Minju Kim was the first and only winner of Next In Fashion. Since the show, she’s built a respectable career and launched a product line.
Fans of Next in Fashion are still sad that the series ended after one season, but they’ll be pleased to know that season one winner Minju Kim is doing well today. Appearing on Next in Fashion definitely boosted her career. She has a new and exclusive fashion line, and ALAND American Dream is hosting her latest launch, Mbrary by Minju Kim. The release date for that launch was Friday, May 14. She did a promotional event on Instagram to commemorate the event.
Hailing from South Korea, Minju made a name for herself on the show with her bubbly attitude, honorable attitude towards fellow competitors, and love for big prints. Her parents encouraged her to study design and she graduated from the Samsung Art & Design Institute. On Next in Fashion, Minju bonded with Chinese designer Angela Chen and they put together some of the best team looks, as the team “Dragon Princess,” complete with a pose. They weren’t happy about having to work individually, and they were even less happy when Angela got eliminated. While she lost her partner, Minju was determined to show that she could win a fashion competition while dealing with very mixed emotions. She ended the series by telling the judges Tan France and Alexa Chung that the show was over, sitting down, and giving a huge farewell to the viewers.
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Since she’s won the show, Minju has used the $250,000 prize money to expand her career. ALAN American Dream teamed up with Minju Kim to release a new clothing line called Mbary. It includes the “Eye of the Hero” set, which features unique eco-friendly bags and fun t-shirts. Minju and CEO Ken Downing announced the launch during an Instagram event on May 14, and they talked about her inspiration and the reasons for her current direction. The main American Dream store is in Rutherford, New Jersey.
Interested customers can buy Minju’s designs, including dresses and shirts, online. They aren’t budget clothes, but they do have a designer label, and the pieces showcase her love of bold prints. Some of Minju’s best responses to the challenges that Tan and Alexa posed involved getting out of her comfort zone by focusing more on shape than color. Tan knows how you have to challenge yourself in fashion, having grown up with a similar journey. He designed clothes before joining the Fab Five.
On the show, Minju had a talent for tuning out the reality show aspects. She was also good at hiding any competitive spirit. She wanted to focus on the challenge rather than on trying to win people over. Minju only needed her friendship with Angela, and the affirmation that she was good.
It’s interesting to ponder what Minju Kim’s life would have been like if she had gone to art school to learn the art of creating cartoons, instead of focusing on fashion design. She did want to become a cartoonist, but her parents encouraged her to study fashion instead. If she’d gone in that direction, Minju might have won an Eisner award for a graphic novel, or possibly even a Genius grant for her work. She does thank her parents for helping her make a choice and recognizing her talent with textiles. Tan and Alexa agreed.
We hope that Netflix will release Next In Fashion season 2, with safety procedures in place for the pandemic. With the streaming fate of Project Runway up in the air (even Hulu-Live reps have remained ambiguous about whether viewers will be able to find the show) there is a dearth of reality television focused on fashion design. Fans want to see people cutting fabric, or designing their own prints and rendering them on satin. Without Next in Fashion, there is one less fashion reality show that can provide opportunities to a potential designer.
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