WWD Series: Kei Lee

October 1, 2021
Kei Lee, Head Buyer of Boontheshop (South Korea)

What is your customer asking for right now?

Because of the ongoing pandemic, lifestyles are evolving faster than ever before. With more time spent at home, they’re less about showing off in fashion forward styles and more about comfortable, multi-functional silhouettes, with a particular focus on positivity and an essence of fashion found in color and patterns.

How has the way they shop changed in the past 18 months?

The digital shopping environment is soaring more than ever, becoming even faster and more convenient, but we’ve seen at Boontheshop that customers want to see and experience [shopping] directly.

In Korea, we have been fortunate enough that the fashion retail has not fallen under various pandemic-related restrictions. So new and existing clients were still able to come to us, increasing our customer base.  

The most important thing today is to continue to provide new and interesting ways to experience our offerings. Creating content that sustains its value is always a challenge.

What is the challenge of the season?

Given the circumstances, it’s finding a sense of balance between hopeful change and stability.

Ultimately, living with Covid-19 and returning to life slowly in that context, where people are keen to go global once more and want a physical experience could create a new unpredictable environment again.

It’s hard to know what will have happened by the time the Spring 2022 collections we are now buying until the end of October, and what the context will be when those orders are delivered.

How do you feel about digital presentations?

Over the past two years, digital presentations have diversified, along with new technologies and given [brands] the ability to express things close to reality. A lot of information is provided to facilitate the buying process.

Digital presentations and meeting are freed from time and space. It’s a comfortable and stable environment.

But at the end of the day, the exciting vibes of fashion, physical meetings, the social life that goes with it and communication are always missing.

Since I still believe that fashion is not a digital and VR life but a living organism that takes place between real people and in a physical environment, [I’ll always prefer live fashion weeks.]

What are you most looking forward to this season?

I’m always interested in big-name shows and paying attention to them but I’m looking forward to Marine Serre, Germanier and Ludovic de Saint Sernin, where you can see the new generation’s energy and content.

Plus, I want to [experience] a dynamic show – a real show! – and I don’t want to see another digital presentation for a while.

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