HAZZYS is a prominent Korean fashion brand and flagship brand of LF Corp (Life in Future). HAZZYS is known for its traditional British style, adding modernity to classic silhouettes and practicality to originality. For HAZZYS’s 2021 Fall/Winter collection, Creative Director, Kim Hun, fused new technology with the traditional aspects of the brand by creating a virtual runway show using CLO. HAZZYS’s implementation of CLO gave way to a new and more sustainable method of garment design and development, while also allowing audiences from across the globe to be in the front row of the Fall/Winter 2021 show. We had the opportunity to interview Kim Hun in order to find out more about his background in the industry, the implementation of CLO within HAZZYZS, as well as all the details on what it took to create the virtual show!
How long have you been the creative director at HAZZYS? What did you do prior to this?
I have been the Creative Director at Hazzys for about a year. At Karl Lagerfeld I am Head of Design overseeing women’s and men’s RTW and accessories. Prior to my time at Karl Lagerfeld, I was the Creative Director for the Women’s Collection and RTW at Tommy Hilfiger and before that I was Senior Director of Women’s Wear at Ralph Lauren.
How were you first introduced to CLO?
I was introduced to CLO while I was working for an apparel company based in the Netherlands. It was then that I was intrigued by the opportunity to explore the use of virtual models and a sustainable design process that is digital from design-to-runway.
What were the reasons for implementing CLO?
For an industry that historically depended on high levels of personal interaction the pandemic posed many challenges. – How could we continue to design while remaining safe?
Working from home and other forms of remote working became the new ‘normal’. New ways of undertaking design meetings, fittings, even up to and including virtual runways were discovered. As I worked with CLO throughout the year I found it to be truly amazing as it allows brands to save a tremendous amount of time, money and reduce unwanted samples and resources. I think CLO is a great way to support a sustainable design process.
What benefits have you been able to see through CLO’s implementation?
As mentioned, time and cost- savings are obviously huge benefits. Equally important are the reduced amount of travel and prototype shipments that a digital approach with CLO allows. In the end, CLO enabled the design team to do its job – more quickly and sustainably – despite the challenges of the pandemic.
What influenced you to pursue a digital show?
During the pandemic fashion houses struggled in deciding how to present their collections. Many continued to present their collections in the traditional way, which ignored regulations or had difficulties in maintaining social distancing. A Lot of negative press was generated about the fashion industry ignoring public safety. With CLO, however, it is possible to work remotely and create remarkable outcomes!
I think this is just the beginning. Technology is changing rapidly and the results will undoubtedly continue to improve. Moreover, I think merchants and buyers will become increasingly accustomed to digital fashion shows and trust that they are getting the true feel of a collection. At the end of the day, if you are not moving forward you’ll fall behind.
How long did it take to prepare the collection using CLO in comparison to before?
The first season using CLO required more time and effort in order to engage the entire team in the workflow. Regardless, creating the garments in CLO is definitely faster than creating, prototyping, re-fitting and making alterations. The more you use CLO, the faster the process become, giving the design team more time to focus on their creativity.
How was the process of creating the digital fashion show in comparison to planning and preparing a real-life show?
In-person meetings were replaced with Zoom meetings. Creating the digital fashion show itself was similar to producing an anime or gaming video – which swaps the human talent (and their personalities) with avatars. There was, of course, no physical set design, and the stresses of the ‘live’ production were also eliminated.
How important was CLO in the creation of the collection of the garments and the fashion show itself?
CLO was critical in the creation of the collection. CLO did not just help in the creation of the CGI for the virtual runway. Instead, It is the design tool necessary to actually produce garments. That is a big difference! There was no more waste after the fashion show – Sorry fashionistas, no more sample sale! CLO’s output was as critical of an output for the production and development process as it was to the digital fashion show itself.
How do you think the audience reaction will be to a digital show vs. Real-life show?
I’m sure not everyone will like it at first, but I do think they will find it interesting. There’s always a first time and it’s not always easy to drive change. However, if you don’t try now, sooner or later someone else will. You do not want to be left out! I believe that digital fashion shows will probably end up complementing traditional runway shows. Digital fashion shows are an innovative way to reach a broader audience more quickly.
Are you also using digital garments in your E-commerce site? If not, is this something planned for the future?
Currently no, but for the future it’s a definite, all-caps “Y – E – S” and it’s on the way!
How do you plan to expand the usage of CLO throughout your supply chain in the future?
Many vendors have already adopted CLO and more and more vendors are open to new technology – which is a great start. Moreover, designers’ experience with CLO will increasingly be necessary in order to not fall behind.
We are going through a monumental change in the fashion industry, if you do not join the revolution, you will be left behind.