EDITORIAL - JAZKO, 05JULY2018 by Min Heo

    Pleiades is featured in Jazko - a Taiwan-based Online Magazine - for brand campaigns, July 2018.
The following article is translated in English from the original version written in Chinese, by Alice Huang.

 

Give Each Pair of Shoes a Story : Pleiades Thinks Every Woman Is the Protagonist of the Life Journey

 
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 Luna Ivory, Pleiades S/S18

Luna Ivory, Pleiades S/S18

 

    Pleiades is a high-end handmade shoe brand established in 2017. The horseshoe-shaped heels are the signature design of Pleiades, and the delicate curves are definitely outstanding. Looking like sculpture pieces from a museum display, you can identify the brand features at a glance.

 

    The designer graduated from London College of Fashion. She has a unique understanding of the beauty and a good base of knowledge in art and craftsmanship. Artisans with 30 years of experience are making Pleiades shoes, while the materials are hand-picked and sourced from Italy, France, England and Korea without compromising the quality.

 

    Pleiades shoes are like works of art, as if they would exist in fairytales. The designer tells the brand story through her designs. Luna Ivory - from Spring-Summer 2018 collection - instantly captures attentions, with the pure ivory colour and the design resembling unicorns from dreams. The 11.5cm heels lift you up high, but the platforms and the toe shape ensures comfort, while the soft sheepskin gently covering the feet. Once wearing the shoes, you can feel how much the brand cares about the wearer. Slightly lifted toes relieve the entire look to be light, and the curves of the heels add to the artistic mood of the shoes.

 

    The seemingly complicated design features are surprisingly well-matched. The elegant pair of boots would become the perfect point item for your overall look.

 
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    Joe Orange Brown is a classic ballet shoes with a twist. The flat shoes can easily be worn everyday, with the silk organza ribbons adding to a girly taste. The shoes are made with soft sheepskin.

 

        Simple outfits can be worn to highlight the uniqueness of the shoes, or even colourful clothes match well with the shoes without hindering each other.

 
 Joe Orange Brown, Pleiades S/S18

Joe Orange Brown, Pleiades S/S18

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 Joe Orange Brown, Pleiades S/S18

Joe Orange Brown, Pleiades S/S18

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    Every season of Pleiades is made with care, producing shoes with perfection using high quality materials. Unlike fast fashion, easily bought and thrown away, Pleiades wishes to give each pair uniqueness that lasts.

 

    Each pair of shoes have a hidden story within, Pleiades shoes are worth adding to your collection to love.

 

[ Original Article in Chinese ]

    

