Could you please tell us a little bit about your backstory? When did you realize you had an affinity for designing bags?
I like designing itself rather than designing bags specifically. I should say that I like to make something beautiful. Before studying design in Milano, I majored in math and photography in Korea and worked as an installation photographer. Works were to reflect the imaginary myths and fairy tale stories inside of my head in the mirror, my eyes, and to install them in reality. Then, I suddenly thought, “I wish my works, which were demolished after exhibitions, would come into our lives and stay with people.” Then, I decided to go to Milano to study design, and I chose bags as the first theme of my brand that I started in Korea. Our brand’s main products are bags, but we make various items such as scarves, jewelry, and ceramics.
When we talk about fashion and design we immediately think about Italy, New York, or Paris. What is your opinion about the market for designer bags and the overall fashion market in South Korea, and Seoul?
Four big collections, including London, have been driving the trend of fashion around the world. Cultural power, production infrastructure, and real demands naturally led these cities to leadership positions. But with the pandemic, the transition towards ‘glocalization’ has accelerated. Cultural and economic exchanges are taking place globally transcending the limits of time and space, but at the same time very personal. This also means that brands in other regions with different histories can find opportunities to communicate with people around the world. A great example is BTS, a Korean boy group, and ARMY, their fan club. Koreans have a particularly solid foundation in their own culture, and they also tend to be active in embracing other cultures. This, I think, is a very important value to better empathize with others. Fashion is no exception. Of course, the luxury market is very conservative and moving slowly. But I think enjoying beauty is a universal value for all people.
Each bag has its own story to tell, I believe. Do you have a favorite bag? What’s the story behind it?
My design has stories that I imagine, and most of the Pikagos’ products are characters in those stories. I love all the products, but Shell is particularly special to me. That is because I did sampling for the bag 13 times to get a satisfactory result. For this product, the best-talented specialists in various fields, including sculptors and 3D modelers, worked together. After making Shell, Pikagos established our own way of working in collaboration with various fields and was able to create our own design.
Where do you hope to see your brand ‘PIKAGOS’ in the future?
I want to make a presence on metaverse in the near future. You might have heard of a parallel universe. In the parallel universe, we would pull our future with our own energy. For me, the metaverse is a digital world that allows individuals to live in the various futures as in the parallel universe. These days, I’m thinking about what Pikagos can do to entertain and serve our current and potential customers on metaverse. As part of that, I’ve started studying metaverse and future finance.
What is your #1 handbag essential that you think every woman should carry?
I’d like to choose By Jeans that we are launching. This series is a campaign that we are working on with the theme of sustainability. What is special about By Jeans is that you have one and only collage piece made of used jeans To give you a useful tip, if you send me jeans that you don’t wear anymore, you will receive a 5% discount on the price. A part of revenues from By Jeans sales will be donated to a sustainable environment.
What has been one of your highlight moments for the brand in the past few years?
I would say right now, 2022. Covid-19 has really changed a lot. The skyway was blocked and overseas events were canceled. After a long global pain, Pikagos resumed our overseas activities, starting with the 94th Academy Awards sponsorship in 2022. And in July, Pikagos will visit London as a sponsor of the 8th National Film Awards UK. Having debuted in New York in 2016, Pikagos was ironically introduced more in British magazines such as VOGUE, TATLER, and Harper’s Bazaar. For Pikagos, the U.K. is a friend who has been supporting us since our debut and invites us to such a wonderful and meaningful event. I am excited to be in the U.K. in just a few days, the country of Lewis Carroll, my most respected author.
There are many designer bag brands on the market, why should customers choose PIKAGOS bags? What makes your handbags unique?
I know that customers who love our brand are the people with clear tastes. Pikagos was designed specifically for them. Our customers say they always put their Pikagos bags in the cabinet and appreciate them, and one of them actually said “the more I see my Pikagos bag, the more beautiful it is. I wear it just occasionally because I cherish the bag very much.” I don’t think all women should wear our bags because most of the Pikagos bags are not daily bags. But in my experience, it’s impossible that you don’t get noticed when you go to a nice party with a Pikagos bag.
Now, you have just been announced as one of the Bronze category sponsors for the prestigious 8th annual National Film Awards UK. This is an amazing achievement for your company. How excited are you to partner with the National Film Awards UK?
It’s a great honor and pleasure for Pikagos. I have never imagined sharing the historic moment of the 8th National Film Awards UK along with global artists. As a fashion company, I am very proud to be able to contribute to the British film industry and artists.
Finally, as Bronze sponsors for the National Film Awards. Would it be great to know your personal Top 5 Best Films of all time?
First of all, I want to say Belfast. Many critics have already spoken about the film’s many great aspects. In particular, the performance of Ciaran Hinds, a famous actor nominated for Best Supporting Actor sponsored by Pikagos, is amazing. However, as a photographer, it was a work that stood out with more visual beauty than anything else. We would have captured any part of the film and seen it as if it were Henri Cartier Bresson’s The Decisive Moment. Next, I want to talk about Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. For my personal preference, it is an indispensable series along with the Harry Potter series. I want to keep this film just for its British-like imagination and visual beauty. And I’ll choose the Squid game, Don’t Look Up, I Care A Lot. I would like to express my sincere respect to the director, writers, actors, and other staff members for their abilities to complete such a quality film that gives the best pleasure and resonates with society at the same time. However, I am sorry that I could not mention the hard work of many great movies and filmmakers because I should have chosen only five. I give them a big hand for their life and passion and life for the movie.
Where can readers buy products from PIKAGOS both nationally and globally?
Currently, you can order and inquire about Pikagos products only through our website, Instagram, and email. Your orders will only proceed after discussing the details of the product. PIKAGOS products are order-based and require 3 to 4 weeks to manufacture upon completion of the order.