London Based Designer Rok Hwang Gives Us An Intro To Rokh
Redefining streetstyle and workwear classics.
South Korean born Rok Hwang has an impressive resumé to date. Graduating from Central St. Martins and cutting his teeth with the legendary Phoebe Philo during her reign at Céline, before moving on to design for Chloé and Louis Vuitton. It was then Rok decided to go it alone and start his own brand, rokh, which has shown the past 3 seasons at Paris Fashion Week. Consisting of reworked and deconstructed ready to wear pieces, the brand is one to watch with rokh already scooping up the 2018 LVMH special prize. We caught up with Rok to learn more about the brand and about his latest collaboration with Asics for PFW 2020.
Hi Rok, thanks for chatting to us. You’re a fresh, new designer on the scene, can you tell our readers a bit about rokh and what the brand represents?
The brand is raw, sensual and young with a new form of elegance. I find it interesting to mix femininity, masculinity and youth into a fresh, yet modern, form of collection. It is not for everyone but for those who understand what we do, a narrative may be not needed.
What are your main influences and inspirations when designing a collection?
My initial idea is always going back to women. Understanding the attitude and how the garment should be worn. It is continuous research of garment and form.
We know you worked at Céline when Phoebe Philo was at the helm. So much of what she did then still really inspires how we dress today. How much has your past work experience inspired your work today?
Fitting is one of the most important parts when creating a new collection. Most of the ideas will come from the fittings, which I like to see when the garments are incomplete. To witness the whole process and be able to understand the entire structure is important. I like to notice something unusual and special during the process, to finish imperfect garments in the most perfect way is the essence of rokh.
Your design aesthetic is a mixture of deconstructed workwear with a sportswear element. How relevant do you think sportswear and streetstyle will be going into the new decade?
I personally don’t define style. I like to be free and open minded for any type or any form of fashion to be retranslated to rokh language. For me, the relevancy of street is reflective of what people want, so street style will evolve in different forms.
With such a focus on sustainability in fashion now, how will you make sure the rokh brand does its bit for the planet?
In the collection, we try as much as possible to use sustainable materials and bio-degradable materials to be eco-conscious. All brands should be challenging their production system and be environmentally responsible.
Agreed! Now, you live and work in London, what made you decide to show at Paris Fashion Week over London?
Paris has always been my dream. I started and built my career in Paris, so it was just natural for me. However, London is my home and I love this city with all my heart. I really feel I belong here in London and I wish to also show one day in London.
You teamed up with Asics for their Paris Fashion Week warm up event. The insider’s event combined fashion, music and art and celebrated the Asics brand and its innovation and heritage. Tell us a bit about your 6-piece sneaker collaboration with Asics for the event?
It was a very natural collaboration between Asics and rokh. I always admired Asics technology and innovation and rokh always highlights the craftmanship and artisan approach by hand, so it was a very organic conversation about combining our universes and skills.
Lastly, are there any other brands you would like to collaborate with in the future?
At rokh, we are open to any creative challenge and innovation. We would love to do something out of the box.
Thanks so much for talking to us Rok, we can’t wait to see what the brand does next!
Rokh is available from a number of online retailers, find it at Net-a-porter, Farfetch and Mytheresa. Rokh x Asics launches Friday 14th February exclusively at Dover Street Market London as part of their LFW line up.