Minju Kim is the new it-designer the industry is talking about ever since she won Netflix’s fashion design competition Next in Fashion. Prior to her appearance on the streaming platform’s reality program, Kim was designing stage costumes for some of K-Pop’s biggest stars. This included mega boy group BTS and girl group Red Velvet. The 34-year old creative also studied fashion design at the Samsung Art & Design Institute, then earned her master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. At the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck became her teacher and mentor who encouraged her to start her own line. Kim actually won her first design award in 2013 from fast-fashion retailer H&M. The designs she produced for the company were carried at H&M shops which sold out within a week.
2020 was the breakout year for Minju Kim as the world became familiar with her billowing designs from her Netflix appearance. She crafts elegant, fashion-forward pieces inspired by her personal passions and dreams. “I am inspired by everything around me ranging from books and letters, to friends and my dreams,” Kim told HYPEBAE in an interview. “I could describe my collection as my personal diary. I always start the brainstorming stage of my collection by drawing illustrations that explain my season concept. Then, we produce our own fabric using different techniques — this became MINJUKIM’s signature style which allows us to differentiate from other designer labels.”
In February, Minju Kim debuted a 10-piece collection with fashion retailer NET-A-PORTER. The Frida Kahlo-inspired range consisted of short A-line dresses, ruffled sleeveless tops, wide-leg trousers and more. Some of the items featured artful prints and floral chiffon panels. Minju Kim’s debut was part of NET-A-PORTER’s Vanguard program which is a platform for new designers to grow the future of fashion.