10 Minutes with The Vanguard: Le 17 Septembre

September 17, 2019

To celebrate the third season of The Vanguard Program, we sat down with the emerging designers behind the latest brands to launch on NET-A-PORTER.

The Vanguard was launched to formalise NET-A-PORTER’s long-term expertise as an incubator and accelerator of the fashion industry’s brightest next fashion talents. 

Blogger turned self-taught designer Eunhye Shin launched Le 17 Septembre in 2013, which is described as one of the most exciting brands to emerge from the Korean fashion scene. Named after Shin’s birthday, the mood of the collection is minimalist and effortless, aiming to add an element of cool to any stylish wardrobe. Ahead of the launch, we spoke to Eunyne about the inspiration behind her brand, why she thinks it’s important to include traditional Korean techniques in her designers and what being part of The Vanguard programme means to her.

Can you tell us about Le 17 Septembre and the inspiration behind the brand?

When designing Le 17 Septembre, it purely comes down to what I would like to wear in everyday life.

My pieces should be timeless, minimal and not too noticeable, unisex with a hint of femininity. Also, the quality is critical to me, as I want to make sure my pieces are both enduring and sustainable.

What would you say are the key signatures for the brand?

Simplicity is at the heart of the brand and is its real differentiator. It requires both audacity and acute discernment to draw a fine line between what is necessary and what is not. Refined simplicity is a virtue that I deem very important. When designing, I start by sketching a design in which the fabric could stand out and work my way up to find the best matching silhouettes for it. Nothing makes me happier than when the fabric and the structure I envisaged goes perfectly together. Every piece from Le 17 Septembre features seamlessly measured detailed, which are first glance seem stunningly simple. 

I believe that those small details reflect the countless hours and love I put into each piece and the brand as a whole.

What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in fashion today?

Well… I think the most exciting thing happening in fashion is that I am part of The Vanguard programme on NET-A-PORTER! I do not come from a fashion education background and have not had any traditional training, but I truly believe anyone with passion and a clear vision can become a designer today. I think the world and fashion processes in general are changing, and we can all get involved.

Can you tell us how you incorporate traditional Korean techniques into your designing today?

When designing, I try to incorporate Korean ethnic traditions in a very delicate way, focusing on the small details. For example, I aim to portray this through the tie knot or concaving lines of the arms and shoulders of my pieces.

As a Korean designer, I believe it is important to communicate my identity and heritage in my pieces.

What are you most looking forward to as a Vanguard brand?

Being part of The Vanguard is a fantastic opportunity for me to introduce my vision to a variety of customers. I am also looking forward to sitting down one on one with the team of experts at NET-A-PORTER. 

What has been your highlight since launching your label?

The fashion industry is very fast-moving, but there are staple pieces that appear in everyone’s closets. My dream is for our pieces to become a staple in all fashionable, conscious women’s wardrobes globally.

Where would you like to see Le 17 Septembre go in the next six months?

Every day we are looking and evaluating our whole process as a brand and focus on how we can continue to create new designs for our incredible customers.