Pleiades為2017年成立的高級手工鞋品牌。鞋跟的馬蹄造型是Pleiades最具代表的設計,精緻的曲線設計奇幻又特

別,彷彿陳列於美術館的雕塑品,一眼就能辨識品牌特色。

設計師畢業於英國倫敦時尚學院時尚,並曾留學於米蘭,對於美感有獨特的見解及深厚的底功,所設計出的Pleiades鞋

款製作上由技術精良、製鞋工藝逾三十年的經驗的工匠以全手工打造,並且在原料使用上絕不妥協,親臨義大利、法國、英

國及韓國各廠區以確保材料供應的品質。

童話故事般的設計

Pleiades鞋款的設計如同藝術品般令人陷入童話故事的幻想,設計師用設計本身述說品牌故事。

LunaIvory是2018年春夏款,象牙白代表著幻想及純潔,第一眼見到這雙鞋就被吸引,像極獨角獸的設計彷彿只出現

在夢裡。

11.5公分的鞋跟穿上立即展現氣勢,鞋頭的防水台墊高卻讓整雙鞋舒適好穿。防水台的設計代表品牌的細心,前端微微

翹起賦予視覺上輕巧、俐落的感受,配合鞋跟的曲線,使整體鞋款更具藝術感,更使用柔軟的皮革令鞋子能夠久穿而不疼

痛。

看似複雜的設計卻意外好搭配,不論是簡單造型或者繁複款式,配上LunaIvory皆無違和感,能夠融入整體造型又增添

質感品味。

高辨識度的造型也能搭上LunaIvory,平衡整體輕重。簡單素雅的穿著搭配LunaIvory立即為整體造型增加視覺重

點。

JoeOrangeBrown為經典芭蕾舞鞋變異而成,以芭雷舞鞋的姿態變身成為日常可穿的平底鞋款。繫上綠色絲帶展現

女孩的柔軟可愛,大膽的配色突出又協調。

鞋身以羊皮製作,增加穿著舒適度及柔軟性,如同芭蕾舞鞋般輕盈柔軟。鞋跟增加兩公分符合人體工學能夠久穿而不疼

痛。

搭配上除了以素面服裝凸顯鞋子本身的特色。穿搭高段班更能運用色彩及花紋做多層次造型,搭配橘紅色、黃色等明亮色彩

及條紋展現熱帶夏日風情。JoeOrangeBrown能夠完美融入複雜的搭配卻又不搶掉整體造型風采。

每一季皆用心製作,堅持高品質及完美鞋型,不同於快時尚的容易取得與丟棄,Pleiades希望賦予每雙鞋獨特與耐用

性,令穿上的女孩避免撞鞋的窘境、展現獨特品味。

Pleiades高品質及精緻的設計如同藝術品,每雙鞋皆有故事藏在其中,值得擁有的人悉心照顧及珍藏。

Have You Ever Tried Our : JOANNE by Min Heo

Hello again from Pleiades :)

 

We were told by our lovely Dreams on Air Retail Manager, Saina, that Joanne is pretty popular among their customers !

 

I have recently took some pictures of Joanne in our studio, so I thought it's going to be a good chance writing about this lovely platform high-heels :)

 
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JOANNE is born when we were preparing for our very first collection, S/S18 'Gisaengs'.

 


As you all might already know, our S/S18 collection was inspired by 18C-early 20C Gisaengs,

the women performing artists who inherited Korean traditional dances, songs, etc.

To find more about Gisaengs, please go to our 'Catherine' posting uploaded on 31st January !

 

So our Joanne is adorned with the beautiful double silk satin straps,

which you can tie around the top-line of the shoes.

Tie them once and you can slide your feet in anytime, without the need for redoing.

 

The signature quilting detail and tapings are done with an artisanship and great care.

Look closer, and you'll realise how intricately crafted they are -

 

There are 2 different silk strap options for each colour,

If you are going for Camel - you can choose from deep red (almost black) or fuschia pink with golden thread,

If you choose Ivory - you can either have purple with golden thread or bright green straps.

 
 

JOANNE was first introduced in Camel colour only.

Made with Italian calfskin and Pleiades signature heel design,

JOANNE is definitely one-of-a-kind high-heel pumps that can instantly make your whole outfit stand out elegantly :)

 

This question might pop in your mind by now :

they're 11.5cm high with 2.5cm platforms.

 

Pretty high, but I can assure you they really are comfortable, comfortable enough to walk in all day.

If you are not confident walking in platform high heels, I would recommend that you try our 8cm mid-heels, such as Catherine or Keira,

Or 7cm heels like Lina,

but if you are one of those high-heel lovers feeling even more amazing on platforms,

Just go ahead.

 
 

The Ivory JOANNE is a little sister to Camel JOANNE,

made from a suggestion from our friend.

And we actually think they're looking great !

We didn't have chance to take enough photographs of our Ivory JOANNE,

So we decided to promote them with our S/S19 collection again ;)

Good news for those who were shocked there's another beautiful colour range for Joanne -

 
 

To help you understand how JOANNE looks even better in full picture :)

JOANNE looks great when you wear them with a polished dress-up look

or even with a pair of jeans, as seen from our lookbook pictures.

 

Bold but elegant, a pair of JOANNE can change the entire mood for your outfits.

Try them on !

 
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PLEIADES AW18-19 : UNDERWATER TREASURES by Min Heo

 

    Pleiades A/W18-19 'Underwater Treasures' !

    Being "Craftsmanship, Historical References, Art, Fantasy and Storytelling" the core DNA of the brand, each of Pleiades collection delivers a story around the season's concept.

