Considered Elegance : the new F/W 2016/17 collection from SMK
The young Korean brand SMK explores sustainable solutions with an emphasis on creating beautiful clothes (for men and women) which are locally made and carefully considered.
CORE VALUES : animal protection
With a commitment to avoiding the use of fur and leather in their garments & accessories, S M K also sources materials which they describe as "human-friendly or eco-friendly", many of which are at the cutting edge of fibre production.
(S M K do not call themselves a vegan brand, however, and we are sad to note that a few of their garments contain silk or mohair - but the vast majority of the collection is indeed animal-free, which we are excited about. Baby steps, world, but we're heading in the happy direction....)
CORE VALUES : local production, sustainable materials, giveback
S M K source as close to home as possible, and manufacture from their base in Seoul, Korea, under fair wear manufacturing conditions.
This year's SS collection set itself a goal of using all the leftover stock fabrics from earlier collections - which we applaud for its considered thought and reduced-waste intent.
Each collection is partnered with a NGO association with a relevance to the current collection's theme, and donates 5% of the benefits to that chosen association.
THE DESIGNER : FRENCH WITH A KOREAN TWIST
Sandra Meynier Kang graduated from Atelier Chardon-Savard school of Fashion in Paris in 2008, and while working as a designer and international marketer for a French brand in France, travelled to Korea to explore the brand's expansion there.
She discovered a wonderful place, and ended up relocating to Seoul, firstly working as a international marketer for various Korean brands, before establishing her eponymous label in 2014.
The brand first caught our eye with their fabulous collection of vegan handbags, which are made from interesting non-animal materials, such as polyester, and have a "folded" feel to their organic lines.
The current collection moves into more of a structured silhouette, with pin-striped textured jackets which we can imagine working well for meetings throughout the day, with block heels.
Then transition into after-work wear for cosy dinners, with the addition of a soft scarf. Or with a change of shoes into sparkly runners, quite perfect for an early-evening gallery viewing.
There is also a menswear range too - with organic cotton as the fibre and structured simplicity as the line.
S M K is currently working on a "Speciesism" theme for their next collection, focusing on why we treasure some species and wear others. In the process, they are working with a couple of Korean-based animal groups, to highlight awareness of the cruel use of fur in the fashion industry.
We look forward to following further collections from this interesting design house, and meanwhile, if you would like to discover more about S M K, you can learn more here:-
PS - We have not been paid to write this review. All opinions are our own. As always, we are keen to support small businesses with ethics & great products, who are providing fabulous vegan options.