For fashion editors like us, it can be an exhilarating experience to discover a new designer whose work we love. Though our day-to-day is typically saturated with plenty of options to obsess over, there’s something special about identifying a specific item or aesthetic that resonates with your personal style. For this author in particular, it’s Rejina Pyo. I began spotting her designs on the street style circuit via insiders like Kate Foley and Pandora Sykes and, after seeing her collection launch on Net-a-Porter, decided it was time to cut straight to the source so I could share her amazing brand with you, dear readers. I recently caught up with Pyo over email to discuss the brand that—if the images below are any indication—is set to be a major success.
Check out how your favourite fashion girls wear Rejina Pyo designs and learn a little bit about the Londoner in the process. Oh, and shop your favourites too, of course.
Pyo is a Korean-born and London-based designer who got her MA in fashion at Central Saint Martins in 2011. This may sound like the typical background for a now burgeoning London designer, but it wasn’t a path that was expected of her. “When I was a kid, my mum used to make lots of my clothes with curtains at home, and I used to drape the fabrics around me as if it was an haute couture dress. She studied fashion when she was young, and she used to hide her sketch books as she didn’t want me to do fashion, but I always found it somehow and practised.”
For her MA collection, she snagged the attention of the fashion community with her unexpected use of wooden sculptures integrated into fluid dresses. So much so, in fact, that H&M-owned Weekday tapped her to come design similar pieces, which were sold across Europe in over 30 stores.
Pyo has also taken part in exhibitions, worked with luxury designers, and even won the Han Nefkens Fashion Award, whereby she was commissioned to create an installation for Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
Her work has been featured in Vogue, Elle, Style.com, AnOther, and several other publications we here at Who What Wear love. She’s currently working on her eponymous label, which she describes as “effortlessly elegant with a playful twist. Graphic. Timeless.”
Like for many artists, Pyo’s creative process is all about instinct. “Every season I have a vague notion of what I want, and during the research time, it becomes more tangible things, the colours, mood, details, silhouettes that I am attracted to, and then I sketch or drape. We make prototypes based on that—fittings after fittings to perfect the product in terms of the proportion as well as comfort.”
“When I am designing, I try to be very honest with myself,” says Pyo. “I would like to put something out there that I also love to wear and enjoy and be part of my wardrobe and my life. And I’ve realised that the more you are connected to what you want the better collection it can be, and people recognise that.”
Pyo’s work is inspired by a myriad of expectedly interesting and cool bodies of work. “I admire fine artists; the purity of work really inspires me. Brancusi atelier in Paris is just so beautiful. I love sculptures of Isamu Noguchi and the spontaneous energy of Isa Genzken, Jessica Stockholder. Olafur Eliasson’s installation is amazing.”
In addition to clothing, Pyo teamed up with Korea-based brand Yuul Yie for a shoe collaboration. The signature look for the footwear is placing hardware in unexpected places, which Pyo mentioned was “receiving a huge reaction.”
It’s safe to say you can expect to continue seeing amazing things from Pyo. Not only are her collections beautiful, but they’re also commercially successful and worn by some of the most important women in the industry. When asked what the most exciting point in her career thus far has been, she said it’s all about people loving her clothes. “I am thrilled when people say This is my favourite coat, dress, top—I wear it all the time! and they treasure the pieces regardless of the season or trend.”
So what winter trend does a fashion designer like Pyo wear during the colder months of the year (aka now)? “Definitely an oversize coat.”