FEB. 19, 2024

Newcomer brand questionnaire | HAENGNAE



anna choi


Women’s / Ready To Wear

Brand information / About the designer

―What inspired you to become a fashion designer? Describe developments leading up to the brand launch.

“HAENGNAE” is a fashion brand created by Anna Choi, a Korean designer born in 1992 and raised in Japan. She studied fashion design in New York as well as in Japan, and in 2017, while attending Bunka Fashion College, she won a special prize at the Kobe Fashion Contest and got to study at Nottingham Trent University in England as a scholarship student. After graduating, her haute couture collection presented at the Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) was featured in fashion magazines such as Vogue Taiwan, which attracted so much attention from this industry, and though she received offers from several fashion houses, she returned to Japan to start her own brand from 2021 AW collection.

―What is the brand’s concept? What do you want to communicate through fashion designing?

The brand name “HAENGNAE” came from the designer’s own Korean name. By fusing elements, which is the free expression of New York, the craftsmanship of Japan, the haute couture techniques of Europe, and her own identity, she develops special / one of a kind clothing. Also, our brand is for “romantic edgy” people who do not aim to be accepted by anyone, but value the philosophy of “loving,” including the spirit of self-love, and live powerfully with intelligence and courage in each of our mind. By wearing HAENGNAE, we envision clothes that will make people feel love and strength, as they never neglect efforts to make their dreams a reality.
The concept of “loving” philosophy is based on the designer’s belief that there is a huge value in loving and passing on the essence of things, having diverse ideas about race and gender, and loving not only ourselves but also animals and the natural environment.

―What is your source of inspiration in creating fashion? What is your process of developing a design concept?

A classic and intrinsic valuable things, remembered from childhood.

―Who are your current stockists (areas, retail formats, etc.)? Describe the typical followers of your brand.

In addition to our own online store, department stores and select stores throughout Japan.
Our customers range in age, but many of them are close to the image of the woman that HAENGNAE values, which is the “”spirit of self-love.

―Which brands, designers, styles and cultures have had the most impact on your fashion designing, and why?

History of Haute Couture and Prêt-à-Porter. Overwhelmed, respected, and influenced by the skills and beliefs of the founders of the first generation of the Maison.

About 2024 A/W collection

―Why have you chosen Tokyo (Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO) as the venue for presenting your collection?

HAENGNAE consistently strives to create clothes that are of high quality and value that can always be found in their essence, and to continue to express genuine “fashion” that can compete on a global scale, rather than simply creating so-called “apparel” for consumption. We will continue to successfully fuse haute couture and prêt-à-porter, and propose new values for the future. With each passing season, I have felt a sense of discomfort that the boundary between fashion and apparel is often considered ambiguous and synonymous in Japan, and that artistic expression is judged to be unprofitable as a business. On the other hand, as we continue HAENGNAE, we feel that it is possible to evolve the fusion point between the two in this day and age, and by participating in the Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO, we hope to gain recognition as a collection brand and take a step toward global expansion.

―What is the concept / image for your brand’s 2024 A/W season?

A “strong romantist” who does not aim to be accepted by anyone, but values the philosophy of “loving,” including self-love, and lives robustly with intelligence and courage. The concept of the “loving” philosophy is linked to the designer’s philosophy itself, which is that there is value in loving and passing on the essence, having diverse ideas about race and gender, and showing love not only to oneself but also to animals and the natural environment. The designer’s philosophy itself is connected to the concept of “love” philosophy. HAENGNAE is designed to make people feel love sometimes and strength sometimes, as they wear HAENGNAE and never neglect their efforts to make their dreams come true.

―What is your vision for your show / installation?

We think that the runway is a stage where dreams are enchanted. We hope you will experience the fusion of haute couture and prêt-a-porter, romantic and edgy, classic and modern, with the three colors of red, black, and beige that we have been creating since the first season, through your sense of sight, sound, and smell.


―What are your brand’s future outlook and goal?

I want to create clothes that are always with high quality and worth discovering their essence. I would love to continue to express the real “fashion” that can compete in the world.


―What does Tokyo represent for you?

A city of diversity.

―Which parts / sites of Tokyo do you like most? Why?

Shibuya. Because when I am in Tokyo, it is where I have been producing since I was a student until now.

―What are your favorite / recommended shops (of any genres, e.g. fashion stores, homeware stores, food services), facilities and sites?

Yoyogi Park

About efforts for SDGs

―Please tell us about your brand and personal efforts and challenges regarding SDGs.

Based on the concept of “long-lasting wear and tear,” HAENGNAE strives to produce high-quality products in appropriate quantities without mass-production and mass-consumption. HAENGNAE produces clothes that can be used as “something that will last a lifetime” depending on their care by applying washable treatment to high quality materials such as silk and leather. HAENGNAE produces clothes that can be used as a “something that will last a lifetime” depending on how they are cared for. Instead of buying new clothes every season, we produce clothes that can be worn seasonlessly for a long period of time, thereby reducing business closures and overconsumption. In this age of overabundance, we believe that such efforts are once again necessary.

As a future initiative, we would like to reduce the energy load in the production of toilets and samples by introducing 3DCG. We would like to know what is happening on the earth today, what kind of background clothes are made, and what people choose to wear. I feel that it is important for consumers as well as brands to have their own perspectives in the future. As a designer, I want to be a designer who feels the responsibility of creating and producing, and who can define issues by considering the intentions of consumers, such as why they choose, buy, and use the products.

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