Meet: Byungmun Seo
BMUET(TE) is the visually provocative ready-to-wear brand created by London College of Fashion (LCF) alumnus, Byungmun Seo and his partner Jina Um. Initially started as a menswear label in 2012, they soon followed with a womenswear range in 2015 and have continued to go from strength to strength ever since.
The designers first met whilst working in Seoul, before moving to London where Byungmun completed his MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear.
BMUET(TE) has shown collections at Milan, Paris and Seoul Fashion Week, and in 2018, they launched a new diffusion line, SOUNDS BMUET(TE), presenting minimalist avant-garde and a new street-inspired take on the deconstructed aesthetic of BMUET(TE).
We spoke to Byungmun to find out more about his designs, and what advice he'd give to anyone wanting to start their own brand.
Tell us about your time studying an MA at London College of Fashion. How did you end up studying in London?
It was a great pleasure to meet diverse international fashion students whilst studying my MA at LCF. I could share and talk about design ideas, concepts, and styles with them and understand different cultures and backgrounds. It inspired me to find new perspectives when creating a story for design development, and I could see how to bring the story into my work.
What are your fondest memories of your time at College?
When we showed our final collection at the V&A museum.
You and your wife, Jina Um created BMUET(TE) – a ready-to-wear fashion brand based in Seoul. Tell us about how this developed after you graduated?
After graduation, we went to Italy to show our first collection at Pitti Uomo and the White Milan trade show where we could meet international buyers. We got good feedback and interest from our shows, which led to being selected for global fashion awards such as Vogue Talents, and Woolmark Prize Asia finalists, as well as making the '10 Asian designers to watch’ list by Fashion Asia Hong Kong. We also had our debut runway show at Pitti Uomo in Italy and Seoul Fashion Week. Now we are expanding to international markets.
What is BMUET(TE) known for in terms of design?
Weird but beautiful.
We don’t follow previous ideas and break preconceived rules; so, it looks weird and unfamiliar but beautiful.
The company originally focused on menswear, why did you move into womenswear as well?
We thought that our style and idea would be good for women and as there are more shapes and style ranges in womenswear, we wanted to try something new.
What advice would you give to graduating students wanting to set up a fashion brand in Seoul?
A fashion brand is not just about creativity, but the balance between the creative and the commercial side, and communicating with people. So, I think you need to define your style first and build a strong identity. Then you can try to understand the positioning of your brand and find what your target and market will be.
It is also easier if you can find who would wear your collection and why they want to wear your collection.
Have more questions for Byungmun? Then drop him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org