I started as a student at FIT in 1962, and was the first Korean national to graduate from the Fashion Design Program. During my time at FIT, I received a great deal of inspiration from the FIT Fashion Research Lab. This experience is what influenced me and my vision to establish a museum when I returned to Korea. Although the FIT Fashion Lab at that time was much humbler compared to the current Museum at FIT, it inspired and guided my life’s work.
My mother, Choi Kyung Ja, a pioneer of Korean fashion, studied in Japan, then returned to Korea and established Hamheung Dressmaking Academy at Hamheung, Hamkyungnam-do in 1938; the matrix of Kookje Fashion School. The school has continued with me as the second director and now with my daughter as the third director of the institute. We have produced internationally renowned designers such as Andre Kim and Lie Sang Bong. Through these relationships and donations made by many designers and celebrities and with additional acquired pieces, I opened the first and only, Korea Museum of Modern Costume in Seoul 25 years ago. I put my life, heart and soul into the collection and curation of the museum.
I am with great pride and pleasure that FIT, my Alma mater, opened a campus in Songdo. The university gathers students from all over the globe allowing them to learn, grow and dream together. It reminds me of the enthusiasm I had as a student at FIT in New York half a century ago. I am grateful for everything I have achieved based on the learning, experience and the vision that I gained from my time at FIT.
The SUNY Korea Museum of Modern Costume opening on the Songdo Campus will operate mainly to support the academic courses taught. My wish is for it to grow into a learning center where younger generations of fashion students may share in the same experience I had at FIT. I dream SUNY Korea Museum of Modern Costume will develop as the major contributor to fashion education in Korea, in the near future. I certainly believe this wish will come true.
SUNY Korea Museum of Modern Costume, Chief Director Heisoon Shin
On view & Upcoming
Title of the exhibition: Special Exhibition : Alice in Wonderyarn
Opening Ceremony : 4pm, October 26th, 2022
Duration of the exhibition : October 26th, 2022 - March 31, 2023
Greeting from the Director
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of SUNY Korea and IGC, I am honored and happy to jointly hold the ‘Special Exhibition: Alice in Wonderyarn’ at The SUNY Korea Museum of Modern Costume.
In the 1980s, as the standard of living improved due to economic growth, foreign fashions were quickly introduced to Korea, and the importance of knitwear, a new trendy style, was also highlighted. Rustic American President Jimmy Carter, who was from a rural area and often wore comfortable knitwear in 1977, and Britain’s Princess Diana, who was famous for wearing an inverted triangle hourglass-style knit with large shoulders, both drew attention to, and also influenced, the trend of knitwear.
We hope you enjoy this exhibition, where you can see knitwear, which was a representative fashion element of the 80s, through works of outstanding artistry.
Heisoon Shin, Director
Dione Christesen, Julie Artisans Gallery, New York 1997 Gwangju Biennale Entry
A Half-Coat woven with Multi-Colored and Novelty Yarns
Queen of Hearts
2013 FW Collection
Red Pile Knit Jacket