“Good manners make man” is a motto Kim minseok loves living, so much so that he made it a key part of his latest creative endeavor.
The elder member of the K-Pop juggernaut EXO, known as the stage Xiumin, incorporated the quote (which most people will probably recognize from the successful Kingsman franchise) into a capsule collection he designed with the LA Represent-based clothing brand. The line, which consists of must-have basics like t-shirts, hats and sweatshirts, also includes designs based on her favorite number (that’s 99, in case you were wondering!). The latest in a series of artist collaborations that include his colleagues at NCT’s Ten Lee label and TVXQ’s Max Changmin, XIumin sees this collection as another way to connect with the fans he celebrates with for nearly a decade. in industry.
The collection, launched on December 17, ends an incredibly busy year for Xiumin, who became the first EXO member to complete his mandatory military enlistment at the end of 2020. Since then, he has filled his plate with creative businesses. After a celebratory ‘welcome home’ live broadcast, March saw Xiumin in front of his first solo fan meeting and mini-concert, bringing the captivating artist back to the stage after nearly two years of absence. June then gave EXO (known as EXO-L’s) fans an unexpected gift with the group’s seven active members releasing a special comeback album “Don’t Fight The Feeling” to celebrate their ninth anniversary. Finally, in the latter half of the year, Xiumin took to the stage as part of the Korean version of the Broadway musical Hadestown as the lead role of Orpheus. It’s fair to say that 2021 has given him and his fans something to be excited about.
Now, as we move into a new year, Clash catches up with Xiumin on his personal style, how he’s gaining creative fan motivation, and goals for 2022.
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Congratulations on your clothing collaboration with Represent! How did it happen?
I heard about this collaboration for the first time from the team that deals with artist collaborations. In fact, I already knew the project because MAX CHANGMIN from TVXQ! made a before. I thought this collaboration would be a good opportunity for me too, so I was delighted to participate.
Have you always wanted to venture into fashion and clothing?
When I normally worked on albums before I joined the military, “comfortable” was the greatest fashion sense. So for me fashion was mostly tracksuits but after leaving the military I started to have a lot of interest in dressing with different styles of fashion. I gradually became more and more interested in fashion, and it made me want to create something for myself, which is why this collaboration is meaningful to me.
What was the collection design process like with them?
Since this is the first collection collaboration for me, I thought it would be really difficult and challenging to create something out of thin air. Represent Manager Jenna [Holtzman] encouraged me to start with “what are the things that inspire me, what interests me the most”, like sentences and numbers etc. Then, Represent’s design team wrote various models for development. They also helped me reflect my opinion on the collection so it was easy to approach and the overall process was great.
One of the main motifs is the phrase “Manners Maketh Man” from the movie Kingsman – what do you like about this quote? Is it one of your favorite movies?
I’ve always loved the Kingsman movies. I watched the whole series and loved it so much that I reviewed all the previous movies before watching the most recent in the series, The King’s Man. The phrase “Manners Make Man” touched my heart because I always appreciated courtesy even before the movie.
What is the meaning of your lucky number, which also appears in the collection?
The lucky number that appears in the collection doesn’t really have any special meaning. I know it might sound a little silly, but I just love that 99 is the biggest double digit number and how it makes it look big and full.
The collection is described as being based on your personal style – how would you describe your style? Is there one aspect of clothing that you particularly like?
I like comfortable styles, so I prefer oversized styles rather than slim fits. I think I like the ease of moving around in this style. I like that this collection reflects this feeling of “comfort” very well.
Your personal style is obviously different from the style you adopt on stage or on stage, but do you have a particular favorite look so far removed from the concepts in which you were involved?
As it is my job to adapt and perform, I have experimented with various styles and fashion concepts, and I would like to experience more of them. I especially liked the concept of EXO’s LOTTO album. The clothes were really simple, but we used different accessories and jewelry to bring the concept to life. Not only the cut of the clothes, but also the hairstyles and makeup helped create this “rich” concept.
What inspires you when it comes to being creative?
There can be a variety of inspirations when it comes to being creative, but there are two main inspirations – first of all, I can’t leave EXO-L aside. EXO-L is the driving force behind EXO’s Xiumin. The other inspiration is the relationship between myself and others. So, I wanted to communicate with the fans as well as with people all over the world through this collection.
This wraps up a really exciting year for you, which also included a comeback with EXO, a solo fan reunion and a role in Hadestown – do you have any favorite memories from last year?
I wanted so much to perform on stage during my military service, so all the activities that followed were great and memorable. I guess it was a time when everything seemed so meaningful.
With a new year ahead, do you have any goals for 2022?
For goals next year, I am preparing a solo album to be able to release it in 2022! Also, I want to try to act. But above all, my biggest wish is that everyone around me have a happy new year 2022!
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Xiumin’s collection with Represent is available until January 7.
Words: Lucy ford // @lucyj_ford
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