Juun.J might not be a global household name yet, but best believe that your favorite pop stars have been huge fans of the Seoul-based designer’s namesake label for quite some time now. The stylings of Juun.J, whose formal name is Jung Wook-Jun, have been worn by some of pop culture’s most notable members: A sleek black Juun.J trenchcoat hangs off Rihanna’s shoulders in the music video for her 2017 collab with Kendrick Lamar , “Loyalty,” playing Lamar’s ride-or-die as the pair navigate high-octane drama that tests the strength of their Bonnie and Clyde-style bond. And the megastar members of BTS have appeared in Juun.J pieces both as performers, with the bomber jackets in the music video for “Mic Drop,” as well as off-duty.
The brand’s most recent celeb co-sign came Monday from pop sensation Jennie of Blackpink, who posted a photoset and accompanying video clip from their music video for “Pink Venom” of herself in a Juun.J denim bodysuit for her 70.2 million Instagram followers.
“People love and adore pop-artists,” Jung tells TZR via email correspondence, reflecting on the big-name figures that have shown his garments love over the years. “It is an honor for my brand to be liked by them. Naturally, it is true that the status of the label rises via them.”
And rise it has. Founded in 2007, Juun.J debuted during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in July of that year. In 2016, Jung became the first Korean designer chosen as a guest to show at the menswear must-attend industry event Pitti Uomo in Florence.
Juun.J’s look is urban, edgy, and ultra-modern — if not futuristic. While the brand is known largely for its sharp outerwear offerings, overall, its garments have quite the range, from the more militaristic trademark trenchcoats to the romantic floating pleats featured in the Fall/Winter 2021 collection “Persona,” to the ensemble recently worn by Jennie, short and sweet with a feminine silhouette enhanced by bold waist cutouts.
The tie that binds all the looks together as quintessentially Juun.J is fine tailoring; whether the pieces are intentionally oversize or fit to the wearer’s form, the cuts are clean. Jung names Helmut Lang as the designer he admires the most. “His structural design is overwhelming,” the designer explains. Jung calls his approach “street tailoring,” a nod to the inspiration he draws from the youth and street culture. “Ideas come to mind when I encounter anyone on the streets with designs and styles I’ve never thought of,” he says.
The way his garments fall on the frame is his highest consideration: “Even a short-sleeved T-shirt is designed with meticulous draping,” he says. “The keynote of all Juun.J’s work is ‘smart.’ Not too serious but I want to show the best quality.”
Long before he made his way into the world of high fashion, Jung’s biggest influences were his parents, who ran a children’s clothing business. “From a young age, I was exposed to their production process and that was intriguing,” he recalls. “I took it as a process of making a person beautiful. Rather than expecting fame, I realized that I wanted to become a designer with a simple thought of wanting to dress people all over the world with my own designs.”
His vision for the future of fashion, that world he’s designing for, is genderless. The brand is typically billed as menswear and shows at Paris Men’s Fashion Week, but these labels do not concern the designer, who strives to craft looks around the idea that fashion can and should transcend those kinds of classifications.
“Rather than being confined to beauty by its gender, we can find the peak of beauty when we go beyond the enclosed concept,” Jung says. “There is no division between men and women. I don’t force myself to think in specifics for inspiration… I believe the future will be more dominated by these thoughts.”
And as for the present? He’s excited to reveal a new collaboration with Samsung, which includes limited editions of the new Z Flip4 and Z Fold4 smartphones.
“We’re incredibly excited to be working with Juun J., one of the world’s most inspiring designers and renowned fashion brands,” says Stephanie Choi, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the MX Business at Samsung Electronics. “Through this partnership, innovation meets high fashion, giving Galaxy users a new way to express themselves with the latest Z series, Watch, and Buds lineups. We are proud to see this collaboration come to life and humbled to know that we can play a part in helping Juun.J and future talents unleash their creative genius.”
The designer has trust in the brand’s ability to meet him where he is and mesh with his own artistic viewpoint, knowing it has taken on similar high-fashion partnerships in the past. “Samsung Electronics has already collaborated with Thom Browne and others; they respect the identity of the brands they collaborate with,” Jung says. “Both companies’ brand identities came together exquisitely through this edition, which will only be available in Korea.”
Despite the big name collaborations and celebrity fans, ultimately, the designer prefers to lie low and stay relatively quiet, by industry standards. He prefers not to even name a dream client he hopes to dress one day or his favorite public figure to have donned his garments. And why should he? No need to manifest or talk anything into existence when he’s already designing his vision into reality. The work speaks for itself and doesn’t require a front man since the best of the best are already taking note.