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thisisneverthat: a Brief Look at the South Korean Brand


    thisisneverthat: Korean Streetwear Debut

    Earlier this year, South Korean label thisisneverthat put on their first runway show. It’s quite the long time coming as well.

    This debut comes to us after the brand spends nearly a decade in the business. Founded by Cho Nadan, Choi Jonkyu, and Park Inwook, thisisneverthat has been at it since 2009. As you can imagine, this debut show’s wears are far from disappointing.

    On display are impressive examples of thisisneverthat’s signature approach to design. The streetwear game in South Korea is on a level all by itself. In fact, Seoul’s Fashion Week events are an indication for many fashion insiders.

    South Korea’s burgeoning streetwear scene constantly serves as a benchmark, a look into which direction the industry is going in. More importantly, it lets designers, retailers, and fans know where the current standard is every year.

    That is yet another reason why the participation of thisisneverthat is so crucial. For the first time, the brand’s attempts to meet these benchmarks are available for all to see. It’s quite a bit to take in.

    The focus for this revealing display is on thisisneverthat’s Fall/ Winter offering. The complete collection includes a selection of surprisingly wearable winter gear. The puffers and windbreakers are in abundance. The sweatshirts and other Fall essentials make an impressive showing as well.

    thisisneverthat clothing: Re-thinking Winter’s Streetwear

    thisisneverthat FW18

    More importantly, the show goes beyond centering on the visuals. High fashion often saves some of its worst garment design habits for the colder months. Increasingly, consumers look towards protective, wearable pieces. Unfortunately, the most prestigious names in the industry too often lean toward the side of visual exploration.

    thisisneverthat FW18

    Rather than equipping jackets and coats with the latest in protective tech, there’s too much fuss about “the look.” This partly explains why it’s Fall/ Winter collections that seem to garner some of the most daring copy-cat attempts.

    Brands that specialize in this niche see their designs “borrowed” by the likes of Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana because the latter doesn’t have the focused experience of the former. Moreover, these bigger names usually also lack the interest in functional design improvement..

    thisisneverthat FW18

    With thisisneverthat, that story changes. Their first show is more than their latest branding-heavy winter gear. They also sport some collaborative work with Nike and Gore-Tex.

    Several pieces in this debut sport the protective tech that consumers are increasingly clamoring for. Everything in this release looks and feels the part. Wind, snow, rain, sleet, and any other iteration of the bitter cold are hardly an excuse not to be in the latest in streetwear.

    Make no mistake. though, the visual inspiration is very evident as well. There is heavy use of plaid, multi-tone denim, tan hues, and several other Fall staples. Despite their impressive utilitarian showing, thisisneverthat is pretty familiar with the importance of imagery and branding.

    The Answer to Brands like Supreme

    thisisneverthat FW18

    It’s that appreciation for the visuals that positions the brand so well in more ways than one. Though their winter show is remarkable for its technical brilliance, the branding strategy is equally noteworthy. It’s also familiar.

    The thisisneverthat logo is all over their FW18 collection. It divides its time between the jackets, windbreakers, and smaller pieces such as the socks. The scripts are interesting as well, including different graphic formations and deconstruction fonts.

    The logos in and of themselves are interesting, but their presence is what stands out. The varying sizes, styles, and fonts are reminiscent of Supreme’s branding strategy. The results in that particular case speak for themselves.

    Whether or not thisisneverthat can quite replicate that sort of success is unclear at the moment. However, thanks to that clever branding and increasing global appeal, they are well on their way.

    thisisneverthat International: From K-Pop to the World

    thisisneverthat FW15

    Although South Korea’s streetwear scene is flourishing, a brand such as thisisneverthat can struggle to find footing outside of its home country. Even in this climate of constant fashion reporting and unending photography, a sense of international appeal is a challenge.

    For thisisneverthat, a big part of making this happen was thanks to the K-pop scene. One of the biggest groups on the planet, BTS, is a household name in this genre of music. Everything about its members is broken down by fans, blogs, and magazines alike, with special attention paid to their fashion.

    thisisneverthat FW15

    One of the things that the feverish coverage picks up on is a thisisneverthat shirt worn by Jungkook, one the band’s notable members. After some searching, it is eventually clear exactly what shirt he is wearing, and the garment becomes the object of hot pursuit.

    Beyond that, thisisneverthat finds popularity among other members of the South Korean music industry. Rappers, DJs, and other K-pop groups are taking notice. With the global fanbase of these music genres, the brand’s international reputation is set for an amplification.

    Our Favorites from the thisisneverthat Shop:

    thisisneverthat Hoodie

    The hoodies are some of our favorites. This versatile garment is a nice entry into most streetwear labels, and this piece proves no different.

    With a 100% cotton construction and loose fit, this hoodie comes in two different scripts. The branding comes together here in some simple branding, dividing the label’s signature and accompanying text into colored fonts.

    It’s a go-to for most days in the Fall season, so you want to make sure to find yourself a solid hoodie. This International piece from thisisneverthat is a pretty great way to sort that out.

    thisisneverthat Tie-Dye Sweatpant

    Another 100% cotton build, these sweatpants sport a creative use of the tie-dye scheme. Though we normally see this expressed in a multitude of clashing colors, this piece instead goes for several different shades of Blue/ Navy.

    Looking Forward

    thisisneverthat FW18

    thisisneverthat FW18

    South Korean streetwear is on the rise and is in no mood to slow down. Serving as a prime example, thisisneverthat has a considerate and norm-core design and aesthetic that looks to withstand the test of time.

    If they stick to their pragmatist-meets-aesthetics approach, longevity is sure to come easily. After all, this is an approach that puts the consumer first.

    Only time will tell, but so far, we see nothing but bright lights and more impressive showings for this South Korean label.