Yeojin Bae

The incredibly beautiful and talented Yeojin Bae

RAFW 2011

As the Arts & Fashion Editor at X-Press Magazine I get to interview some pretty rad peeps, including a number of Australian designers whose work I greatly admire. One such designer is Yeojin Bae, who took some time out of her busy schedule last week to chat to me about her upcoming stand alone show as part of the Perth Fashion Festival.

It’s always a bit nerve wracking interviewing people you look up to, so I was  relieved when Yeojin’s friendly voice came down the line; I needn’t have worried, she was cheery, articulate and had some great stories to tell… which you can read all about in this Wednesday’s edition of X-Press. Yeojin’s PFF show is set to go down at Fashion Paramount (aka the Museum) on Thursday, September 22, and tickets are on sale now from Get on it!

Until then, here’s a small excerpt from my story on Yeojin…

In addition to the many wonderful West Australian designers showcasing their wares at this September’s Perth Fashion Festival, esteemed Melbourne based designer Yeojin Bae will head west to stage a stand alone event showcasing her Summer 2011/12 collection, Premiere.

“What’s really great about the Perth show is the opportunity to have a stand alone show to showcase the full collection. I’m really quite thrilled about being able to present the whole collection in one runway,” Bae gushes ahead of her arrival in Perth.

“When you do the group shows it’s about editing the collection and letting the team pick the creative direction because obviously it’s very hard to please 10 different designers. It would be a nightmare! Perth is really lovely because I get to work on the whole concept and creative direction for the show.”

Since starting life in the fashion industry at the tender age of 15, when she enrolled at the prestigious Whitehouse School Of Design, Bae and her self titled label have gone from strength to strength, something the designer attributes to her “Korean work ethic” and a supportive family.

“I started really young,” Bae begins when asked about her design background. “When I was four I started arts school in Korea because I knew I absolutely wanted to be a designer. I had a grandfather who was a fashion designer in Korea and he passed away when I was quite young but I had my own understanding of what a fashion designer was from a young age. I loved going to arts school and I’d spend my days drawing and painting; I loved working with colour from a really young age.

“My family encouraged me. What I learnt from a young age was that fashion was a path I could take in my life and it would be something I could enjoy and have as a career, I was never told that it was a hobby and that I should find another career. My parents really supported and encouraged me. I’m so lucky. A lot of people have said to me that I was absolutely born to the right parents. I started fashion college full time when I was 15 and that was with my parents’ blessing. I was able to graduate quite early and start my career.”

After wrapping up her studies at Whitehouse, Bae began gaining industry experience with local labels before heading to New York in search of fashionable pastures.

“I got an internship with Marc Jacobs on my second day in New York. I had written them a letter when I was in Australia and the moment I landed in New York I got an apartment then called Marc Jacobs and I went in the next day for an interview and started an internship with them within one week of arriving. I interned with Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui and that was great, I got to see how large scale this industry is.”

RAFW 2011