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Location: New York Fashion Week
Key Pieces: The quilted denim trackpants with Korean-inspired embroidery (and matching shawl), GORE-TEX collaborative anoraks and trousers, and the runway debut of Nike’s Air More Uptempo 720 silhouette.
Editor’s Notes: Seoul-based label IISE examines how technology is displacing technique for its Fall/Winter 2019 collection. Known for balancing traditional Korean notions of craft with a dystopian utility, the collection feels relevant to techwear heads and fans of Eastern-influenced labels like visvim alike.
“It’s based on this idea of inevitable reality,” says designer Kevin Kim, who works on the line with his brother Terrence. “A lot of the things we take inspiration from now—organic dye, Korean embroidery—probably won’t be around in the future.”
In this way, IISE aims to preserve these traditions by making them relevant not just for the present, but generations to come. Also on display were several collaborations with GORE-TEX, including pieces made from GORE-TEX’s new Infinium fabric, which eschews some of its weatherproof capabilities for breathability and a softer cotton hand.
IISE also partnered with New Zealand-based company O2O2 on light-up facemasks that speak to Korea’s air pollution problem. Nike graciously allowed the label to use several of its newest sneakers in the show too—IISE’s aesthetic of old-meets-new is the ideal place for the Air More Uptempo 720 to make its runway debut. Half-retro, half-new innovation, the synergy is on-the-nose.