Model Moment - Nadja Bender

H&M + Minju Kim

Minju Kim is the winner of this years H&M Design Award and the collection will be available this Thursday in selected stores, online and for the first time also in Opening Ceremony stores. Her designs are colourful, playful and cartooney. The energetic collection is a magical fusion of whim and wearability as you can see here in the lookbook, featuring models Anais Pouilot and Danish Marikka Juhler. I was thrilled to be able to do a Q&A with her. I hope you enjoy it. 

Q: What Was your inspiration for the collection?

A: When I was reading Ito Junji’s manga, I was thrilled and surprised by how he transformed beautiful girls into grotesque monsters at the end with sticky, spooky texture, even though it was black and white it was more close to 3D drawing to me. I felt like these girls might jump out of the frame and face my face. I also dreamt a lot, and it strongly came to me. I somehow found a strong connection with his manga and myself and others too. Not only fear and scary ghosts were elements to convey into my collection, I love to show weird things happening, I cannot explain it clear… I wanted to bring out these strange girls in my head in this real world.

Q: How was the design process? Tweaking your own design into something that H&M’s customers would understand?

A: The entire process was very interesting and there were so many special moments making me awake,
and also about the fashion reaching to the costumer. First, I had to think about people who are going
to wear my collection, it can sound quite weird but I never thought about people wearing my pieces,
because in school the most important thing for me was to express my fantasy world inside of my head.
But to make this capsule collection in the store, we had many meetings to make them comfortable,
easy to wear in everyday life – more joyful for people. It was a very hard education for myself but at
the same time it was a new happy world I’ve never felt.

 Q: Your designs are very colorful, quirky and almost cartooney – which kind of girl would you like to see wearing it?

A: Just everyone, I don’t care how they look or dress like, I wish people would become more confident about showing what they love and want to express. Be yourself, that might be the perfect world. And I wish that my pieces will help them to show their character more stronger. Let’s enjoy it!

Q: What were your first thought when you won and realized that your designs would be sold not only in H&M stores but also in Opening Ceremony?

A: Very big surprise. I don’t know what is happening around me right now. I am so happy that I can present my collection in H&M and also at Opening Ceremony. OC has been working with so many amazing young designers and they also try to find new talent and gives opportunity to one step more. I feel a big honor showing my collection through OC, it is very exciting. The best thing is that my friend lives in L.A. – she moved last year from Antwerp, and I am so happy that she can see my collection there too. She told me she really can’t wait for the D-day.

Q: Which items is your personal favourite from the collection?

A: I love them all really, especially the printed t-shirt and knit pieces are the first items I made so I hope people are going to like them. Also the yellow coat and bat cape are strong items showing my character and we tried to make them exactly the same as the original catwalk pieces, because it shows my concept and idea directly more than others. I am so looking forward to see people wearing them on the street. If I see my pieces, I will say HI!




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Model Moment - Nadja Bender