22-year-old Chicago native, Hee Lim, first came to Parsons because of its infamous freshman "Foundations" program, a year of rigorous multi-disciplinary study that would allow him to sample a wide variety of artistic pursuits. "I never really thought I would end up doing fashion," says Lim, who had initially planned to go to school for engineering. "I came to New York to pursue a degree in design, but I didn't really know exactly what field I wanted to go into."
Four years later, and it's abundantly clear that Lee has found his true calling. His senior thesis, a unisex collection of edgy activewear, was inspired by the 1982 film "Koyaanisqatsi," the first of Godfrey Reggio's time-lapse films depicting natural landscapes and cities. "The film portrayed graphic environments filled with color, shape, and movement," explains Lim. "With that idea in mind, I decided to focus on a futuristic concept of dress, one that can be worn by both men and women."
The debut collection explores the notion of outerwear as a home for the wearer, and consists of multi-functional layering pieces with large, exaggerated proportions. In keeping with the feeling of "hominess," most of Lim's materials are mostly soft jerseys and cozy cotton-ribs, accented with tecchie synthetics (nylon, mesh, elastics) to give it an edge. Lim says that the target customer he's designing for "likes to be comfortable in clothing" and, more importantly, has an "appreciation for clothes that may require thinking."
Though Lim hopes to gain more industry experience before striking out on his own, he plans to someday manage and design for his own brand. For more information, visit www.heelimnyc.com, or check out the complete lookbook at Oak.