    The second chapter, A/W18-19 is called 'Underwater Treasures', inspired by a shipwreck discovered back in 1975 at Sinan seashore of Korean peninsula.

 
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    Pleiades AW18-19 collection is full of rich colour and texture, translating the atmosphere of underwater treasures found from the shipwreck. Departed in 1323 from Chinese Ningbo harbour and heading to Japanese Hakata harbour, the ship was loaded with ceramics, metalworks, scented wood and other treasures to satisfy the taste of 14C high society in Japan.

 

    Scholars who studied the relics from the shipwreck describe the discoveries as 'The culture of tea ceremony - scent - and flowers'. Although biggest portion of the findings were tableware, significant amount of incense burners, flower vases and utensils for tea ceremony are found together. Frequent political and cultural exchange with China had influenced Korean and Japanese culture among high society. Especially the fashions of drinking tea, enjoying scent and flowers were widespread, and simultaneously, the craft of ceramic and metalwork have thrived.

 

    The designer - I - was especially fascinated by the black glazed ceramics, rusted bronze weights, lacquered woodwork, scented wood, glasswork and wooden tags.

 
 

    Followed by a photographic exploration of construction sites, adding on to the adventurous, earthy, deconstructed mood.

 
 

    Artist Cai Guo-Qiang's fabulous work of gunpowder drawings also have influenced the collection.

 
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    Hope you enjoy the Adventurous, Rebellious, but most of all, Charming collection of AW1819 Pleiades - Underwater Treasures :D!

 
   LUNA Grey

LUNA Grey

   IRIS Burgundy

IRIS Burgundy

   TASHA Fuschia Pink

TASHA Fuschia Pink

PLEIADES Opens at Dreams on Air, SoHo NYC ! by Min Heo

 

    Pleiades is delighted to introduce our new partnership with Dreams on Air, a retail showroom based in SoHo, NYC !

 

120 Wooster Street, Soho NYC

 

    From 1st of August, JOANNE Camel, KEIRA, TASHA and HARRIET are available from 120 Wooster Street retail showroom, while the new LUNA Navy & Grey, TASHA Gold & Fuschia Pink, IRIS Blue, CATHERINE and KEIRA are ready for press pull anytime. (contact press@dreamsonair.com)

 

    Online purchase will be available with Dreamsonair.com soon !
You can always have your pair from our own e-shop too, just click on the 'SHOP' button above ;)

 
 HARRIET Orange & Taupe, JOANNE Camel with Pink Straps

HARRIET Orange & Taupe, JOANNE Camel with Pink Straps

 

JOANNE Camel, KEIRA, TASHA and HARRIET

 

    Selected by Dreams on Air, Joanne pumps are from our very first collection, Gisaengs.
Inspired by women performing artists and mistresses from early 20C Korean Dynasty, the collection is full of soft colours, silk satin straps, silk organza straps, sheer ramie called 'Mosi', and laced ribbon details.

 

    Joanne is high heel pumps with 2cm platforms, introduced in camel calf skin or ivory cow hide.
Detachable double satin straps are included, 100% top quality silk fabric. 2 colour options are available for each colour, and the straps can be used as bracelets, hairband etc.

 

    Tasha slippers are one of our signature items. From Dreams on Air, you can meet them as Gisaengs version, either Turquoise or Beige quilted velvet. Each pair is embellished with hand-dyed silk ribbons, instantly blessing your outfit with colour and charm !

 

    Keira and Harriet are from our second collection, AW18-19 Underwater Treasures.
You can choose from the tomboy chic of Keira - our signature pumps with loafer details and shiny velvet - or elegant comfort of Harriet loafers. No matter which one you go for, all-day comfort is guaranteed ;)

 

Pleiades @ Dreams on Air : Intro Video

 
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 Keira Aqua at Dreams on Air window display ;)

Keira Aqua at Dreams on Air window display ;)

 

Keira Intro Video !

 

    Located in the heart of Soho, at the junction of Prince St and Wooster St, Dreams on Air Showroom features beautiful collections from emerging talents worldwide.

