Whitecliffe Educated: The Student Experience

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Whitecliffe Educated: The Student Experience

Chloe (Youngjoo) Kwon is currently a Year 4 Fashion Design student at Whitecliffe. She was born in South Korea in the city of Incheon, west of Seoul. Talking about her birthplace, she says, “among young people, South Korea is famous for K-Pop, K-Drama and its food culture. Also, if you ever visited South Korea, I would say that it is definitely a nice country to play and live in.”

She first came to Whitecliffe five years ago and enrolled in the Foundation (Level 4 Certificate) course. Chloe says she chose to study at Whitecliffe be-cause “Whitecliffe specializes in arts and design – students do more practical work here than at other universities.” Her parents also encouraged her to study in New Zealand, which Chloe appreciates because there are fewer people in New Zealand.” When asked about her experience at Whitecliffe, she says “I have forged life-long friendships with kindred spirits who also love fashion, just like me. I really felt like I was part of a family while we were studying fashion design together.” One of her favourite aspects of studying at Whitecliffe is the relationship developed between student and lecturer while learning in small, focused groups. She says, “lecturers spoke to us all individually and my designing wasn’t considered ‘work’, it was more about my developing my indi-vidual expression and creativity.”

Since the age of 8, Chloe has been dreaming about studying Fashion Design. She continues, “Korean fashion is so quick and trendy, it’s a very fast society. But New Zealand is slow and relaxed. In my own fashion design practice, I like to work combining these aesthetics. I discovered a lot about myself in New Zealand, I have time to be more creative and put my ideas to good use.”

She recommends studying arts and design in New Zealand to other interna-tional students “because it is a good place to develop your talent as an artist or designer and to use your imagination to create.” As for her future plans, she hopes to work in New Zealand as a pattern-making assistant and possibly start her own fashion label at some point. While completing her studies, she has been interning at Leatherworks (boutique designer and manufacturer of leather goods), learning more about the industry. In her free time, she enjoys dying fabrics with natural dyes, creating her own patterns, hanging out with her friends and traveling for inspiration. Traveling inspires her designs and pattern-making. She says “inspiration for me comes from out of the blue, sometimes inspired by the ocean, nature and movies about fashion.”

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