Kié Lee was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1992. She spent her childhood in Switzerland and South Korea and moved to New York City for her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design.


Kie Lee


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She lived in New York City for 8 years achieving a BFA degree and gaining several industry experiences. At the age of 23, she opened her own business (Ageless Einzelgänger 2016-2019) in New York City and prepared herself to present a Ready-to-Wear collection in Paris. While creating her first collection, she stayed in Japan numerous times for fabric sourcing and production as she appreciated the supplier’s true support to young creators by allowing her to produce the small amount at a slow pace. After several seasons of presentation at New York and Paris with Ageless Einzelgänger, she decides to move her base to Europe, and re-start her business as Kié Einzelgänger (2019 – present and future). From 2019, she is enrolled at Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp for a Master’s degree in Visual Arts, at a Theatre Costume Department, to broaden the perspective on her way of creation. As of now, she is a founder of Kié Einzelgänger based in Antwerp and New York, and continuing on her creation as a garment designer, theatre costume designer, and visual artist based on focused research of the Interbellum period. She is strongly influenced by the visual arts of the 1920s – 1940s, and her recent focus is to observe the subject of “sleep and the omnipotence of dream and unconsciousness mind” as it was a significant subject of surrealists in the early 1920s.

Description of Artwork:
I have this fascination with the surrealist’s “pure psychic automatism” in the early 1900s and it had been a considerable reference to me for quite a long time until now. I’ve always appreciated how things we often neglect in our daily lives could be utilized as the main subject. The pure ideas that are not dominated by logic seemed honest and the denial of reality was certainly necessary for the Interbellum period. I fundamentally admired the idea of automatism as I’m someone who is affected more by instinct rather than the reign of logic. For the current collection, I was drawn to a theme of a “present tense” of my actual life of 28, and this autobiographical approach was obviously because I spent most of my time with myself this year in this pandemic. “The present eludes me”, the short quote from one of Godard’s films I have watched during the lockdown sort of triggered me in diverse ways. In the present, we can’t have time to reflect on the present itself and we can’t have the awareness of what’s happening. The idea of capturing the present seemed intriguing and I wanted to find a way to symbolically render my “now” so that when I glance back after few years, I could say “that was my present”. Then the methods of automatism came up in my head as it is a potential way to observe what my current thoughts are. A method like “free association” for instance, was an interesting exercise to scrutinize my unconscious minds, and I believe my daily diary is somehow unveiling my honest state as I write them without many pauses. The most duplicate word I used in 2020-2021 was “뒤척임” in Korean (“tossed and turned” in English). And this one word seemed sufficient to plan one collection. The clothing details in this collection will reflect these “tossed and turned” moments I have experienced and the contrasting feelings of the abrupt absurdities I had to face every morning after some drastic dreams during my sleep. The actual photos I have been documented of my diary, bed, and pajamas which directly influenced my current designs will be exhibited with the collection. Just like a self-portrait.


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