Bajowoo, the mind behind the South Korean punk brand 99%IS—, announced 24 hours before his show at Seoul Fashion Week that it would take place in the staff parking lot of a hotel. He's rogue, he rants, and his clothes don't play by the rules.
“Is G-Dragon here yet?”
The South Korean rapper with nearly 11 million followers was the subject of contagious whispers on Tuesday evening at Seoul Fashion Week's first major off-the-calendar show of the season. A crowd of editors, celebrities, and even Demna Gvasalia's brother, Guram was lured in the middle of the night with only 24-hours notice to the staff parking lot at the Grand Hyatt Hotel not only due to the promise of a K-Pop star sighting, but also to see South Korea's first "official punk brand," 99%IS—, (pronounced 99 percent is), which was founded in 2008 by Seoul native Park Jung Woo, who goes by Ba Jo Woo and looks a lot like The Joker from Batman.
“I want what I do to be like a virus," said Ba Jo Woo the day after the show. "It can spread to every age, every period in history, and every culture. No matter who you are, if you catch it, you share the same experience." The 32-year-old said this through his now-signature surgical mask, which he cuts a smile into each day before smearing black eyeshadow around his eyes. He also has bright yellow hair with an anarchy symbol dyed on the back of his head, balanced by purple spikes in the front. On set, he wore a "Fuck Forever" pin from the Spring 2017 collection and drank through a straw, so that he never had to show his face.
Between his penchant for grandiose rants such as this one, rogue fashion shows, and clothes that refuse to play by the rules, it seems fair to deem Ba Jo Woo the Kanye West of South Korean fashion.
"I really like Kanye West," said Ba Jo Woo when asked about American popular culture. "He has a lot of things to say, but gets cursed out. But that’s what I like about him. He’s not trying to act cool; he’s just doing what he wants to do.”
In addition to G-Dragon, other celebrity fans of 99%IS— include Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. However, West himself has yet to catch on. Ba Jo Woo has always had a strong connection to music though, and after graduating from fashion school in Korea, he traveled the world designing costumes for small rock bands. Through his work, he developed an eclectic taste for the underground punk style style in particular while visiting cities such as London, Paris, Tokyo, and Bangkok, and eventually settled in Tokyo to attend the Dressmaker fashion school. It was here that he first showed officially at Tokyo Fashion Week in 2012. His return to Seoul this season was because his Spring 2017 collection was inspired by Korean culture.
"Goth and Punk Fits Are Dominating This Season's Seoul Fashion Week"
Vetements, Supreme, Raf Simons and more.
The Land of the Morning Calm is currently knee-deep in Seoul Fashion Week with just two days left before the whole modish shebang comes to an end. For the first installment of our Streetsnaps series at SFW, a horde of black-clad locals sporting sterling silver from head-to-toe can be observed lining the boulevard. Needless to say, there is strong punk and gothic ambience with en vogue folks rocking Vetements, Supreme, Raf Simons and more. Let’s not also forget fledgling Seoul-bred brands such as ESC STUDIO getting a humble nod in the mix of photos above.
Peruse through the gallery and let us know which threads you’re into. Seoul Fashion Week will conclude this October 22.
Additional Galleries and Videos from HERA Seoul Fashion Week S/S 17
Galleries (Mostly street style)
Vogue (street style), Vogue (runway), W magazine, highsnobiety part 1/part 2, Harpers Bazaar SG (plus a cute little kids edition!!)
Some Korean Fashion Photographers Currently Covering Seoul Fashion Week (instagram)
Behind the Scenes Videos, Highlights, and Fashion Show Streaming & Clips
V Fashion (V app), TRENDY (youtube runway show playlist)
Sources: W magazine, 99percentis, hypebeast, ARIRANG NEWS, me
So Omona, have you incorporated any Korean fashion trends into your own personal style? What trends are you loving?