Korean Fashion Finds: Sundae School and When Tigers Used to Smoke
“We wanted to evoke the nostalgia of when tigers were freely roaming the streets of Seoul, smoking puffs and spliffs.” says creative director Dae Lim, a New York-bred South Korean. By ‘tigers’, he is symbolically referring to the Korean people.
Sundae School, a Seoul-made New York-based fashion label shows us that South Korean urban street fashion is no longer behind. Anyone that tries to tell you any different doesn’t matter because this label is just simply lit. It was founded by Lim and his sister Cindy. The duo siblings were inspired by the way Korean Americans or Koreans who left overseas to study and how they experienced an ‘interplay between religion, education, and weed’.
The siblings were born and raised in the posh district of Gangnam, South Korea and moved to the United States when they were still kids to study abroad. Cindy is currently an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. Their ‘tiger mom’ wanted them to study well overseas and start a career with reputable jobs, a story that is probably relatable with the majority of Asian-Americans that have studied abroad at the request of their parents wish for academic excellence. What is interesting about Sundae School is that it embodies South Korean culture while at the same time incorporating a subject matter that is considered taboo in Korean society.Their latest collection also utilizes traditional Korean clothing with Western clothing patterns, notably the pinstripe. Marijuana is still illegal in the country and the consequences that follow if caught smoking or distributing it can be hefty.
Dae Lim’s intention at first wasn’t to make the clothing label revolve around the concept of marijuana, but after testing out a few designs with marijuana inspired themes, all of the clothing basically ended up with some part of the marijuana theme incorporated into it. Consequently, that lead to him and Cindy starting Sundae School.
One of our favorite picks from the first collection ‘Genesis’ includes the ‘Lit Cap’. It has little ‘spliff holes’ where you can stick in and carry around a cigarette, a joint, or whatever you smoke.
Sundae School ‘Lit Cap’ (White)– $39.00
Sundae School ‘Lit Cap’ (Black) – $39.00
The ‘See-Through Seoul’ denim jacket is by far our most favorite in the first collection. It also seems like a good choice of outfit for a rainy day as well.
Sundae School ‘See-Through Seoul’ Jacket – $285.00
Sundae School ‘Tin Box’ – $24.00
This outfit is amazing in so many ways. For starters, its design is badass to the max. The reinterpretation of the traditional Korean clothing ‘hanbok’ is brilliant and it even has an inner pocket to hold cigarettes, blunts, or whatever you smoke.
Sundae School ‘PinBok Top’ – $280.00
Sundae School ‘PinBok Bottom’ – $180.00
And there is even a velvet version of it as well.
Sundae School ‘Blue Velvet Top’ – $270.00
Sundae School ‘Blue Velvet Bottom’ – $180.00
And the most beautiful piece we’ve seen in a long time from fashion these days is Sundae School’s ‘Doorumagi Coat’. It is simply just stunning and the juxtaposition of traditional Korean clothing and modern streetwear couldn’t have been done better than this.
Sundae School is most definitely a clothing label to keep an eye on. Their counterculture urban aesthetics and concepts combined with traditional Korean elements are helping to further shape the identity of Asian street culture. We very much hope to see more of them soon in the near future.
More information and products are available on their official homepage.