I hail from a long line of garment makers. My father owned a soft goods manufacturing plant (ok, sewing factory) in South Korea during the industrial boom of the 70s and 80s. His mother was a professional seamstress, who made hanbok, the traditional Korean dress. It was a family affair. My dad says that to this day he can still make a hand tailored women's hanbok from scratch. So, naturally, when our family emigrated to the US, my father ditched his profession and went on to work for himself as a pool man. Immigrants, right?! Oh, and on that note, my dad never taught me how to sew because immigrants don't let their daughters become sweatshop workers.
My official love for making clothes started when I was 16. I lived near a huge Latter Day Saints church and had lots of friends who were Mormon. My friend Pip's mom was the designated wedding dress maker for the church. Mormons abide by a strict dress code, and because of that, many brides get their dresses custom-made. So one day while chit chatting about the upcoming Junior Formal dance, we devised a cockamamie idea to make our own formal gowns. And Pip's mom would teach me! It was both a miracle and a disaster. The dress looked great and I learned the basics of garment construction. Except I didn't realize that the hip is the widest part of the body... and the zipper on my dress ended at the small of my back. You should have seen the yogi moves I had to pull to get in and out of it.
Having drawn and painted since I was tiny, I seriously considered applying to art school. Again, my immigrant parents said screw you, get your ass into Stanford. I did, and luckily found the Product Design program. After college, I landed my dream job as a design strategist and spent six very happy and grueling years at a design consulting firm. And then I started wanting to learn something and become really good at it. Something I really loved. Someone once told me that when you land your dream job, you stop dreaming.
So I left my dream job in pursuit of a new dream. That year, I started to teach myself how to make garment patterns, spent three months in Guatemala learning Spanish, and co-founded a small consulting firm (to pay the bills). In the midst of considering going back to school for a fashion design degree, I quite literally fell backwards into a fashion incubator located in the basement of a SOMA warehouse. It had been a production house in the 90s that had somehow survived the almost total collapse of the garment manufacturing industry following mass outsourcing. Forget school, I became an intern! After working my way through industrial sewing, patternmaking, cutting, grading, etc etc I got to rent my own desk as an in-house designer. Blufox SF is the result! Our goal is to help the ladies of San Francisco add a little bit of flare to their everyday workwear. Visit us at 440 Brannan St!