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Paris American Academy Couture Award winner Hyoungsuk Lee Interview

Paris American Academy’s Couture Award at the annual FGI Scholarship Competition 2016 was awarded to El Centro College’s student Hyoungsuk Lee for his menswear entry in the Contemporary/Sportswear Category sponsored by Sharon Young Inc. and Galleria Dallas.

Judges were impressed with Korean born Hyoungsuk Lee’s construction skills, his garments stood out because they were incredibly well made. Hyoungsuk Lee is no stranger to this annual scholarship competition, this is his 3rd attempt to go for the grand prize to study in Paris, all paid for by The Fashion Group International of Dallas and Paris American Academy.

I had a chance to ask Hyoungsuk Lee a few questions after his big win.

[JS]: How do you feel after the win? What’s your first reaction when your name was called?

[HL]: I have been working to finish my school collection so I haven’t had time to let it all sink in. I was so shocked when I heard my name, I couldn’t believe it. Everything from that moment on has felt amazing yet very surreal.

Hyoungsuk Lee - Scholarship Competition 2016  |  http://dallas.fgi.org

[JS]: What is the one thing that you will do when you arrive in Paris besides you will be immersed in an intensive program of study?

[HL]:  I want to see famous designer collections, visit The Eiffel Tower, and see Parisian street fashion.

FGI Scholarship Competition 2016  |  http://dallas.fgi.org

[JS]: Did you grow up in Korea? Which city? Were K-Pop a big influence in your earlier design work?

[HL]:  I grew up in Ansan, a city near Seoul. K-Pop wasn’t influential in my earlier work, I would say that Korean culture as a whole has influenced my past and present designs.

FGI Scholarship Competition 2016  |  http://dallas.fgi.org

[JS]: What’s one advice you want to give to future competition candidates?

[HL]: I learned fashion in Korea, I learned tailoring in the United States, and I will learn Haute Couture in Paris. The only advice I could give is “Don’t stop, keep learning. Try to do your best, don’t give up, and stay true to yourself and your vision.”

As the chair of this competition, nothing brings me more satisfaction than watching their journeys. We all wish Hyoungsuk Lee a great career as a designer.

Photography by: THOMAS GARZA PHOTOGRAPHY