Inside The Square - An Afternoon With Our #SQries Winner Jennifer Chun
As you've probably gathered by now, there are always so many new and exciting things happening here at Brand Assembly. When it comes to our home base The Brand Assembly Square, this also includes many new faces.
In our premiere #SQries event this past June we gave a few lucky attendees the chance to win a month-long membership here at Brand Assembly. Last month we profiled one of our winners Lauren Tanaka of Global Garbs, and today we're excited to introduce you to our August winner Jennifer Chun. As an emerging contemporary designer herself, we were interested to find out more about what Jennifer will be up to this month while here at The Brand Assembly Square. Luckily she let us shadow her for an afternoon where we learned more about her line, her thoughts on the neighborhood, and what she's assembling daily. Check out our chat with Jennifer below for more.
Please introduce yourself!
I started my company with Fall 2010 and for me it has been the best decision. I grew up in the Midwest and initially studied pre-law in DC. After studying international law at Korea University in Seoul I decided to pursue fashion and it has worked out so far. Things change everyday so it’s never boring and always challenging.
What project are you currently working on while here at the Square and how would you describe your relationship to fashion?
I am currently working on Spring/Summer 2017 and getting the samples I designed earlier in the season made at the factories. So I am constantly running to the Garment District to answer questions or deal with any issues that come up. At Brand Assembly I am working on casting models, hiring hair and makeup and working on the concept of the lookbook shoot. My relationship to fashion is constantly balancing being a designer, production, sales, photo-shoot production, and art direction.
Aside from working here at the Square where else do you like to spend time in the city? Why do you think the Flatiron neighborhood caters so well to the fashion community?
I still love walking around the smaller galleries around the Chelsea Highline. I still love the old location in West Chelsea where the Balenciaga boutique used to be before it moved to Soho. I also spend way too much time and money at Billy’s Bakery in Chelsea because they have my favorite cupcakes there. This area is close enough to the Garment District and Flower District and has changed so much. I think the neighborhood is inspirational with all of the west side galleries, people walking around here, and even all the architecture in the area caters to the fashion community.
What do you hope to achieve long-term as a New York-based contemporary brand?
So far I am achieving what I had hoped to so I need to evolve from there. My initial goal was to work with certain boutiques and buyers but now I need to think about brand growth. There is no longer a formula or one way to do this business anymore so you have to think about what works for your own brand not what works for others. This is something I need to really focus on after this collection is finished.
You recently visited the Square for our first #SQries event. What were your initial thoughts on the space?
My initial thoughts on the space were focused on how beautiful it was, but more than that it was why didn’t I consider this before?! I have visited or toured other work/share spaces but not one that has focused on fashion and a community of other designers. At Brand Assembly there is more of an understanding from the others sharing the space of the challenges in this industry.
What are a few things you would recommend for those seeking out a co-working or collaborative space? Based on your experience how do you think Brand Assembly services those needs?
I would definitely recommend sharing a space with others that have similar backgrounds or who are in a similar industry. I would also look into a shared space that is in an area close to where your industry is and ideally in a neighborhood that you find inspirational for your business needs. Brand Assembly is just close enough to the Garment District without being there and it's nice to have that break so you can force yourself to focus on other parts of the business. I realize that by spending so much time in the Garment District I only think about my samples!
Do you have any design resolutions for the upcoming season and how has being at Brand Assembly inspired your approach to design? What do you assemble daily?
My resolution for SS17 is to try something different with my shoot and work with new people in general. This takes me out of my comfort zone because I genuinely love working with the people I have been working with, but I think a new perspective and ideas will only be a positive thing. Same thing being at Brand Assembly - it’s forcing me to work amongst others and share ideas and I’ve gotten so used to working alone or with an assistant. That is an element I have been working on, to be open to meeting new people in this industry and try something new to evolve not only my business but myself.