My Favorite Outfit: Fashion Designer Bora Han

This week officially kicks off the fashion industry’s fall frenzy starting with national Fashion’s Night Out and the launch of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York on Thursday. While I’m busy already prepping and packing for my trip east to cover the shows (stay tuned for future posts backstage from Rodarte and Marc Jacobs!), I’m reminded that there’s some serious talent waiting to be discovered right here in San Francisco.

Fashion designer Bora Han. Photography by Tedd Moon.

Bora Han is an up-and-coming women’s wear designer I predict will headline at Lincoln Center one day. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Han has an intriguing international background and an innovative, original aesthetic.


Han studied in Seoul, Korea at Sungshin University, graduating with a double B.A. in math and apparel design. After earning her first master’s degree in cosmetics and beauty from Sookmyung University, also in Seoul, she moved to San Francisco, where she earned a second master’s degree in 2010 from the Academy of Art University in fashion design.
Han’s pieces are bold yet understated. There’s a geometric, 3D quality to them. One of the most memorable pieces I’ve seen from her collection is her signature jacket with a slim, angular silhouette constructed from a sheer silk-organza that changes hues based on the wearer’s body temperature.
As one of the six designers selected for the debut of Invest Fashion, a San Francisco-based fashion design incubator that assists emerging designers, Han is poised for a promising career ahead—and I’ll definitely be watching.

Photography by Tedd Moon.

Name: Bora Han

Occupation: Fashion Designer

Age: 32

Where I live: SoMa district, San Francisco

What I’m wearing:

Pieces from BORA HAN S/S 2012 “Smart Fashion Collection” at INVESTFASHION.COM

Why this is my favorite outfit:

“The jacket became the Bora Han signature style of design after I received the Arts of Fashion award. The white jacket behind was one of my collections for the international Arts of Fashion competition in 2009. So I can say that the jacket let me go forward and grow as a fashion designer.”

When I wear this outfit:

“For a social meeting or a fashion event.”

How I’d remix this outfit:

“I think the collection shows a lot of versatility in the look depending on what you wear underneath the garments. It is fun to play with the styling because most of fabric is organza which is a see-through fabric. You can see different results when you do layering with various colors and kinds of fabrics. But I like to suggest keeping it simple to focus on the interesting silhouette of jacket.”

Photography by Tedd Moon.

My fashion point of view:

“I think that fashion is not simply wearing garments but the way to express a person’s philosophy and identity. Fashion not only should show the wearer’s beauty, but it should also create interactive communications with wearers. I want to create a movement of dressing as ‘The Culture’ through my creative ideas. I think I’m not just a designer of clothing, but a leader of creating lifestyles. I believe in fashions not being a romance but a reality. Designers should design clothes that suit diverse situations and lifestyles.”

What I’m working on now:

“The Smart Fashion collection, which I am currently working on with INVESTFASHION.COM, is a perfect illustration of my creative vision to express interactive human relationships. The collection is inspired by Bakhtin’s Theory of Self-Awareness through the other, the architectonics of identity construction, and the Carnivalisque. I tried to visualize these concepts in many ways.

From these ideas, I came up with a geometric shape and expressed the interactivity of the human relationship with thermochromic and photochromic dyed pattern.”

My favorite shops in San Francisco are:

“Dessert shops on Hayes Street, Union Street and so on. Fashion is mode of living. I think Fashion is tied not only to clothing but also to other mediums such as food, interiors, and products—all things in our life. The stores’ desserts are very fashion. Sometimes, I satisfy my fashion emotions with well-decorated food.”

My best fashion “steal” was

“White glasses from Korea. I bought the glasses last winter in South Korea. When I was walking on Garosoo Street in Seoul, I couldn’t help but stop because the glasses caught my attention even when I was not paying attention to anything in particular!”

If I weren’t a fashion designer, I would be

“I would be fashion designer all over again! I am really happy to create fashion culture with my hands and see people wear my designs in the real world. When I see people who like what I created, I feel like I am ‘alive’.”

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