 

    You can instantly feel the vibrant energy from everywhere - glamorous shoppers, cyclists, busy commuters and wonderful staff of Dreams on Air. Visit and check Pleiades collections !

 
 Wooster Street view from inside

Wooster Street view from inside

 At the junction of Wooster / Prince St

At the junction of Wooster / Prince St

 

Catherine - S/S18 by Min Heo

    Introducing Catherine - our signature pumps for S/S18 Gisaengs collection.

 
 CATHERINE - Pleiades S/S18 Signature Pumps

CATHERINE - Pleiades S/S18 Signature Pumps


    Catherine is named after Catherine Deneuve, the symbol of elegant sensuality and loveliness !

 

Imagine her dreamy big eyes and her blonde hair tied up with a huge bow -

Do you think our Catherine deserves the name ? ( YES ! )

 

With our signature toe shape and top line,

Catherine is an 8cm mid-heel pumps with distinctive quilting and lacing details at the front.

 
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 Catherine Deneuve, the muse for our Catherine along with early 20C Gisaeng girls

Catherine Deneuve, the muse for our Catherine along with early 20C Gisaeng girls

 
  This is how Catherine was first designed ♥︎

This is how Catherine was first designed ♥︎

 
 The first CATHERINE - from graduation collection.

The first CATHERINE - from graduation collection.

 The first CATHERINE - lovely bows :)

The first CATHERINE - lovely bows :)

 

    Like all other shoes from our collection,

Catherine assures you all-day comfort despite its lovely look,

because they are crafted so carefully !

 

High quality insoles with enough cushions,

relaxed toe shape and good balance takes care of your feet.

The top line band should take some time to be adjusted to your feet,

but they do stretch to your foot shape.

If you are worried, we advise you to go 1 size bigger than your usual choice.

 

Catherine represents the quirky, vintage loveliness of our S/S18 collection.

I would wear them for any occasions - to work, to concerts, to parties etc.

to add a special finish to my entire look !

 

    The idea of Catherine come from Gisaengs in Korean Empire

- when the conservative Confucian country started open up the door for Western culture.

While the costumes, architecture and popular culture were still preserving the traditional format,

Western influences were evident.

The way rooms were decorated, and how people dressed were very particular,

the distinctive characteristics of this era only lasted during this short period in history.

 
      A gisaeng girl wearing Western coat, gloves, and a fur scarf holding a little clutch.

    A gisaeng girl wearing Western coat, gloves, and a fur scarf holding a little clutch.

 
  Gisaeng girls painting orchids and writing poetries.

Gisaeng girls painting orchids and writing poetries.

 
      A gisaeng girl posing. The new hair style, tiny top and the pair of gloves represent the trend of the era.

    A gisaeng girl posing. The new hair style, tiny top and the pair of gloves represent the trend of the era.

 
      A gisaeng girl ready for a night out. The fastening of the top is Westernised - from tying up to buttons. The sun umbrella was a symbol of gisaengs back then.

    A gisaeng girl ready for a night out.
The fastening of the top is Westernised - from tying up to buttons. The sun umbrella was a symbol of gisaengs back then.

 

    In order to create Catherine, a thorough research was done for vintage European lingerie.

The concept was to describe a Gisaeng girl

'who was given a beautiful brasserie and a corset as a gift from a man - probably from Europe or just returned from a trip across the oceans'.

Lacing details, ribbons, tapings and cutting of patterns were done to reflect such ideas.

 
   TANGO CORSET   - Cotton, Silk satin ribbon, Machine lace, Metal circumference / ca. 1914 France, for  Debenham & Freebody , London (V&A:T.64-1966) * Size  - waist: 67cm / hip: 88cm / Length front: 25cm / back: 33cm  Worn and given by Heather Firbank

TANGO CORSET - Cotton, Silk satin ribbon, Machine lace, Metal circumference / ca. 1914 France, for Debenham & Freebody, London (V&A:T.64-1966)
*Size - waist: 67cm / hip: 88cm / Length front: 25cm / back: 33cm
Worn and given by Heather Firbank

