Lie Sang Bong is one of Korea’s preeminent fashion designers, a master craftsman and artist who is internationally recognized for his architectural collections that celebrate and enhance the body. Since founding his eponymous brand, LIE SANGBONG, in 1985, Mr. Lie continues to blend traditional influences and innovative techniques, allowing his work to resonate with audiences around the world.
“One good thing about being a fashion designer is that you can live in different ages, combine even oppositional ideas and techniques to create something that is both contemporary and useful, ” says Mr. Lie. Believing that fashion is where art and industry converge, he combines diverse influences including: Korean poetry, calligraphy and architecture, Cubism, Bauhaus design, 1930’s Film Noir heroines, and the natural world. Garment construction is approached from an architectural perspective; silhouettes are built out from Bauhaus-influenced geometric shapes. Mr. Lie also produces unique ‘tech’ fabrics for each of his collections. Intricate techniques, like laser cutting, embroidery and digital printing, are applied to natural fabrics, used alone and in combination with one another.
Lie Sang Bong began his career by creating couture garments for private clients at his atelier in Seoul. In 1993, he presented his first ready-to-wear collection, “The Reincarnation,” during Seoul Fashion Week. He quickly gained favor among Korean celebrities and the press; in 1999 he received the ‘Designer of the Year’ Award from the mayor of Seoul.
Wanting to expand the brand’s business into Europe, LIE SANGBONG began to show during Paris Fashion Week in 2002. As the notoriety of Mr. Lie’s collections continued to grow, he participated in several collaborative projects. In 2007, he created the Cyon Shine Mobile Phone by LIE SANGBONG with LG Electronics. One of the first limited-edition cell phones to be designed by a fashion designer, it features a modernized pattern of Hangul characters etched into the casing. Continuing his exploration of Hangul characters, he also designed several porcelain pieces with Haengnam Porcelain Company which later became part of the permanent collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Among his numerous other accomplishments, he has also created uniforms for the A1 Grand Prix Korean national team (2008) and designed an exhibit to celebrate the first anniversary of the Korean Cultural Center in London, later displayed in Trafalgar Square (2009).
LIE SANGBONG has continued to expand its international business and, after 12 years of showing in Paris, the collection celebrated its New York Fashion Week debut with the Fall-Winter 2014 collection. “My goal is always to move design forward in a way that pays respect to tradition while providing something that is relevant for the present. The confident, intelligent women of New York have an innate understanding and appreciation for this balance and I am excited to have the opportunity to share my collections with them,” says Mr. Lie.
LIE SANGBONG continues to receive critical acclaim and has been featured in publications including: Vogue, Vanity Fair, W, The New York Times, Le Figaro, The Telegraph, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. Mr. Lie has dressed notable women such as Korea’s First Lady, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Rosario Dawson, Kelly Rowland, and Juliette Binoche. An influential artistic and cultural figure in Korea, he currently acts as the president of CFDK (Council of Fashion Designers of KOREA) and a cultural Ambassador for the City of Seoul.