1616691615 london based designer rejina pyo on sustainability and unisex style

London-based Designer Rejina Pyo on Sustainability and Unisex Style

Photography by Yong Jung

“This is the right time for us to dress for ourselves and not for other people.”

Since debuting their line in 2014, London-based designer Regina Poyo has become a favorite on the city’s Fashion Week calendar and has a lovely presence in the wardrobe of the world’s most beautiful style mavens. We got hold of him Fashion ‘The April issue to talk about how she became interested in design, her brand’s approach to sustainability, and creative individuals who inspire her artistic pieces.

What was your relationship with the genre?

My mom was a fashion designer when she was in her 20s. She has an amazing sense of style, and she very much enjoyed me wearing clothes. We always had clothes lying around the house; She made everything from curtains to my clothes, so the concept of making things was always around me. I asked her to teach me how to sew, and I made my first dress when I was 12 years old. He had an old school sketchbook with a portrait of Peter Pan collar and bell sleeves. I felt that this was the most beautiful thing, and I would try to draw in the same way as she did. But she didn’t want me to pursue fashion, so she would hide the book. [Laughs] I was also inspired by television shows with traditional Korean clothing called ‘Hanbok’; It is very colorful and has lots of layers – it is very interesting. Any time something like a period drama happened, no one could change the channel because I was watching TV.

Regina piao
Photography courtesy of Regina Poyo

Tell us about the philosophy of the brand and its sustainability journey.

I’ve always felt bad about fashion being one of the most polluted industries, and people don’t care how a piece of clothing can be so cheap. It really bothers me. And people also have a tendency to buy things that they don’t actually wear many times, such as buying things to go out at night. I realized that women did not have much choice in how to wear nice clothes to work – pieces that are not one-time looks, but this gives the wearer a sense of joy and comfort as they go about it Their routine. It is good to express yourself, but if people suffer the loss of wearing it … I don’t think it’s right. And women have been objectified throughout history, so now is the right time for us to dress for ourselves and not for other people.

Whenever I start feeling very bad about all these things, I will have a conversation with my good friend, who is now the managing director of the brand; She is an expert in fashion sustainability. She says i shouldn’t walk but stay in [industry] To make valuable changes.

You can’t work overnight – research certifications for biodegradability take so much time, for example, or what exactly is a recycled fabric made of. Now that stability is such a trend, some people will try to scam you. We have a pyramid metric for the materials we use, and each season we monitor clothing stability ratings, so we have a practical goal rather than just saying, oh, let’s be sustainable.

We have also opted to make huge sets for our fashion shows because we know that they are thrown straight, and how we made invitations [fashion week]. For Spring 2020, we used old library cards and did shows in a library to showcase their beautiful architecture. And for our most recent show we opted to send a physical invitation and instead sent an e-wight.

Did you miss doing Fashion Week last year?

I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would. It was good to spend time with our team and talk about different ideas. You really can’t do that when you’re in the wheel of Fashion Week. A lot of things are last minute during that time, and you are obliged to work until 1 or 2 o’clock which gives you excitement and hype, but now a different approach. Since COVID, there has been a conversation in the industry about how we can make things better – especially for the environment. It is fresh and welcome for me.

Regina piao
Photography courtesy of Regina Poyo

Why did you decide to make unisex garments?

I have always been interested in the life aspect of fashion. I was seeing people in my office, including myself and girls, wearing men’s clothes, and it gave me an idea – why don’t we just share clothes? Retail shoppers were confused as to where to put these pieces in their stores as the genders have separated, but I think we will get there in the end and I believe the idea. It is good to have a piece of clothing that one day you can wear and the next day, your partner can wear it – you can use more than that.

Which artists have been most influential in your design?

I love fine art, and I often joke that when I retire at age 65, I am painting and making sculptures. I generally like very organic, abstract work from artists such as Isamu Noguchi and Constantin Brancusi. But I have also discovered many female artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Angela De La Cruz. Angela explores the boundary between 2-D and 3-D and takes the sculpture out of the canvas. they are very pretty. She suffered a stroke years ago, so she is no longer able to do them herself, but it is very inspiring to see her working with her team to express her thoughts. And the colors of Helen Frankenthaler are so beautiful…. This is an endless list.

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