Wooyoungmi is a menswear clothing brand launched in South Korea by the designer Woo Young Mi in 2002. Sold through self operating stores and leading global retailers, art and architecture are continual sources of inspiration for the brand and it has become known for skilled tailoring.
Woo Youngmi was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1959. Her father was the head of an architectural firm, which allowed him to travel extensively, bringing home international magazines, which a young Woo Youngmi studied, growing curious about the world outside Korea. Along with her mother, who taught both art and piano, they did their utmost to use what they had to provide a creative environment for their five children. Wooyoungmi took up fashion studies at Sung-kyun-kwan University in Seoul. On graduating in 1983 she was selected to represent Korea in Japan's Osaka International Fashion Competition, and won. In 1988 Woo Youngmi launched the menswear brand Solid Homme, starting with one shop. Today there are 21 stores opened with Hyundi group, as well as others with Lotte, Shinsegae and Galleria. In 1993 Woo Youngmi and a few young designer friends begin ‘New Wave’, as a platform for young designers to show their work. This paved the way for today’s Seoul Fashion Week. In 2002 WOOYOUNGMI was launched in Paris. Woo wanted to establish a designer brand that allowed her the freedom to design for the vision she holds of her ideal man. WOOYOUNGMI has shown on the Paris Menswear Week after 2003. In 2011 WOOYOUNGMI became an official member of La Chambre Syndicale de la Mode Masculine. Also that year the brand collaborated with London department store Selfridges on the event 'My Coat, My Gift'. Five young London creatives were asked to redesign the brands best-selling Coat No. 51. the resulting designs were exhibited in a special pop-up at Selfridges. A percentage of sales of the Coat No. 51 throughout this event were donated to the charity 'Art Against Knives'. In 2012, under the art direction of daughter Katie Chung, WOOYOUNGMI began collaborating with artists for the creation of their advertising campaigns. Artists to have taken part in this project, to name a few, are sculptures Guerra de la Paz and Korean sculpture Osang Gwon with his unique blend of sculpture and photography and painter Clemens Krauss In June 2014 WOOYOUNGMI launched an exclusive capsule with luxury online retailer Mr Porter. In September of that year Woo Youngmi was named one of 500 people shaping the global fashion industry by the Business of Fashion in their 'BoF 500' 2014.
Katie Chung, daughter of Woo Youngmi, was announced joint Creative Director of WOOYOUNGMI in 2014 and presented her first show in June '14 for SS15.
She has 24 stand-alone stores across Asia with one European flagship store in Paris as well as being stocked in high-end department stores across Europe such as London's Selfridges and Paris' Le Bon Marché.