SISTER ACT: BHON!

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MEET CREATIVE DREAM TEAM (& SISTERS) PATTY AND CHRISTINE YOON, WHO YOU WILL SOON LEARN TO KNOW AS THE NYC FASHION LABEL BHON.
TEXT Paul Bruno
PHOTOGRAPHS Chris Elsemore

 

 

DIRTY: WHAT IS BHON?  DOES IT MEAN / STAND FOR ANYTHING?

PATTY YOON: It was really tough to come up with a name, especially since we’ve been talking about starting a company since we were young.  So we came up with a sound instead.
CHRISTINE YOON: BHON means something, but more importantly, it represents something really personal to both of us, since we both have been working towards doing something for ourselves.

 

D: WILL IT BE A FULL LINE? APPAREL, ACCESSORIES, ETC.?  BOTH MEN’S AND WOMEN’S?

CY: We are starting small, with a focus on knit tops, with hopes to grow into a full women’s line and maybe accessories.  With the times being what they are, we’re just going to have to play it by ear and work really, really hard.

 

D: WHO / WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR DESIGN INSPIRATIONS?  FOR THIS PROJECT & IN GENERAL?

PY: We don’t want to talk about inspiration for this project just yet, but we will say that it has to do with parts of the human body.  It really comes from anywhere, places i’ve been, art, anyone who has the balls to put their shit out there.
CY: I love to see common materials reworked in new ways, like Karen Konzuk’s jewelry, where she takes a dense and inflexible material like concrete and works it into new and impossible-looking forms.  Very architect-y of me.  And of course, architecture and the built-environment is always inspiring.

 

D: A HUGE PART OF WHAT INTERESTS ME ABOUT CREATIVES IS THEIR PERSONAL PROCESS OF WORKING.  WHERE DOES THE CREATING PROCESS BEGIN FOR YOU GIRLS?  HOW DO YOU WORK TOGETHER – ARE THERE SPECIFIC ROLES?  IS IT FAIRLY ORGANIC OR DO YOU HAVE A METHOD THAT WORKS FOR YOU?

CY: I am running the business end, and patty will focus on designing, but the two of us discuss and review everything, so it’s not that black and white.  We both have a strong desire to create something for ourselves, by ourselves, and to work together.
PY: I’ve been working in larger companies, and the process has become very structured and formulaic for me.  With BHON i’d like to approach the process more organically.  Basically I want to do it differently than I have been for the last few years.  I guess that could include sitting on the toilet brainstorming and drunken sketching.

 

D: DO OTHER ARTFORMS / MEDIUMS PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR CREATION PROCESS?  (MUSIC / ART ETC.)

PY: Definitely, in a lot of different ways.  Inspiration, seeing other technical processes and sometimes taking those and applying a version to clothing or fabric, thinking about how a song looks.
CY: Particularly with visual art forms, inspiration is so tangible; this sculpture or that installation may have a detail that you could transform and use.

 

 

D: WHEN ARE YOU HOPING TO LAUNCH?  WHERE WILL WE BE ABLE TO FIND BHON MERCH?

PY: Spring 2011, which means you will be able to find BHON starting in March of next year.  as far as where to find it, we’ll update that on the site as soon as we know… you may have to hit us up on email.  So check back on our website bhonnyc.com for the look book and stockists!
CY: We are aiming to sell locally in NYC for the first couple of seasons, by way of smaller boutiques in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but we’d like to eventually try our luck in other cities and online.

 

D: WHERE WERE YOU SISTERS BORN?  WHERE DID YOU GIRLS GROW UP?

PY: I was born in Rochester, NY, but grew up in Houston, TX.  Christine was born in Houston.  We both spent a few years in Austin, and then I moved to New York right after school.
CY: We have a little brother too, and all three of us were raised in Houston, which means we all love frito pies and barbecue and Hakeem Olajuwon.  I’m actually new to NYC as of 2008 — I spent 4 years in San Francisco after college, working and exploring the west coast.

 

D:WERE YOU GIRLS EXPOSED TO FASHION / ART / DESIGN AS CHILDREN?

CY: After some stints at gas stations/convenience stores/restaurants, our parents opened a women’s wholesale and retail store in true stereotypically korean fashion. We were total shop kids, manning the register, hanging poly-blend suits by the dozens, and re-arranging Austrian crystal earrings for hours.
PY: Our grandma was a seamstress, and our aunt was a clothing manufacturer, we have cousins, aunts and uncles who were painters, architects and new wave goth freaks.  I think the biggest influence was that a majority of our relatives (especially our parents) were entrepreneurs.  All I wanted when I left college was to work a corporate job, get a steady paycheck and have benefits.  Now those things are not as important to me anymore and I’m more willing to take these risks.

 

D: WHO IS THE OLDER SISTER?  IS THERE AN ALPHA-SISTER?

CY: Patty is the oldest child of three.  Me and my little brother were totally bullied.
PY: If by alpha, you mean bitchy, slightly neurotic control freak, then yes, I am the alpha sister.

 

D: WHERE DID YOU GIRLS GO TO COLLEGE?  MAJORS?

PY: We both went to University of Texas at Austin for undergrad where I studied fashion, then I went to Parsons for the 2-year program in fashion.
CY: I majored in structural engineering and sociology, and then started working in architecture, so I’m all over the place.

 

D: PRIOR TO STARTING BHON, WHAT WERE YOU BOTH DOING PREVIOUSLY?  WORKING ON?

PY: I’ve been working in the fashion industry in NYC for 6 years +, mostly corporate jobs, but also have been freelancing for Hyden Yoo the last 2.5 – 3 years.  Still working 2 other jobs in addition to BHON, so my brain and house are a mess.
CY: I’m working at an architecture firm in the city, doing new multi-family housing throughout NYC, but BHON is where my heart (and salary) go to.

 

 

D: WOULD EACH OF YOU TALK ABOUT A PROJECT THAT YOU WERE INVOLVED IN THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?

PY: Surviving over 6 years in the fashion industry without giving up!  I am a giant walking callous.
CY: This is my first stab at working and creating for my livelihood, which is already so rewarding, so I vote for BHON.

 

D: WHAT OTHER MEDIUMS DO YOU GIRLS WORK IN?  OTHER CREATIVE INTERESTS?

CY: Well, I have my current job in architecture, which gives me plenty to do, but on the side, I like to shoot photos on film.  I also grew up playing piano and clarinet; I still mess around on the piano from time to time.
PY: I like to crochet black doilies, knit, make collages.  If I could, I would know how to do everything (maybe that has something to do with the control freak in me).  Unfortunately, having 2 jobs and starting BHON doesn’t leave much time for that.  But I’m working on it!
C: And we both like Nintendos of all shapes and sizes; all three Yoon children are very obsessed with Zelda.

 

 

BHONNYC.COM

 

 

 






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