By Noh Hyun-gi
Soon after nine-member Girl’s Generation’s video of “The Boys” was released in October, the phones of menswear brand Sneezer Parade (SNPR) started ringing.
“So many people who saw the video wanted Yuri’s top,” Kim Jong-wha, designer and art director of SNPR told The Korea Times in Myeong-dong, Seoul, Wednesday.
The video features four looks ― black and white, ballroom dress, mini dress and sporty. Kim and two designers ― Park Se-jun and Kim Kyung-min who were unavailable for the interview ― made four pairs of pants and five tops (for Yuri, Sunny, Seohyun, Tiffany and Yuna) for the sporty look.
They started by listening to the unreleased track and studying the choreography. “We noticed the big arm movements, so we wanted to make openings on the arms so that it looks active and shows a little skin when they dance,” Kim said.
Yuri’s sought-after top has a long slit along the arm while Sunny’s red jacket has cut-outs on the shoulder.
The singers also do multiple semi-splits in the music video.
“We definitely did not want the pants to rip in the middle of a performance, so we used extra elastic and durable materials and double, triple seemed the pants.”
It was a challenge for the three designers who usually make menswear.
“The biggest hurdle was working with unfamiliar materials. Unlike guy’s clothes, a lot of soft and delicate materials are used for women’s clothing and handling them was pretty difficult,” Kim said.
The girls’ sizes were, not surprisingly, incredibly small including size 23 pants.
“The clothes turned out so small, especially for petit members like Sunny and Taeyeon ― we were surprised to see that they actually fit in those pants,” Kim recalled.
It also was a speedy job; they got started on Sept. 13 and delivered the final products to the set on the morning of the shoot on Sept 16.
“We were working through the night, and on the last day, all stylists for Girl’s Generation came to our studio to help with detail jobs like sewing on beads.”
All in all, the designers had fun working outside their box, and the K-pop group’s fame led visit counts of SNPR’s blog to jump from one digit to 5,000.
Some fans commented that they did not like the look because they were not uniform.
“We were worried about that too. We wanted to focus on individuals but they are members of a group,” Kim said.
SNPR, whose name was inspired by author Seth Godin’s use of the word “sneezer” as an early adaptor who spreads ideas and trends to others, launched in January.
SNPR strives for the classic look ― trench coats, striped shirts ― with eye-catching details that sets it apart from some cookie-cutter brands.
For example, a pea coat from their Fall/Winter collection has a simple cut but the horn-buttons have engraved dot prints. A flannel from the collection has sleeve buttons in multiple colors.
SNPR incorporates various materials to make unique products. A-Hose, a bag from SNPR, uses the hose inside air conditioners as the handle, creating a crisp look.
Kim Jong-wha studied fine art and fashion design and wants to approach his work as part of an art culture. Along with their collections, SNPR hold exhibits of sketches and sculptures that inspired or were inspired by their fashion endeavors.
Their clothes are available at multi-shops, A-land and Lab 5 in Myeong-dong, and Openingshop in Sinsa-dong.