With their focus on easy silhouettes and early 90s to 2000s leaning, this new fashion label, TheOpen Product is the talk of the town. From collaborating with Adidas and New Era to a-list celebrities wearing their garments, this label is one to keep an eye on. Created by South Korean sisters Boyoung and Jiyoung Kim back in 2018, you can catch their latest collections via their website.
Welcome to METAL, could you introduce us to your brand?
TheOpen Product is a Korean contemporary brand helmed by sister duo Boyoung and Jiyoung Kim. The collection is filled with easy but unique items and the brand reflects the constant changes of modern times. With TheOpen Product, we evolve the brand’s online presence by connecting with customers on social media and building strong customer relationships. On the brand’s website, we have stated that TheOpen Product reflects the constant changes of modern times. Korea could be a tough market to do so, however we find our uncomplicated interpretation easily attracts customers who seek self-expression.
Since both of you are sisters, was fashion something you’ve always thought to pursue growing up? Where did the idea to start the label come from?
We were observers of the fashion industry from a distance. Neither of us went to a fashion school to study fashion and both had careers far from the fashion industry. Meanwhile, we had noticed some aspects of Korean fashion that didn't fulfill our needs. In other words, TheOpen Product is the brand that fulfills and satisfies us.
As anyone who has siblings may know, sometimes it can be hard to agree on your influences or even decision making. So, I have to ask, what are each other's inspirations and where do they meet?
We share similar tastes in fashion but tend to have different tendencies in other aspects. That is where we conflict. However, being sisters means we could discuss without any hesitations. All we do to plan and direct the major parts of the business together is talk.
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Your label went on a hiatus in 2018 to restart in 2020, which we all know was a fairly complicated year. What was it like to release this project during the pandemic?
Our very first campaign in Hong Kong began with the pandemic [in 2020]. The pandemic situation, of course, worried us, but we could launch the brand because it was just a beginning stage. Looking back, it was a relief that the brand had not already grown. Also, we believe the Korean fashion industry was well-prepared - both sellers and consumers were accustomed to online shopping in Korea.
Moreover, it also became an Instagram sensation after Kendall Jenner wore your pieces last year, and BlackPink’s Lisa wearing your garments for her recent music video. How do you feel seeing your brand in the spotlight?
We are very glad and grateful for those strong women, who are everyone’s muses and fashion icons, chose our brand. It is very exciting to build the brand’s image with those women representing the times.
Focused on womenswear and functionality, it seems to me that rather than going for luxury, you aspire to become a wardrobe staple for those who look for comfort, right? What are your thoughts on this?
As I mentioned, it is correct that we create easy yet different pieces. We often get inspired by friends and people on the street. For instance, women also like to wear comfortable pants like men’s streetwear, but Korean brands tend to unify female images of women’s fashion in stereotypical ways. Womenswear also can be beautiful and chic yet easy and comfortable.
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Speaking of aesthetics, I’ve noticed how there are three recurrent elements: fringe, earth tones, and 2000s-style silhouettes. How did they become the label’s key elements?
We have always been inspired by ‘90s fashion. In the 1990s, with the rapid development of media and technology, we believe all cultural elements coexisted. 2000s-style silhouettes also come from the 90s. Looking forward to the 2000s, it was almost like a fantasy world. TheOpen Product’s key colour is green. However, as you have noticed, we repeatedly use earth tones to emphasize the main colour of the season.
You’ve also collaborated with Adidas and New Era; how did you translate TheOpen Product’s essence to those collections?
When we collaborated with Adidas, we focused on sharing one mood - having two brands in one frame to coexist instead of one brand overtaking another. Through the New Era collaboration, we followed the vision of the two directors who love summer in easy and different ways.
On an ending note, what’s the brand’s next step?
We must say that the next step has to be an offline store. We would like to put all the essences of the brand into a space to deliver the brand’s story better. Our next step will be very attentive.
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