree from the University of Southern California.
“So far, so good,” Grace said when asked to comment on her partnership with her son.
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A post shared by Grace Moon ( Fashion Designer) (@gracemoon65) on Mar 7, 2018 at 2:12pm PST
“I have not found anything negative about teaming up with my son because he is very helpful.
“In fact, he works much harder than I because he is responsible for so many things behind the scenes.”
She said her son was much more than a model.
“He helps me out a lot to move my project forward,” she said. “We designers are stressed out when our shows are nearing because we have so many things to take care of. Whenever I struggle under pressure, Joshua helps me out.”
In the fashion industry, Yang Eui-sig, president of Korea Model Association, which hosted the Asia Model Awards and other events on the sidelines, said designers could benefit if they teamed up with their children.
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A post shared by Joshua Moon (@thejoshmoon) on Dec 31, 2017 at 5:52pm PST
“As a model, I think Joshua is flawless,” Yang said.
“Unlike Korean models who are thinner and taller than him, Joshua is manly.
“I think Joshua fits well [with] his mother's shows.
“And I think Grace Moon would benefit a lot from her partnership with her talented son because he would understand his mother's fashion better than anyone else, so he can present her collections on the runway better than other models.”
Since he debuted as a model in 2015 for designer Antonella Commatteo's show in Beverly Hills, Joshua has walked on the runway in plenty of fashion shows and private shows in Hollywood and other parts of the United States.
His walk for designer Honee's show in 2017 New York Fashion Week featured in Elle magazine's Europe edition.
He said he had never dreamed of being a model.
Since junior school, Joshua had been an aspiring singer and actor and had prepared to record an album. But it didn't happen.
The opportunity for modelling came to him first. “I still don't know anything about modelling,” he said.
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A post shared by Joshua Moon (@thejoshmoon) on Feb 27, 2018 at 1:16pm PST
The Moons aim to achieve something more than success in their fashion brand. Joshua said he and his mother shared a goal to launch Grace Moon as a “platform” through which Korean beauty and fashion products could benefit.
He said Korean products were good in general, but it was difficult to brand and market them in the United States.
Once a highly effective platform was in place, he said quality Korean products would be able to appeal to US consumers.