Subin Hahn is a New York based Gender Fluid Wear designer. Taken from traditionally feminine elements, his designs challenge traditional mens and unisex fashion aesthetics, aiming to provide equality in current fashion industry, while embracing his or her own ambiguity and fluidity.
Based on his belief that art is a spiritual activity that conveys one’s faith and belief, he aims to help the wearers bring out their own spirits through his designs, and to provide hope of a better future, by creating an illusion of a world that he wishes to belong with.
Graduated at Parsons School Design in 2018 and with an academic award nomination in ‘social innovation’ won Hugo Boss x Parsons Award in 2017.
A Talk with Subin Hahn
TSCOF: How did your passion for design start and how your creative process work?
Ambiguity created from the collision of male body and feminine beauty is what interests me and best represents my personality. My wish to dress up in traditional feminine dresses as a young boy is what drived my passion to design gender fluid clothing, and through the process I incorporate many contrasting elements, whether it’s a mix of mens and womemswear details, or of unbalancing color ways and silhouettes. Mostly I accentuate organic shapes and contours to really emphasize this “Fluidity” for the textures, sihouettes and the wearer’s image.
How your fashion school helped and motivated you to become a fashion designer?
I think Parsons really helped me to explore many different design approaches. I’ve had some professors who focuse more on marketability and some who are more into extreme and theatrical approaches to fashion design. I personally enjoyed more experimental and conceptual part of designing, almost as creating fine art pieces. Also many of professors encourage students not to reference any fashion images unless it’s periodical/historical, so I think it made me create something more original and one of a kind pieces. Fashion studies, and other liberal art courses were also very useful to learn how to contextualize my designs and find relevance in contemporary society.
Can you tell us a little bit about your references for the last collection?
My latest collection is about creating my own impressions of a utopian society where people are free from all the perceptions as a hope for anyone who struggled with stereotypes, especially in regards to male femininity. I always wished to dress up as Disney princesses when I was young and fit into more feminine sides than what society expected me to be as a boy, so I referenced a lot of elements from Disney princesses.
TSCOF: Are you sick of people talking about millennials? Do you see yourself as a designer for young people, a new generation?
Not really. I think millenials have important roles to makes changes in the society. In terms of fashion, people put so many gendered signifiers in clothing, and it shaped what acceptale attire for men and women differently. Younger generations are much more free from this preconcieved norms in fashion and it’s getting more impact in the industry. In this way my designs could be more acceptable for young people who are more open for challenges.
TSCOF: How fashion competitions can change the business industry? What they can do more to help young designers for real?
Fashion competitions provide good exposures and opportunities to be part of the industry for young, independent designers. I think what young designers need the most is budget and mentors/partners to start their own business. if these competitions could provide someone to help producing and launching the collections in the market, it will help them to grow as professionals.
TSCOF: How do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?
I wish people to embrace the ambivalence and fluidity of gender expression thorugh my clothing. People should feel free from any perceptions or stereotypes, which is still not fully realized, especially regarding male femininity.
TSCOF: What do you think it’s your best-selling piece from your last collection?
The sheer, crystals embellished body suit and hand painted white silk organza gown got the most attention to the press. I think it was very fresh to see them on male bodies with these airy, atmospheric textures.
What do you think about the opportunity of selling your products on online platforms, you think it might be a good showcase for your work and your future?
Online is a great platform to reach out to much more people world wide and much easier to shop. I think it will be good to start with online retailers to showcase and sell with small production as an independent designer.
TSCOF: What young designers need right now from fashion industry to grow up?
More exposures and opportunities. Education and mentorship for real business and marketing.
TSCOF: Last song played on your Spotify/iTunes playlist? Who is your favorite artist right now and would you like to see him/her dressed in SUBIN HAHN?
Heaven or Las Vegas from the Cocteau Twins is the most recent song I played. I recently discovered and in love with their music. Harry Styles, Matty Healy from the 1975, Troye Sivan are my top favorites at the moment and would love to dress them for their shows.
List us three favorite designers / icons who inspire you.
Thierry Mugler, Lee Alexander McQueen, Alejandro Gómez Palomo from Palomo Spain