 
   COLETTE GIRDLE   - Elastic net and nylon, Satin elastic back panel, with Machine nylon lace and Cotton velvet / 1957-9 Britain (Leicestershire),  R. & W.H. Symington & Co. Ltd , under license from  Chistian Dior,  Paris (V&A:T. 140-2000) * Size - Underbust: 71cm / Waist: 67cm / Hip: 91cm / Length front: 46cm / Back: 50cm  Given by Caroline Wren

COLETTE GIRDLE - Elastic net and nylon, Satin elastic back panel, with Machine nylon lace and Cotton velvet / 1957-9 Britain (Leicestershire), R. & W.H. Symington & Co. Ltd, under license from Chistian Dior, Paris (V&A:T. 140-2000)
*Size- Underbust: 71cm / Waist: 67cm / Hip: 91cm / Length front: 46cm / Back: 50cm
Given by Caroline Wren

 
   CORSET   - Floral brocaded silk, Silk ribbon, Elastic / ca.1905, England. (Jill Fields,  "Fighting the Corsetless Evil: Shaping Corset and Culture, 1900-1930" , Journal of Social History 3, Winter 1999: 355)    CHEMISE   - White Cotton, Silk ribbon / ca. 1905, USA. ( "Dainty Lingerie",  Pictorial Review, February 1900: 11)

CORSET - Floral brocaded silk, Silk ribbon, Elastic / ca.1905, England. (Jill Fields, "Fighting the Corsetless Evil: Shaping Corset and Culture, 1900-1930", Journal of Social History 3, Winter 1999: 355)

CHEMISE - White Cotton, Silk ribbon / ca. 1905, USA. ("Dainty Lingerie", Pictorial Review, February 1900: 11)

 
      A page from the sketchbook, 'Oriental Sensuality (2016)'.

    A page from the sketchbook, 'Oriental Sensuality (2016)'.

 

    Now meet Catherine, the lady-like, sophisticated lady with a vintage touch.

 
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A Century of History - Silk Factories in Jinju by Min Heo

    Jinju is a suburban city about 330km away from Seoul, taking three and a half hours on express train. The quiet city produces more than 70% of silk fabric manufactured in South Korea, although it is surprisingly unknown to many people.

 

    When you get off the train at Jinju station, you will be surprised how calm it is. There is a single queue for grabbing a cab, while the drivers are entering the station one by one, at the interval of few minutes.

    There are two contradictory parts inside the city. One is a serene side of Jinju with Nam river runnig along the Ji-ri mountain. On the other side, there is a city with a shopping district and a university, leading to a factory complex where the silk fabric is being produced.

 

    The most popular spot for visit, Jinju Castle is located by the river. Built in 1379, the castle is a famous historical site, where one of the biggest victory took place during Im-jin-wae-ran, the war against Japanese invasion back in 1592 - 1598. In 1592, 3,800 soldiers of Chosun (a kingdom of Korea) won over the force of 20,000 Japanese army. Inside the castle, a shrine is built in memory of a heroine, Non-gae. A beautiful woman with courage, she allured the captain of Japanese army to the riverside, held him in her arms and dived into the river. The pavillion became one of the most beloved place in Jinju. When you ask where you should go during your visit to a local person, anyone would tell you to go to the castle.

 
 

    Visiting the city for the second time, I skipped the castle and directly headed to the factory to meet Mr. Park, the second-generation CEO of a silk factory. I post some of the pictures took from the castle from my first visit for you though.

 
 

    Pleiades purchases some of the silk fabric - used for covering the wedges of Iris, making straps for Joanne and Joe - from the Jinju factory. Mr. Park has been one of the crucial partners for Pleiades, from the beginning of the brand. He has been an active entrepreneur of the factory for more than 20 years, inherited from his father. The man behind one of the major silk factories operating in Korea, the man with ambitious eyes and tanned skin, constantly pacing back and forth while answering to his non-stop phone rings. Yes, he is the boss.

 

    Pleiades interviews Mr. Park, asking about the history of silk production in Jinju and how he is looking at the industry, where it is now and in which direction it should be going.

