Doo-Ri Chung was born in 1973 in South Korea, but it was in the USA that she was raised, in Ramsey, New Jersey. Whilst still at high school, Chung took evening classed at the prestigious Parsons School of Design and F.I.T, eventually graduating from Parsons in 1995 with the school’s Designer of the Year award.
Chung went to work for Geoffrey Beene straight after Parsons, first as an assistant designer, rising to head designer through her hard-work and talent. After six years however, Chung felt the time was right to launch her own label, and with a $100,000 loan from her parents in 2001, she set about creating her own lines in the basement of her parents laundry business. The official launch of her label was in 2003 at New York Fashion Week to great acclaim, later that year winning the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award. As well as awards, Chung has dressed some of the world’s most influential women, including Presidential First Lady Michelle Obama.
Chung’s designs bear some influence of classic American sportswear due to her time with Geoffrey Beene, but her designs express so much more than this, and it is perhaps draping with sketch that she is best know for. A complex, fiery and sometimes confrontational designer, her designs combine a classical elegance with an ultra-cool sensitivity, and her attitude both on and off the catwalk means she is never far from the headlines. This was the case in 2012, when she left the company that bears her name, the fate of the label still unknown. In 2013 she was appointed as Creative Director at Vince, relocating to Los Angeles to oversee the entire range, including branding and development initiatives. “She has a real understanding of our customer” said Jill Granoff, CEO of Kellwood, the owners of Vince.