SUBIN HAHN | Designer Spotlight

New York native and fashion designer Subin Hahn, has challenged traditional men’s and unisex apparel aesthetics, creating a vibrant sphere of unity and a gender-fluid collection that evokes both romance and ambiguity.

Words by Kimberly Haddad

Embracing his own femininity and artistic imagination, Hahn’s latest series is an elegant compilation of free-flowing fabrics and prismatic silhouettes—emphasizing a changeable spectrum of styles and personal narrative of gender liberation in a utopian-like universe.

BASIC: If you could travel back in time and design clothing for a specific fashion era, whether it be the age of counter culture in the 1960s, post-war or the iconic 80s, what would it be?

Subin: Definitely the 1980s. I love the New Romanticism and the flamboyant styles of iconic artists such as Boy George, Duran Duran, Adam and the Ants and of course,David Bowie. There is so much fun, experimentation and innovations around this time, especially in regard to challenging the image of what men should look like. I would love to design clothing for them and be part of this movement, if I could go back in time.

BASIC: Your latest pieces evoke romance, ambiguity and unisex fashion aesthetics. Where did you draw inspiration for the collection?

Subin: My latest collection, “Impression of Tomorrow” is a visualization of a heaven-like place with people freed from all perceptions and struggles of this world.It’s heavily influenced by my personal struggles as a so-called “feminine” boy conflicted with the preconceived image of “masculinity” in society. In relation to that, I feel very intrigued by this ambiguity created from the collision of the male body and feminine beauty. My works emphasize the love, empathy, sensitivity and tenderness I felt from female counterparts as I grew up. Clothing should be fluid without any gender signifies. We need to breakdown the barriers and unite to create a better future.

BASIC: If given the opportunity, which television series would you love to design the wardrobe for?

Subin: I’m so into Netflix’s GLOW. It’s based in the 1980s, and obviously that’s my favorite time period in context of the fashion history. It would be really exciting to design costumes for this show, as they always have interesting and over-the-top fun costumes for each character.

BASIC: The mix of colors and textures in your collection give off a stunning water-color aesthetic. Are you inspired by art?Do you have any favorite artists?

Subin: A lot of references came from my own drawings in order to tell my personal stories, including colors and silhouettes from my childhood drawings of Disney princesses, as it was my wish to wear beautiful dresses as a young boy. I’m more intrigued in mixing colors and textures than working with solid colors because it creates more striking visuals and emotions.

BASIC: If you had to wear the same outfit every day for the rest of your life, whatwould you wear and why?

Subin: If I had to wear the same outfit every day, I would wear a large crew neck sweatshirt, black or washed skinny jeans and a pair of Dr. Martens with a pair of color blocked/stripe socks. I think this look kind of became what I wear most of the time without any specific intention.

BASIC: What is your favorite thing aboutf ashion and where the industry is heading?

Subin: My favorite thing about fashion is its flexibility and ambiguity. Fashion is considered as mere practical clothing for some, or it could be considered art. This diverse representation coming from its mixture of many different ideas, styles and beliefs expressed between designers and the audiences is what puts the industry at the forefront of social change and innovation.