Sangmin Jang , Designer / Brand Director
More than a year has passed since the Pandemic Declared in March 2020. We'd like to know if there has been any change in your daily routine and your work.
I am running a female clothing brand and pouch bag brand at the same time as my own business. Due to the characteristics of the tasks, I had to keep putting myself to the dynamics of a new trend. Then, I could be inspired by various people I met in the club or the party and by the very interaction with them. But recently that became harsh. I kept worrying about how do I fight to keep in touch with what's a trend, and also about business difficulties.
Last year, I had scheduled nearly 4~5 events like pop-up sales hosting abroad or meeting with buyers but all of them were canceled because of the COVID-19. Sales of pouch sharply went down as people don't wear makeup these days. I have gone through a tough time. Before this happened, I prioritized making something that I want to make but lately, more often than not, I am thinking about what do people need. Recently, I see many prints of landscapes like the sea or sky, then I am thinking to myself maybe people need refresh and healing(laugh). Then, I prepared brighter color sets of items for this season.
We've heard that you started to learn how to Kung Fu. We'd like to know your new thing.
I am a kind of active person but after the pandemic, there was not much physical exercise to do. Then, I started Kung Fu, which was the thing I always wanted to learn, and I really recommend it to you. I practice absorbing Chi, like air or energy, and it makes me calm and helps me a lot mentally. The movement is quite slow but I have to concentrate to use my muscle so that help making endurance. It has a huge effect on me.
I have a boyfriend who is a painter living in Japan and we haven't met each other for a long time. We have been trying something that we can do at this moment. We just made a book together and the contents is something I have been told him that I wanted to do together when we meet and he painted that. And I recently published a book named 'Face Time Love' that covers people who are in a long-distance relationship in the pandemic. Now my boyfriend sends me a design for nail art once a week and I polish my nails with it. I also want to publish that as a book. Thanks to his efforts, now I am quite a good nail artist (laugh).
We are still in the middle of the pandemic era. Please share your next plan with us.
I am planning 'Making Pajamas Project' with my boyfriend. I can deal with fabric so I made some pillows and bedclothes as something I can do right now. Still, we are in the pandemic but I think everybody just started to move in their own ways. I will open popup stores in two spots in Tokyo this may. It will be holding as a sale on commission for the first time for me and I am a little bit worried about it. But I still have to move forward and I am doing this.
Some economic difficulties came for this but I also came to feel space in my mind. It turned into being alone for a long time then I could do research more. I feel I have to learn more. Rather, now I feel less pressure than in the past when I had to work hard. I think this is the time for growth.
What is that piece of paper on the wall?
I had gone crazy about the Mafia Party Game with my friends. We had gathered once a month to play Mafia game. Mafia game in Japan is way complicated and detailed than in here Korea. They use the mobile app and name tags to play. We played it all night long while extremely concentrating our attention on it. Then, I made T-shirts for the game but my friends don't know about that yet. A ban for gathering made us apart till now. I hope the day we play the game again will come soon.
Interview, Photos by Xione Qin