Denmark and Korea collaborate to create future fashion

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-01-25 16:00:00 – Seoul

The Korean university students in collaboration with the Kopenhagen Fur company and the Danish Embassy designed unique mink and fox fur coats. Students got their ideas from various sources, including city skyscrapers, cactuses, fish scales, Buddhist lotuses and medieval emblems The towering models wearing the uniquely designed fur coats walked down the runway at the Future Fur fashion show held at Seoul National University’s Museum of Art on Tuesday.

Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Sofie Carsten Nielsen, who visited Korea last week to invigorate educational cooperation, said that the venue was an example of Korea’s push for a “creative economy.”

In Denmark, fashion creates jobs and growth, making up the country’s fourth-largest export. It is also a creative process of trying to find the perfect fit for the body and identity.

As a de facto developed country, Denmark has the capacity to invest heavily and wisely in long-term partnerships. Through bilateral cooperation, secured through a memorandum of understanding last March, students received high-quality materials, a sewing machine and expertise in working with furs, while Kopenhagen Fur has gained innovative designs.

Aside from collaborating year-round, a weeklong Korea-Denmark exchange took place last year featuring workshops and training. The exchange helped expand mutual cultural understanding, according to the professor.

Professor Ha Ji-soo, who teaches textile merchandising and fashion design at the university and directed the event, said that they are grateful to Kopenhagen Fur and the Danish Embassy for their support. The scope of assistance was truly beyond their imagination.

Ha said that their main philosophy has been to break the stereotypes that fur coats are unethical, expensive and wasteful. They have worn furs for millions of years and they can also wear them as casual, affordable and friendly clothes.

Kim Go-woon, a doctoral student who participated found it was a wonderful experience to work with rare new materials. They have been able to broaden their design spectrum through new crafts and concepts.

Kopenhagen Fur’s vice-president of marketing Ditte Hejberg Sorkaes said that their collaboration has truly been a win-win situation for both sides. They really need the innovation, creativity and courage of young talented designers.

Kopenhagen Fur has partnerships with 12 universities around the world, and is working to add three more universities by the end of the year. Three selected winners from Seoul National University will travel to Denmark in late January this year to participate in the Copenhagen Fashion Week, the largest fashion event in the Nordic region.

Many students who participated in the program had been hired by leading European fashion firms after graduation, including Diesel, Dior and Louis Vuitton. After spending several years in the professional field, they will return to Asia with their hands-on expertise and know-how, bridging both markets.

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