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Seoul Designer Park Hwansung on His Collaboration With FILA

By Guan Tan

 
D-Antidote x FILA Fusion 

South Korean fashion label D-Antidote's Spring/ Summer 2018 collaboration with FILA Fusion.

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 D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

The FILA Fusion arm was launched earlier this year, with a focus on retro and trend-based styles.

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 D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

Park Hwansung, founder and designer of D-Antidote wanted to bring back the South Korean streetwear culture of the '90s.

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D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

"My teenage years were spent in the '90s and back then, kids were wearing brands such as Guess and FILA," Park recalls.

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D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

"Both were super popular in Korea at that time and I personally was a huge fan of FILA."

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D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

"All these brands paved the way for street fashion and were symbolic of youth culture in Korea," Park recalls.

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D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

Park's relationship with the 107-year-old Italian sportswear manufacturer, FILA, began in Fall/ Winter 2016, when the latter sponsored footwear for the collection.

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D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

The collaboration then followed through in Park's subsequent seasonal collections.

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D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

The upcoming Fall/ Winter 2018 carries heavy FILA logos and references as well.

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D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

The colours of FILA's logo stems from the colours of tennis courts back in the 1910s.

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D-Antidote x FILA Fusion

"As FILA is a sports brand by heritage, we wanted to pay homage to that, but through the D-Antidote perspective," says Park.

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"My teenage years were spent in the '90s and back then, kids were wearing brands such as Guess and FILA. Both were super popular in Korea at that time," South Korean fashion designer, Park Hwansung recalls. "All these brands paved the way for street fashion and were symbolic of youth culture in Korea." 

Soon after, Park left the country for London, where he got an MA in Fashion from Central Saint Martins. When he came home after his studies, Park was struck by the homogeneity of the local fashion landscape. "When I came back to Seoul, people were dressed differently from how they dressed before I left Korea. K-pop had blown up by then and people were heavily inspired by the fashions of Korean pop culture." By that, Park was referring to how youngsters were mimicking the Korean celebrities' wardrobes. 

Park then promptly launched his own label, christened D-Antidote, in Fall/ Winter 2014. He wanted to inject a dose of individuality to the landscape back then. "We wanted to make clothing for individuals who didn't want to conform to expectations." Park freed himself of Seoul's fashion norms by borrowing from the London streetwear culture that he observed in his schooling days. 

In his collections, there is always a sweater or two, paired with track pants or tailored trousers, clean poplin shirts, and workwear-inspired garments — two obvious and immiscible pools of references, from a relatively minimalistic and polished Seoul dress code, and a rough East London street wardrobe alongside classic British references such as The Beatles. Park himself literally describes this as "Seoulondon". 

In Fall/ Winter 2016, he teamed up with the Italian sportswear manufacturer, FILA on a series of footwear. "From there, we talked about putting out an official collaboration collection," Park continues. The collaboration followed him through Fall/ Winter 2017 and his Spring/ Summer 2018 collection, which launched in Singapore last month. While Park's designs are marketed as menswear, the brand notes that clothes are unisex until they find themselves tainted by social constructs. 

View the D-Antidote x FILA Fusion collection at FILA, 1 Harbourfront Walk.