Currently within the Korean market, numerous new brands with varying ideas are rapidly forming. Such affluence causes a loss of fresh stimulation, however, inspiring new brands do exist.
CYTOKININ, located in Itaewon, Seoul, consists of both a stand-alone store as well as an international brand buying select shop. Their purpose is not only to sell products but to also explore the powerful creative energy that establishes a solid cultural aspect as they tell the story the way they want to tell.
It has a number of advantages with the current overflow in the market as their unique process in creating, communicates and expresses their emotions honestly.
Can you explain who you(team) are?
We run a select shop called CYTOKININ in Itaewon, Seoul.
CYTOKININ consists of two members, Yoon Yoo-Sun, the director and Roh Sang-Min, the designer.
Tell us about CYTOKININ.
CYTOKININ introduces many different never-seen before brands to Seoul from various cities around the world including Berlin, London, Bangkok, Barcelona, and New York.
Why did you establish CYTOKININ?
The quintessential curiosity surrounding the people that we like and the people who like us prompted us to establish/create CYTOKININ. We wanted to meet these people in person and have a conversation about what they do, what they like, and what they dislike.
What does CYTOKININ mean?
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term Cytokinin means “any of various plant growth substances that are usually derivatives of adenine.” The word basically describes the material to control and promote plant growth. Although the plain meaning behind the word is fine, we were particularly drawn by the array and the sound of the word. Cytokinin is a name that embodies and captures a ray of transparent and bluish light.
How is the collection of CYTOKININ constructed?
The collection of CYTOKININ always begins without any specific planning. As soon as we come up with a new idea on what we want to wear, we immediately start working on executing the idea. We are fully immersed in the entire process from the very beginning to the end. The fabric processing, patterning, and sewing are all completed in-house. Sometimes we end up with a final product that is completely different from the original idea as we welcome adapting to the new ideas that surface in the middle of the project. The unexpected intermittencies and surprises that we encounter along the way is what makes preparing for each CYTOKININ collection quite enjoyable.
CYTOKININ consist of both a stand-alone store and a select shop. The reason why and what is the ultimate goal by combining two different concept together at a single place?
We wanted to create a platform that will allow us to show a new movement with interesting people and tell individual stories through a variety of international brands. The ultimate reason and goal in combining two different concepts is to cultivate influence. We want to be able to create and spread culture throughout Korea and beyond.
What inspires you?
Our works all stem from the emotions that we feel every day. We tend to focus more on negative feelings rather than positive feelings.
Why are you focusing on negative emotions?
Negative emotions are also a valid form of pure human expression. We have been taught that it is not good to express the negative emotions. We beg to differ – negative feelings are indispensable in driving the world’s movement and energy.
What are you interested in these days?
Emptying the mind. I strive to find my pure form.
The first and foremost thing to do is to put nothing in our minds.
What designer would you like to collaborate with?
I would like to collaborate with Walter Van Beirendonck of W & LT from 1995.
Just the thought of such a meeting between Walter and CYTOKININ is very exciting.
What criteria do you select for the brands selected in your Select-Shop?
Does the brand have a story?, Does the story draw our attention?, Finally, is the price reasonable?
The design, materials and colorways used in PVC's pants look very different from those of other pants. What inspired you?
We get inspired by everything that happens around us, specifically by the people, stories, and emotions. Our looks are created organically based on those inspirations. Recently, we have been greatly inspired and influenced by the hip hop culture.
What do you think of funk?
Do It Yourself.
What are the advantages of CYTOKININ over other brands? Is there anything to say in the end?
We know what we like and what we can do well. We believe that is an advantage. To tell and listen to a story is to build a relationship. Relationships can create cultures and cultures can become history.
We feel honored to be interviewed.