New York based label Homeboy began in 2022 created by Manse Jang, who is graphic and branding designer from Korea. His collection Homeboy has bold, vibrant, noticeable design features based on streetwear. Inspired by his cultural background and life journey, he designed and interpreted graphics that represented them. He merged apple and magnolia, which represent his hometown, and apple and rose, which reflect New York, where he started his design career, using his nature-inspired design aesthetic. Tracker hat, beanies, T-shirts, and sweatshirts more clearly show brand identity by applying intense but elegant color graphics with screen printing and embroidery. The two-toned rework inseam slit jeans additionally display Homeboy’s original fit and silhouette as well as a sophisticated and refined design with a white graphic finish.
KREEP. TALKS: MANSE JANG
Tell us about yourself as creative, including what art means for you as a graphic + branding designer.
As a graphic and branding designer, I would say art is a means for people could interact with inspiring each other. I believe I am a person who records my usual inspiration, develops it into my own style, shows it to people, and gives another inspiration.
Tell us about your design style. What makes your visuals so unique?
My use of brilliant color combinations highly appeals to people since it is bold and noticeable in its design. I use my personal drawing style and computer graphics to achieve both naturalistic and sophisticated esthetics.
As a graphic + branding designer, where do you draw your inspiration from?
I am interested in the artistic parts of many different fields such as culture, history, art, music. I usually get the most inspiration from the nature in daily life and my background from life experiences.
Do you think that labels from the fashion industry give less importance to visual communication?
Many fashion labels in the world appeal to consumers in different styles. Some of them think visual communication is important and others don’t. However, I think visual communication is an inseparable relationship with fashion industry as an important means of showing one’s label to people.
What are the news in the graphic + branding design industry regarding slow-fashion and long-lasting pieces?
From graphic and branding to the fashion industry, they are constantly thinking about sustainability these days. On the basis of strong and long-lasting branding, certain fashion brands promote slow fashion by using eco-friendly fabrics and materials. Other brands put effort into upcycle that it creates new values by adding designs beyond simply recycling discarded products. And, they redesign and rework old goods in their own distinctive styles, giving customers the chance to keep using them.
How important is technology for your brand and how do you see the future?
Many techniques are needed to design graphics. Even the software I use has developed a lot compared to when I first started studying this. In particular, in fashion, there are many technologies and methods that can implement graphics on clothes, such as printing and embroidery. I think the development of technology is important because such parts can effectively express designers’ ideas.
Who are your favorite creatives you would like to collaborate with?
I want to collaborate with Shinichiro Nakamura (better known as Sk8thing), who is developing a streetwear brand called Cav Empt in an unconventional and almost destructive graphic style. When I visited Cav Empt store in Japan a few years ago, I couldn’t hide my surprise by looking at the graphics of all the clothes. Also, the interior of the store that fits the brand concept was impressive. If I have a chance to collaborate with him in a future, I think it will be an opportunity for me to grow up.
What advice would you give to someone interested in getting into the graphic + branding design business?
I would like to advise that it is not just thinking about creative graphics that only you like, but also thinking from the perspective of consumers and establishing brand strategy.
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