With one eye firmly on parodying popular culture, and the other on re-interpreting classic, casual outerwear, Korean label Conichiwa Bonjour champions small production techniques to produce their comfortable, graphic staple pieces.
Garbstore: How are you adapting to now working from home?
Conichiwa Bonjour: It’s a relatively easy job to work from home, but to improve concentration, I stick to the same timeline as I had in the office.
GS: What are your tips for keeping focus and staying sane?
CB: Keep to the same schedule as in the office, take lots of breaks, if you can go out for a walk or a drive.
GS: What is your go-to outfit to work in around the house?
CB: Loungewear indoors and washing my clothes more often than usual. If I do go out, I always wear a nylon jacket that doesn’t need dry cleaning.
GS: What music have you been listening to whilst working through the lockdown?
CB: To lighten up the mood we’re often listening to Korea's Old City Pop with a bright atmosphere and fast tempo.
GS: More time at home means more cooking - which recipes have you been trying out?
CB: There are many kinds of vegetables that only come out in spring in Korea so I’m trying out making more salads and soups.
GS: Have things changed your future plans and projects?
CB: There is not much change in our plan to be honest, however, I hope that the situation will improve quickly as the absence of overseas flights makes it difficult to participate in showrooms.
GS: How have things changed in your local area since the lockdown came into place?
CB: Here in Korea, the Covid-19 situation in Korea has improved a lot in a short amount of time and the lockdown has almost entirely disappeared.
GS: Please tell us a little about yourself and what the concept was when you started CONICHIWA bonjour?
CB: Our aim is to produce clothes and products that are not constrained to the initial category or concept. Developing designs based on East Asian culture without breaking out of the standard but also looking for unique details and fresh colours to find a new balance.
GS: What are the main influences for the design of your latest collection?
CB: With the boyish imagination of CONICHIWA bonjour, the concept for our SS20 collection is of youth culture in the ‘90s, we looked at colours, silhouettes and graphics for inspiration. The concept was “WATER BOYS” enjoying a bright, warm summer, finding fun games from a different angle and simply enjoying pleasant things.
GS: What is your favourite item from the collection that the Garbstore team has chosen?
CB: STATE MTM Sweatshirts – these are based on the motif of vintage American Athletic College Sweatshirts. The unique arch texture was balanced by adding Japanese KATAKANA characters.
GS: Which is your favourite city to visit around the world and why?
CB: We are from Korea, but I spent my 20s in Tokyo, the memories and culture of that time affected me the most. Tokyo is a city that accepts anything easily, but it is not easily changed and is firmly established, this includes culture, food and fashion…
GS: What is special about S Korea?
CB: S. Korea is very sensitive to trends and responds quickly, which makes the process of accepting new things, commercialising and consuming them very fast.
GS: What do you love about London?
CB: Personally, I think that London is a city with different, unique charms than the traditional classical ones felt in other European countries. There is a real diversity in individual characters and we are interested in that.
GS: Are there any trends we should keep an eye out for?
CB: A parody or remake of a vintage garment using deadstock, etc. We are interested in vintage or construction-work uniforms where the corporate logo is still in use.
GS: Looking forward, what is next in the pipeline we can get excited about with CONICHIWA bonjour?
CB: Along with CONICHIWA bonjour, we are preparing a new brand for SS21. We think it's going to be quite different in taste from CONICHIWA bonjour….
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