Born and raised in South Korea and now based in London, designer Regina Pyo cut her teeth at Central Saint Martins under famous professor Louise Wilson before launching her eponymous label in 2014 to great critical success.
After showing at London Fashion Week for the first time in 2018, her brand received the British Emerging Talent award for womenswear in 2019 and was shortlisted for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund this year.
How did you first realise you wanted to work in fashion?
When I was young, my mother worked as a fashion designer, so I spent hours playing in her studio surrounded by fabrics, sketches and creativity. From a young age I learned how to sew and began designing my own creations.
After school I worked at a big apparel company in Korea, but looking through magazines and fashion shows I realised that most of the big designers of the time had come from Central Saint Martins in London, so I applied to get my master’s degree there and then moved to London.
What was the first roadblock you had to overcome?
Fairly soon after graduating from CSM, I won the Hans Nefkan award, which included a cash prize. I was encouraged to start my own line after the response from my graduation collection, and it had always been my dream to have my own brand.
However, school doesn’t teach you the business side of running your own brand, so I was not aware of how certain aspects worked, such as buying appointments, production management, shipping costs and logistics, press and PR. I was working 24 hours a day doing all these other jobs on top of designing collections, which was expensive and exhausting.
At the time it felt like it was all too much to manage on my own, but then our spring-summer 2017 collection was purchased by major stockists like Net-a-Porter and Shopbop and picked up by major fashion influencers and editors. That season was a real turning point for the brand.