From MUTZINE 01 (FW17): Instagram experienced the fastest rate of adoption in the Korean market and has the highest number of active users. Enter HA HANSEUL (@zing_a) and PARK JIHOON (@coke3cake), whose outfit posts on the photo sharing platform quickly garnered them an international following. Following the footsteps of global fashion influencers who launch their personal brands the two have now become the most influential figures defining Korean street fashion and youth culture. We met HANSEUL and JIHOON during a brief lull in activity to reflect on what the first year of running MORE THAN DOPE and ANOTHERYOUTH has been like.
Words Chaereen Pak, Photos Eny Rebel
Heads turn as HA HANSEUL and PARK JIHOON enter a small vintage cafe near the Han River. JIHOON dons his favorite black ripped skinny jeans and Saint Laurent boots along with a cheetah print top and a pendant necklace. HANSEUL walks in behind him in a vintage dragon pattern shirt paired with black Adidas Originals pants, black Axel Arigato sneakers, and an Adidas headband.
"My mom saved a special place in her heart for clothes. Naturally I gained a lot of interest in fashion when I was younger because of her and came to love clothes as well," JIHOON recalls.
"Thus, ANOTHERYOUTH was born last year." He twirls the straw of his Americano as HANSEUL sits down next to him with his grapefruit ade and immediately speaks up about his own relationship with fashion. “I actually started to gain interest in fashion as a seventh grader. One of my closest friends loved clothes, so we would always talk about clothes when we hung out. Those conversations were a humongous source of inspiration for me.”
IT'S CLICHE, BUT IF YOU DON'T TRY... HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF IT'LL WORK OUT OR NOT?
HANSEUL takes a sip of his beverage. "How was it like in the beginning for you, JIHOON? I would say developing MORE THAN DOPE's identity was the most difficult challenge for me. In fact, i'm still figuring it out. I wanted my brand to have an identity that's not only firm but also unrivaled. With a firm identity, MORE THAN DOPE will receive lots of love for a very long time."
“I bumped into many walls,” JIHOON replies. “I struggled for quite a bit because of really small, tedious issues. I realized later on though that those struggles added up to become experiences that strengthened my mentality about all of this work. Yeah, the starting point is definitely the hardest. But, if what you want to do is something that you earnestly love, don’t fear and try it out. It’s cliche, but if you don’t try… how will you know if it’ll work out or not?”
“Another wall for me is that MORE THAN DOPE ’s clothing isn’t exactly what you would call normal,” HANSEUL admits. “So, there’s the fact that we have a limited customer base. It’s a homework problem that I’m working to solve at the moment.”
I WANTED MY BRAND TO HAVE AN IDENTITY THAT'S NOT ONLY FIRM BUT ALSO UNRIVALED.
MORE THAN DOPE
“I’m currently preparing ANOTHERYOUTH’s Fall/Winter collection so I’ve been focusing on that in my personal studio. I think I concentrate there best.” JIHOON states. “Where are you usually working, HANSEUL?”
"Vintage cafes! I don't really have a particular reason, but I've always found myself working the most efficiently in cafes. I'm preparing my fall line too!"
“See, this is what motivates us to wake up early in the morning and head off to our respective workplaces to ship goods or flip through factory logs,” JIHOON elaborates. “We’re doing things that we love. That’s the only goal I’m reaching for: to live happily doing what I love. And I’m glad I didn’t hesitate another second to begin ANOTHERYOUTH.”
HANSEUL agrees. “I love MORE THAN DOPE, but I also want it to be loved more and more by others, whether they’re in Korea or a different country. We’re both growing our presences in the e-commerce industry, so we can only hope that things will continuously go up.”
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