Eudon Choi is a big name designer. Born in Korea and trained as a menswear designer in the cool capital of Seoul, he moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art before setting up his eponymous label in 2009. Since then he’s been showing at London Fashion Week and has won multiple awards for his collections.
We caught up with him before his SS17 show…
What inspired you to start your own brand?
When I came to London to study at the Royal Collage of Art there was this great sense of possibility. In London people aren’t afraid of taking chances and striking out on their own. I did work in-house for a few brands when I first graduated but I never really found it satisfying and I was dying to start out on my own. I have always been a bit of a control freak so I guess I just needed complete control over the design process. It was a little scary to begin with but I don’t regret starting my own label, it is constantly rewarding.
Describe the journey from having the idea to now in three words.
Research, experiment, execute.
What have been the main challenges you’ve faced?
Being a self-financed designer is hard. We are a very small team and we do all of our own pattern cutting and sample making so the workload is enormous every season. I think the greatest challenge is stepping away from the work and getting out of the studio to do other things like see an exhibition or a play or rummage at an antiques market. It is very important to step away and immerse yourself in something else, as this is where the point of inspiration will come from. I stumbled across a book on Francesca Woodman at a Flea Market in Paris earlier this year and that served as the inspiration for the SS17 collection.
What’s your one tip you’d give anyone trying to start a fashion business?
Work hard and be nice to people — it really goes a long way.
How do you think social media has changed the process of launching a brand?
Social media has really changed the face of fashion as it has made everything instantly accessible. I have really noticed the power of Instagram – if a blogger wears one of my pieces it can literally sell out within days. I also love the fact that people can reach out to me directly via Instagram or Twitter – I got a message from Gwyneth Paltrow after she wore one of my AW16 looks and that was mind-blowing!
What’s it like to be your own boss?
I am really tough on myself so I might actually have an easier life if I worked for someone else but waking up every day being the master of my own destiny is priceless. I would highly recommend it!
What’s it like to be a boss?
I have a very small team so we are more like family than colleagues. I try to be a good listener and am always open to ideas from the team. It can be quite lonely being the boss but I have several friends who run their own businesses so we can speak to each other about things, which really helps.
Describe your working day – from getting up to going to bed.
I get up every day at 6am. Some days I will go to the gym and others I will just potter around the apartment and take my dog Barney for a walk. I usually get into the office around 8am, as I like the quiet time to get things sorted before the team arrives. I usually finish around 6.30pm – though of course in the run up to a new collection this is more like 8.30 or later depending on how things are going! If I finish early I will take my dog Barney to the park and then catch up with some friends over dinner. I don’t go out that much but really love catching up with people over a great meal.
Read more: How To Start A Fashion Brand, By The Three Floor Founder