KICKING FASHION PEOPLE, IN THIER SHINS.
In-between a place of art and youthful moodiness, lies a somewhat and sometimes very polished unisex brand, that focuses on the nifty details of their identity. Slowly rising since her debut in 2013, fashion designer KyuYong Shin of BLINDNESS from Seoul, South Korea has — well, for a lack of better phrasing — been kicking the fashion community in their shins, on a season basis. Her clothes are playful, but and the models jawlines and hairlines are just as on point as those ankle cropped pointed soles; off-beat, with room to play.
Take the most recent spring look: the easy rip apart thigh-high boot covers and full leg trousers. Pop one of those suckers off and you might just go blind (hence the name: BLINDNESS). But then again, maybe that is the intention of the designers stylistic rebellious spirit. The pairings are rather un-remorseful, matching Shin’s attitude and approach to her silhouettes off the Seoul catwalk over the last three years.
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF BLINDNESS
There was something that made the whole collection correlate with one another: A man could wear a brim hat decked out with heavily pierced grommets or a women could cinch in her waist with the oversized belt and use it functionally at the same time to adjust her neckline.
And that universal dynamic — where any gender can wear any style — is something to really appreciate here. Shin’s a designer who values what gender symbolizes and BLINDNESS is a company that knows how to design for ‘gender’, but gender as a term viewed as a non-binary thing.
Now, if BLINDNESS is a brand that focuses on timeless designs that go beyond a season, just as genderless silhouettes do, does that not make ‘genderless fashion’ a trend by default? This widely relevant at the moment, genderless trend (while not a new one by any means), has consistently been impacting the runway for the last few years; who’s to say “genderless” won’t continue to grow and stabilize into its a larger consumer market?
Surely, BLINDNESS isn’t the blind one here. There is one player in the industry that has primarily stayed away from the uni-sex silhouettes trend (at least at large): key fast fashion retailers.
Just imagine for a moment if one large commercial fashion brand went out on a limb to create a unisex line; H&M for example, who is a fast fashion retailer known to consumers for their capsule collaborations with large design houses. I would be willing to bet that if H&M created an entire unisex department it would catch more than news headlines.
The flip-sid to ite: offering genderless fashions at a huge value price - I think - is something for other brands to consider as a big hurdle.
The large company complex, H&M in this example, is merely for context. Essentially, what I’m try to say is: it could be extremely detrimental to independent private labels, especially ones with lesser name sake, like BLINDNESS, if commercial brands widely started distributing to the genderless sector of the fashion market. Fast fashion houses - known for many things - one of the negatives being: for ripping off new designer’s creations and making similar ones at a cheap price for the consumer. Just picture if they stole a complete market away from up-incoming niche designers, as well.
That story is a tragedy in the making. So, yeah. If you ask me, I think that would be a perfectly justifiable reason to kick the fashion industry in the shins, too.
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE. His primary goal as a Fashion Creative, is to document fashion history in the streetwear and art sector.
From the lens of an abstract visual content producer, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University; where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column for The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University – And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early – Bringing him to four design oriented degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art of the few, to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for just over a decade, from commercial retail visual management to corporate level ghost writing and consulting. Now, in this exact moment, T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent urban California lifestyle based fashion movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.