An exhibition venue in SoHo neighborhood in New York on Wednesday (local time) gathered some 300 fashion buyers from America’s high-end department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. They came for 2017 spring and summer presentation of KUHO, women’s designer brand of Samsung C&T‘s Fashion Group.

Key figures in fashion society expressed their interest in a strange brand of KUHO during New York Fashion Week when a series of fashion shows by world-renowned designers are showcased. “I was quite impressed to know that Samsung has been engaged in textile business since 1950s," Natalie Resika, fashion director from Neiman Marcus said. "I think that KUHO will bring about a positive result based on its good materials, price competitiveness, minimal design.”

Having made its debut at New York Fashion Week 2017, KUHO is kick starting its global business. Samsung C&T is also aggressively targeting at overseas markets for JUUN.J, its high-end men’s wear brand, and 8 Seconds, its Specialty Store Retailer of Private Label Apparel brand. It appears that the global fashion strategy of Lee Seo-hyun, president of Samsung C&T's Fashion Group who has taken the initiative in “globalization of Korean fashion” is being implemented in earnest.

Created by designer Jeong Ku-ho in 1997, KUHO was acquired by then Cheil Industries in 2003 and has grown to be a big brand with more than 100 billion Korean won (approx. 88.79 million U.S dollars) in annual sales. Having established a solid foundation as a high-end brand in Korea, the brand has started making thorough preparation for its overseas expansion since last year. The first step was to study different body types of American and European women. “Clothes to be introduced in American market have narrower width of shoulder and sleeve with longer total length,” sources from Samsung C&T explained.

After its presentation at New York Fashion Week, KUHO appeared to be well received as the brand will sell at Selfridges department store in London and Lane Crawford department store in Hong Kong from next spring. With Samsung C&T’s corporate body in New York at the center, the brand is now under the sales negotiation with other upscale department stores in America.

With Samsung at the forefront, Korea is focusing on high-end markets in playing out its global fashion business. “Korea’s fashion business used to target at Southeast Asian markets, taking advantage of K-Pop and Korean wave. Now, more designers and brands are trying to make head-on competition in America and Europe,” sources from the fashion industry said.

In fact, Korean designer Yuna Yang attracted rapt attention with her fashion show during the Fashion Week when KUHO made its first debut. In addition, it was another Korean designer Eudon Choi who became the talk of the event at London Fashion Week, which kicked off last Friday (local time). MCM by Sungjoo Group was awarded the trendsetter prize at the Accessories Council Excellence Awards in New York.

As Korean fashion business is playing games with its core competence in clothing itself, not with “celebrity effect” in high-end global markets, export in clothing industry is on the rise as well. According to the Korean Trade Association, the export in fashion clothes during the first half of this year increased by 18.4 percent year-on-year. Exports of bags and belts to American and Japanese markets jumped by 17.6 percent and 22.8 percent, respectively.Read more at:marieaustralia | cocktail dresses