A Q&A with Eun Sun Choi, Accessories Designer and Fashion Illustrator

Eun Sun Choi (@sunny_design_nyc), accessories designer and fashion illustrator from South Korea, lives up to her ‘Sunny’ nickname in person. We met by Starbucks, where Eun Sun revealed her affinity for green tea matcha lattes with a grin. Very happy to sit and chat about her new experiences in New York, she continued to be all smiles while talking about her first early December art show in Brooklyn and her recent accessories designs. I’ve met many designers at FIT with the same genuine passion for design, but Eun Sun’s cheerful and eager enthusiasm for her work could outrival even the sun’s brightness.

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Blush (B): How and when did you decide to pursue a career in accessories design? 

Eun Sun Choi (ESC): I studied fashion design in Seoul, South Korea at Dongduk Women’s  University and took an accessories design class [there], but there was no design major. And I wanted to study more as a fashion student and designer at a popular fashion school, and I [had] heard that FIT is popular with this major and [that] FIT has history with the major so I decided to study abroad here.

I was interested in both product design and fashion, so accessories is the middle ground that I’m interested in, can do well and have fun designing!

I have learned about handbags and footwear at FIT and have worked in the Alexander Wang handbag design department. Also, I was a freelance designer at BCNY SYNCLAIRE BRANDS kids shoes showroom which sold to Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, etc. I also have industry experience presenting to Global Brands Group. 

B: You just had a show of your fashion illustrations at the World Money Gallery in Brooklyn – was that your first show? 

ESC:  Yes, that was my first show. I wanted to show [my work] through another medium: fashion artwork. I contacted [my] designer friend who had had a pop-up shop at the World Money Gallery, visited and met her friends there, and asked about opportunities. I hadn’t had art industry experience, so it was a new experience and I met many very talented artists. 

Hanna Jaeun ‘Extraordinary Me’ Review: Sunny’s background in fashion design brings her sketches to life with unexpected mediums such as wire and rope.  Stripping down the complexity of fashion to minimal lines and shapes, she captures style and fashion with expressive simplicity.

‘Extraordinary Me’ Exhibit

B: Favorite accessory to wear? Make?

ESC: To wear and make: handbags and shoes!

B: Favorite textile/material to work with?

ESC: Leather and fabrics!

B: What inspires you? Do you have mood boards or a design motto?

ESC: Inspiration comes from everywhere; people around me on the street, museums. Mood boards are important for inspiration, too. I got the inspiration for Illuminations of Extraordinary Things from the Empire State Building in New York City and light switches for my final line building project. This is due to the fact that I think the illumination of ordinary things is possible through turning off the lights at night in New York City so it becomes extraordinary. Because people in this city are so busy, their time is very valuable. They need to turn on their hearts to shine. Also, I got inspiration from 2017 Fall/Winter trend forecasting. I used gold rounded hardware and orange metallic leather to show imagery of light switches for details.

‘Illuminations of Extraordinary Things’ Designs

B: Who’s your customer? 

ESC: Trendy, modern, independent and hard-working women in New York City.

B: What are you excited about right now?

ESC: I just finished my art exhibition and [it] is still very exciting. It was a new opportunity I couldn’t experience in South Korea and I was able to meet new people in a new industry!

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