For his striking collection, Lee drew inspiration from the layered oversized adult clothing worn by youth in the documentary The Children of Leningradsky. Lee deconstructed found clothing and explored techniques of bonding fabrics, combining materials including denim, cardboard, and trash bags. His signature style includes exaggerated proportions in details like sleeves, trouser legs, lapels, and pockets.
Lee is adapting pieces for a capsule collection H&M is producing in conjunction with the prize. About Lee’s process of adapting conceptual work for retail, his advisor, Alla Eizenberg, says, “He always finds a way to create without compromising what he believes.”
Born to Korean parents in northeastern China, Lee developed an interest in graphic design that led him to Parsons. He initially had little interest in fashion but discovered a passion for garment construction during a summer class. He then enrolled in the BFA program and interned at Calvin Klein, Phillip Lim, and Prabal Gurung, AAS Fashion Design ’01. More recently, Lee has developed his collection for the fall–winter 2015 market and was semifinalist for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, awarded to innovative entrepreneurial young designers.