Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1959 and growing up in a post-war country brimming with political unrest, Woo Youngmi was fortunate to find creativity close to home. Her father, the head of an architectural firm, and her mother, who taught both art and piano, did their utmost to use what they had to provide a creative environment for their five children.
In 1978 Woo Youngmi enters Sung-kyun-kwan University in Seoul to begin her fashion studies. On graduating in 1983 she wins the Osaka International Fashion award.
By 1988 Woo Youngmi has launched the menswear brand SOLID HOMME, starting out with a small boutique in Seoul. She becomes the first menswear ready-to-wear female designer in Korea.
In 1989 her younger sister Woo Janghee, having completed her studies in applied fine arts, joins Woo Youngmi at the design helm. Side-by-side they build one of the leading brands in Korea.
In 1993 Woo Youngmi and some young designer friends begin ‘New Wave’, as a platform for young designers to show their work. This paves the way for today’s Seoul Fashion Week. In April 2006 the first WOOYOUNGMI European stand-alone store opens in Paris. In 2011 WOOYOUNGMI becomes a full member of French Fashion Association ‘La Chambre Syndicale’.
Central to the design of WOOYOUNGMI is the unique perspective that comes from female designers creating menswear. An objective viewpoint is possible, thinking only of the man for whom they wish to design for. This man, as if a subject in a painting, need never change, he remains always as their ideal.
Designing a sophisticated and delicate collection WOOYOUNGMI would like to offer their customer something beautiful to break the routine of modern living. As with art and cultural experiences, fashion too can offer an escape from the mundane. With fashion one can make a small investment in oneself and find some joy through experiencing a new outlook.
So strongly does WOOYOUNGMI view the link between fashion and art’s role in our everyday experience that WOOYOUNGMI is collaborating with and supporting artists in an effort to share this opinion with a wider audience.