It’s here! – doo.ri for Impulse only at Macy’s! Doo-Ri Chung’s designs have been seen on First Lady Michelle Obama as well as on the runways at New York Fashion Week, and now they can now be yours at a very affordable price! Earlier this week on Wednesday, the award-winning designer launched her first collection for Macy’s. Chung’s elegant draping techniques and modern feminine style are translated into pieces that are priced on average from $39-$159. Offering a collection in her signature style but at a different price point allows her to reach a wider audience, which the designer thinks is great! The pieces in the collection range from jersey dresses to sweaters and outerwear.
Chung, a graduate of Parsons: The New School of Design, is an established designer known for her technical brilliance and iconic draping abilities. She has quickly established her brand in the industry since the launch of her debut collection and has been recognized as one of America’s top designers. Chung was named a finalist in the first-ever Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF) back in 2004, and in 2006, won the Samsung Fashion Design Fund Award, CFDA Swarovski/Perry Ellis Award for Emerging Design Talent and the CVFF grand prize. She was also the first American designer to be nominated for Switzerland’s Stella Award.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Doo-Ri Chung to find out more about her and what she has to say about her new collection for Macy’s.
Audrey Magazine (AM): Please tell us about your Macy’s line. How would you describe the kind of woman that would wear the clothes you’ve designed for the collection?
Doo-Ri Chung (DC): We have about 35 pieces [in the collection]. It’s really a great representation of what I’m known for, which is beautiful jersey dresses. We have some great outerwear and some amazing prints as well. I think [the customer for this collection] is about the same woman as the woman that buys my clothes – she’s an elegant, modern woman.
AM: What are you most excited about this new line?
DC: I thought the package was fantastic. I love the dresses; some of the jersey dresses are just really beautiful. They fall beautifully and I thought the prints came out amazing as well.
AM: When this opportunity from Macy’s came to you, what about it interested you and made you say yes?
DC: I think the ability to be able to collaborate with a larger company to produce something that every woman can afford and buy and look fantastic in.
AM: It must have been quite a thrill when First Lady Michelle Obama wore your stunning purple dress to the Korean state dinner last year. Could you talk about what that was like, and did that high-profile exposure affect your career at all?
DC: The experience was amazing; it was such an honor to have her wear my dress. And yes, I think that the exposure was fantastic. Our web traffic went up… everything! I mean it was a huge uptake in our business.
AM: What was your parents’ reaction?
DC: They were very excited. They knew that there might have been a possibility [for her to wear my dress]. They were watching the state dinner, so when she came out in the dress, my mom definitely knew.
AM: I know the experience is still relatively new, but could you please share how you are balancing the work/family life?
DC: It’s still a struggle (laughs), but I’m getting better at it. I’m usually not a morning person; I’m definitely a night person. To have to reverse that has been the hardest thing. But now I go to bed really early, but I also wake up really early as well.
AM: Now that you’re a working mom, do you anticipate your fashions may change based on this experience?
DC: I think so – it’s not so much the fashion that changes, it’s my, I guess, process that changes. I definitely have to be very decisive and make sure that I can’t be in the studio 24/7 anymore. I think having a child makes me a little bit more focused in making decisions when it comes to my business.
AM: Would you consider creating clothing that’s more working mom-friendly, like stain resistant clothing?
DC: I haven’t thought about that but that sounds really interesting! The whole theme – stain-resistant fabric – that’s great! I might actually think about that.
AM: When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
DC: I didn’t really know until college. I mean, I really wanted to be an illustrator, so when I first began, I thought I was going into fashion illustration. It wasn’t until I got into college that I realized that there was a difference between illustration and designing, and I definitely liked designing more.
AM: What about design made you choose it over illustration?
DC: When I was in school, illustration you pretty much had to draw what was in front of you, as opposed to design, you get to create what’s in your mind and I enjoyed that aspect a lot more.
AM: Where do you draw your inspirations?
DC: My inspirations come from everything. I think that every creative person – they’re like a sponge. Whether it’s a movie that you see, whether it’s a musical, whether it’s a show I think you’re always drawing inspiration. And that’s the same thing for me. I guess for me, I started early just through art; I was always very much into art, and those types of artists still are a continuing source of inspiration for me even now as a designer.
AM: How do you feel as an Asian-American female in the fashion industry when you were trying to establish your name?
DC: It didn’t affect me in terms of what happened with my career. I felt like I’ve just been getting so many opportunities. I don’t know whether it worked towards my advantage or not; I think that it never really was a factor. I think that design happens to be one of those fields where it’s really about the language of design and I think if you’re fluent in it and you really embrace that, regardless of your race or sex, it’s an industry that accepts based on talent and your understanding of the field that you’re in.
AM: What would be your dream project? Is there any high-profile person you’d love to design for?
DC: Umm… dream project… You know honestly it would have to involve food! I would love to work with Anthony Bourdain. (laughs) Yeah I would love to do something where I get to just tailor him as he travels around the world – that would be an amazing job or project.
The “doo.ri for Impulse only at Macy’s” collection will be sold in approximately 185 Macy’s stores nationwide and on macys.com beginning February 15.
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