 

    1. Why and since when is jinju the centre of silk production in Korea ?

 

    The history of silk production in Jinju dates back to a century ago, when Japanese people were seeking for a place to build silk factories with less cost comparing to their own country, whlie maintaining the good quality. Jinju was perfect for the location, because it is close to the coast and has an access to an abundant source of water, Nam river. The ratio of women among population of Jinju is pretty high, which is also a benefit for producing fabric.

 

    The town was also famous for gisaengs, ranked as one of the cities where the most popular gisaeng institutions were located. When there are many gisaengs, the fashion industry soards.

 

    Most importantly, the natural conditions are ideal for sericulture. Nam river and Ji-ri mountain are surrounding the town, providing clean and warm ource of water which is around 36 degrees celsius. The waterflow keeps on circulating via the mountains through to Nak-dong river, functioning as the natural purifying system. Clean water allows the colour of dyed fabric to be brighter and last longer.

 

    2. How did the silk manufacturing industry evolve through time ?

 

    Factory workers earned a fortune until the beginning of 90's. They often went on a luxurious field trip to Jeju island, which even the biggest corporation groups did not dream of. The owners of the factories drived European vehicles (which was a symbol of wealth), and everyone stocked cash in their saves.

 

    However, the good times were called off, when synthetic fabric industry rised in Daegu and people started to substitute silk with cotton fabric for lower price and better practicality. Soon, when a financial crisis struck the nation in 1998, everything was torn down to the ground. Coming from the technicians' background, the former bosses were not ready for the sudden difficulties.

 

    The industry needed new leaders with entrepreneur minds. The leaders who could re-brand the Jinju silk and turn the failure into an opportunity. Nowadays, Jinju people are working hard to become the better, keep developing new materials and trying to understand the international trend.

 

    3. What materials are you developing recently ?

 

    Actually, we have always been coming up with new materials constantly. Do you see the table over there? Every morning, I cut pieces from our new samples. Whenever a new idea comes to my mind, I discuss with our technicians to weave it out into materials. About 20% of the samples become products. The other 80% is being stocked in the secret room to be re-developed or just to be kept! We are working hard everyday to catch up the decades that we have lost in mannerism.

 

 
    Inside Mr. Park's office, there is another door with a sign saying 'Entry unaccompanied by an employee strictly prohibited'. Mr. Park showed me around the 'secret room', storing both the 20% and the 80% of samples produced. "Feel free to look around. Someone is on the line, I'll be answering it outside." The colours, textures, prints, embroidery, and unprecedented mixtures of fabric.

 

    There was a section of projects commissioned by clients with higher profiles. However, most of them had logos of the companies that they could not be used for other products. What a pity. I had to ask Mr. Park what they were for, because the luxurious and soft texture instantly captured my eyes. Some were commissioned by big companies to make a new year's gift for VIPs, while some others were made by orders from Italian manufacturers.

 

    4. Where do you see the current position of Jinju silk ? Where do you think it should be going ?

 

    To be honest, Korean silk is not highly valued internationally yet. Although we are confident with the quality, former Jinju silk industry did not care about the branding. They lived day by day with a narrow vision, focusing on maintaining the machines and repeating the same process over and over again. We should come up with a stronger brand image. That is why we are working so hard on new materials, despite of the cost and difficulties.

 


    We also need human resources. I am the only CEO from the second generation of silk industry in Jinju. I first stepped into the industry 20 years ago, and for the whole 20 years, I am the youngest member of the silk union.

 

    Government support is also required, which is too much focused on the 4th Industrial Revolution. No matter how much computers, semiconductor and Artificial Intelligence evolve, we still need chopsticks, toothbrushes, shoes and clothes. Not investing in manufacturing industry means 100% dependency on imported goods.

 

    First time I visited Jinju, I was deeply sorry to see how depressed the atmosphere is, and how such beautiful fabric and techniques are falling behind. However, there is a new force of silk manufacturers working every hour with passion and care for what they do. Looking back on the history of modern fashion, we have been losing on so many beautiful things with priceless values. That is why Pleiades is working closely with local manufacturers and artisans, bringing materials that are considered 'old fashioned' to the front, to prove it is not. We believe that the genuine never fails.