OKI PROJECTS is the brainchild of Hye Eun Yang. It produces pieces that give expression to both architectural principles and the concrete poetry of materials. After training and working in architecture and graphic design, Hye Eun began apprenticeships in artisanal leather craft, finding expression for her obsessive attention to detail and her love for organic materials.
She spent the next six years in the US and in Korea cultivating her design aesthetic, exploring new construction methods and experimenting with a variety of materials. Hye Eun was driven by a desire to hone a strong aesthetic edge while maintaining fidelity to tradition and practicality. OKI PROJECTS’ lush but functional pieces are the product of integrating materials dynamically and then finding their maximal design expressions. They are also the embodiment of Hye Eun’s playfully contradictory design principle, “sentimental minimal.”
Since 2014, Hye Eun has been working with two renowned ateliers in Paris to develop OKI PROJECTS’ first two collections. The first, AW 15, exhibited to industry insiders and influencers in New York. The second, SS 16, debuted at major trade shows and showrooms in New York and Paris. The bags and accessories in these collections are exquisitely well constructed. They are produced in Spain, France and Korea to capitalize on the rigor and responsiveness of each of the production systems in those countries. OKI PROJECTS is named for the tiny village where Hye Eun was born. Nestled in the southeast corner of Jeju Island, Korea, it is an idyllic land of orchards and balmy breezes. “Oki,” meaning “rare apparel” in Korean, is the village’s ancient name, given to it for the beautiful clothes produced there for royalty. Hye Eun returns to the family house there regularly when she needs a breather from city life as well as inspiration for her work.