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EXCLUSIVE: Lane Crawford to Launch Capsule With Buzzy Korean Fashion Brand Bonbom

Hong Kong‘s prestigious department store Lane Crawford is linking up with South Korean designer brand Bonbom on an exclusive collection that gives the iconic Metallica graphic T-shirt a high-fashion makeover.

The 10-piece collection, drenched in Y2K nostalgia, features cutout graphics of major characters or scenes from thrillers and apocalyptic films including “The Fifth Element,” “Mad Max,” “Burning,” “The Matrix,” “Melancholia,” “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” “Anna,” “Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “Nikita,” “Lucy,” “Lost Highway” and “Blue Velvet.”

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The collection will launch April 17 at Lane Crawford’s IFC, Shanghai and Chengdu stores, as well as online.

Bonbom Jo, the designer behind his eponymous brand, said his experience working with K-pop phenomenon Blackpink gave him the initial impetus to design tee shirts for his unisex label, which fuses couture drama with streetwear cool.

Bon-Bom Jo
Bonbom Jo

“The inspiration for their performance looks was punk, but their stylist asked me, ‘how about using vintage graphic T-shirts?’ So I gathered over 100 T-shirts from the vintage market, and we made it into stage outfits,” said Jo, who gave the old T-shirts a new life with different silhouettes.

Soon after, more K-pop requests came funneling in, including from BTS, Aespa and NCT.

“K-pop stylists always want to make their artists look fresh and young, so that kind of inspired me as well,” Jo said.

Jo, who graduated from the London College of Fashion with a menswear major, launched Bonbom in late 2020 and quickly gained traction for his strong, at times protruding, silhouettes. His signature pieces, such as the lantern dress with pleated draped sides or the chandelier dress, which turns the drapes into soft wings that cascade softly, quickly became celebrity stylist favorites and helped him get into prestigious retailers such as Boon the Shop, Lane Crawford, Machine-A and Tom Greyhound.

Jo designs four collections a year. In his latest winter 2024 collection, he continued to explore the sculptural and the utilitarian, which was inspired by a recent trip to the Louvre museum.

Looks from Bonbom’s winter 2024 collection.
Looks from Bonbom’s winter 2024 collection.

“A lot of the cutting details were inspired by medieval knight armory, so I also used a lot of gold, silver and bronze in knitwear, which referenced coins and bills. I’m reminded of their beautiful color every time I come to Europe. In Korea, we just pay with a card,” Jo said.

Though Jo designs without a muse in mind, he gets inspiration from people such as the stylists Lotta Volkova and Jamie-Maree Shipton.

“I keep in mind how they would wear my looks and in what way. I mean, it’s not just how they wear the garments, but how they post the looks on Instagram,” Jo explained.

For the future, Jo will continue to build his streetwear-savvy collections with distinctive pattern-cutting details. He is eager to expand his presence in the European and U.S. markets and plans to host his first presentation or runway show during Paris Fashion Week.

“It’s always a packed schedule, but I want to become their [editors’ and showgoers’] favorite show of the day,” Jo added ambitiously.

“Getting more stockists means that more celebrity stylists will be able to discover us and have my pieces seen on celebrities,” he said.

“I also want to establish and develop our brand archive looks, to expand our pleating expertise. There will also be a bag for spring 2025. It is nothing trendy, maybe something classy like The Row’s Margaux,” the designer said. He revealed that another signature motif of his design, the tuck, an often asymmetrical folded detail that gives structure to the garment, will be a key element in the bag design.

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