Introducing Lewis Hong, Team/General Manager, Hyosung Fashion Design Center (FDC)
Stories | February 17, 2022
We are very happy to shine our Employee Spotlight on Lewis Hong this month! Lewis joined Hyosung in 2017 to establish its Fashion Design Center (FDC) – a studio that surveys industry trends to present a vision to our customers.
Lewis and his FDC team span the U.S., Europe and Asia surveying cutting-edge brands & retailers, and researching consumer insights. From this information, the team forms bi-annual megatrends (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter) that comprise forward-thinking trend reports, storyboards and even sample garments incorporating Hyosung specialty materials, which are presented at key trade shows and customer presentations.
According to Lewis, “Our short-term objective is to help our customers understand how to commercially use our special technical yarn products effectively by providing customized services such as raw material research & development, and garment design & development, which are in step with global market trends. Our long term objective is to provide game-changing research & development collaboration with our global value chains, while eventually offering a full package system – from yarn, to design, to cut & sew for global brands as a total solution provider.”
Once the FDC Team is able to travel and gather at industry trade shows, we hope you get the opportunity to meet Lewis in person. Until then, the below Q & A will help you get to know him a bit!
How did you get your start in fashion/textile trend development?
My start began after joining Li & Fung in 2001 where my role evolved into global sourcing & developing for global brands.
What led you to Hyosung?
Hyosung contacted me to see if we might be able to work together. Personally, I wanted to transition my global sourcing and developing capabilities and experiences to a Korean company – a major textile manufacturer who provided textile solutions to global partners across the entire value chain – mills, brands, retailers and consumers. The opportunity with Hyosung to lead its new Fashion Design Center came at the right time!
Have you always been interested in the textile industry and if so why?
Yes, I’ve enjoyed my career in textiles for almost 30 years now, even though there are days that are challenging. I have no intention of leaving it! The textile and fashion industries are always in motion and I enjoy looking keeping a pulse on global trends to help us provide product development solutions for our brands and retailer partners.
What do you like best about your role at Hyosung?
Developing new fabrics and concept garments with our innovative fiber technology.
Will you share a memorable/proud moment with your FDC Team?
There are two moments. One is when our team won the best innovative fabric during 2020 ISPO Textrend Best Product award for our Mipan robic nylon. The other is when our new fashionable and functional face mask, which we collaborated with a local Korean local brand, sold out in just three days after its launch during the first week of September 2020.
What countries around the globe are you seeing the most innovation with regards to textile and fashion trends?
It’s not easy to say one in simple terms. For formal/Classic/Outerwear Fashion, I would say France, Spain, Sweden and Italy. But, active fashion including athleisure is USA. But, K-fashion is emerging quickly through digital ways like SNS, TikTok and Youtube with hot K-entertainment and beauties.
How do you think the textile industry and Hyosung have changed over the last 2 to 3 years?
Covid-19 made an incredible impact on Hyosung and the entire global industry. Both wholesale and retail stores got hit hard and many had to adapt to online sales/e-commerce. We had to move so fast from doing business in the 2D World to the 3D Metaverse. Hyosung has been changed to adopt many digital tools to better communicate with our mill and brand-facing customers. We are looking forward to meeting in person once again!
Do you have a favorite Hyosung fiber and if so, what is it?
Our MIpan regen robic fine denier nylon and bio-degradable spandex because it’s our pioneer product.
Who are a few idols that inspire you and why?
Love BlackPink (BP), global girl crush. BP is a muse for many global luxury brand designers in the fashion industry. They inspired me so much as they always hit the world with amazing songs, fresh costumes and perfect dance/performance on stage.
What music are you listening to these days?
Old K- songs and British Acid Jazz from the end of the ’80s to ’90s. As I get older, I seem to be missing my younger days!
As we begin to come out from under COVID, what are you most looking forward to doing when we more restrictions are lifted?
Traveling for one month to live on an island with my family.
Where is one place you’ve never been, but is high on your list to visit?
Even though I have traveled to more than 70 countries during my career, my bucket list includes the Caribbean Islands, especially Cuba for its beautiful and clean weather, beach, ocean, and sweet food/fruits. The kind of people who live the tropical lifestyle seem to be satisfied and with their relaxed life. So, I would really enjoy spending one month or more every year for the rest of my lifetime!