The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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The ‘Seamless’ Designer:

From her parents’ basement to the major New York runways, Doo-Ri Chung has made a name for herself in the fashion industry.

Chung graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1995 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion. She then apprenticed for six years with designer Geoffrey Beene. After becoming his head designer, she decided to start her own business in 2001.

In the basement of her parents Saddle Brooke, N.J. dry-cleaning business, she began to create fashions that were an instant hit with sophisticated New Yorkers.

Her parents immigrated from Korea and began their own business, but always protected their daughter from the financial hardships they endured. She attributes her hard work and perseverance to the teaching and example of her parents.

For the next four years, Chung worked from her basement workshop. She now works right in the middle of Manhattan’s fashion district.

Chung looks back fondly on the four years she spent designing in her first workshop. She once told Newsweek it was much easier when she was “designing in obscurity, because I had time to really grow.”

Since her fall 2005 fashion show, she has been much more in the public eye and under much more scrutiny.

A very important person sat in the center of the front row for that show: Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue. Her presence at a show means big things, and lots of orders, for any new designer.

Chung now takes orders from big-name stores such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom’s.

In 2004, Chung was a finalist in Vogue/Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Fund Award.

In June 2006, she won the Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Award for emerging talent in womenswear from the council of Fashion Designers. Her spring and fall 2005 collections are what won her the distinction.

In 2006, she moved from finalist to winner of the Vogue/Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Fund Award. Along with a Lexus and a Montblanc watch, she received a $200,000 prize.

Chung likens her designs to three-dimensional sculptures. She likes to show off a woman’s form without making the clothing tight. She says that often she will design a jersey with six yards of fabric, but the wearer will still feel like it’s hugging her body.

Even though Chung’s business has grown in the last several years by leaps and bounds, she is still extremely hands on and involved in all of the designing. She does the draping, cutting, and sewing required to create each piece.

She says that her hand has touched everything you see on the runway.

Chung says she doesn’t have an exact look yet; she describes it as a work in progress. She is inspired by people like Ann Demeulemeester, Martha Graham and Joseph Beuys.

Chung says that it took Geoffrey Beene 30 years to figure out his style. She has been in business herself for a little more than six, and already is making a big name for her herself. Giver her a few more years, and she will surely have nailed down her own, special style and place in the design world.

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