Choi Ji Hyung is the founder of Korean fashion label Johnny Hates Jazz. As one of the ‘new wave’ of South Korean designers, she is typical in that she has learned her trade both home and abroad, and is now part of a resurgence of Korean fashion that is seeing Korean designers begin to make a real impact on the fashion world.
Educated at Seoul’s prestigious fashion college, ESMOD (École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode), Hyung went on to postgraduate study at the well-respected University of the Arts in London where she fine-tuned the more technical skills of a fashion designer.
Like many of her Korean contemporaries, Choi Ji Hyung has been a designer who loves to collaborate with others, especially those designers whom she is influenced by. One such designer she has worked with is the hugely influential Vivienne Westwood, working with her on shows in both Milan and Paris.
Johnny Hates Jazz as a label is defined by its ubercool tailoring, which evokes both old-style Hollywood glamour as well as a more urban street-chic. Simple frameworks lay the foundations for more experimental flourishes, and as a label, despite being known for innovation, Hyung always has an eye on form and functionality. This can especially be seen in her accessories collections, one of which contained furry arm warmers, a welcome addition to any cold winters day.
As a relatively young label, Johnny Hates Jazz is seeing impressive sales and a positive reception wherever they showcase. Their designs are still mainly only available in Korea at the Galleria and Shinsgae department stores, but their reach is growing, and more and more international boutiques are stocking Johnny Hates Jazz lines.