In amongst the Serbian designers showcasing at Belgrade Fashion Week, Korean designer Ike Seungik Lee made his presence known. Also loved by celebrities and high profile customers, Ike’s designs have been worn by various Korean celebrities and singers. With K-Pop band BLACKPINK, actress Hana Park and model Park Han-byul fans of Ike’s brand Starsica, it is no surprise his highly anticipated show was well received.
After studying BFA Sculpture at Seoul National University, followed by MA Fashion at Kingston University he launched his eponymous label ‘Starsica’ in 2016. A patron of the catwalk, Starsica has showcased both in London and Belgrade. With the support of Fashion Scout, he debuted his inaugural collection ‘VISITOR’ at London Fashion Week in 2017 before being invited to Belgrade Fashion Week sponsored by the South Korean Embassy as the first Korean designer. With the South Korean Embassy present showing their support, his collection proved on of the highlights of BFW. Drawing inspiration from the concept of ‘everyday wear of luxury with an anxiety of modern society’. His collection displayed playful qualities with exaggerated layers and textures highlighting the emotion of anxiousness. Starsica’s SS19 collection, “DOCTORED EVIDENCE: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF” was targeted to female professionals, with a blend of commercial yet high fashion.
Following his success on the catwalk and celebrity clientele, Ike’s aim and future development of his brand Starsica, is to launch sales points in both Europe and Korea, developing his brand to a wider target audience. His label continues to pursue the concept of modern elegance through a playful and experimental approach.
The support and acknowledgement Belgrade Fashion Week provides to designers is undeniably present. The annual fashion week supports and invests in local independent designers, inviting foreign designers to showcase alongside Serbian natives to develop and promote cultural diversity whilst promulgating their own cultural heritage. BFW showcased an array of native designers and overseas designers, well-loved by international celebrities.
It is extremely encouraging to witness pop culture icons and global celebrities sourcing young and emerging designers' pieces to wear for press events and appearances. Upon receiving their samples, many then purchase bespoke looks from the designers and become a treasured customer promoting their designs to the masses.
The emerging designers high profile clientele, not only expose their designs to their extensive social media followings, but also show a sign of support and appreciation for their skill and craftsmanship. With more and more celebrities following in the footsteps of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, the possibility of global recognition seems far more plausible for many young designers.
Catwalk images courtesy of Belgrade Fashion Week
Written by Gaby Smith