What is Post Archive Faction?

An introduction to one of South Korea's most forward-thinking labels

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Post Archive Faction / Graphic by ONE37pm

South Korean brands have been on a steady rise in popularity the last few years, and the country as a whole is becoming a major player in the global fashion landscape. Labels like Hyein Seo, KANGHYUK, and Andersson Bell are leading the charge and setting international trends without compromising on originality. Post Archive Faction (PAF) is no exception. Having just launched in 2018, the PAF was already shortlisted for the 2021 LVMH prize, and has been lauded for its inimitable ingenuity. The label’s conceptual design approach defies typical fashion norms, relying heavily on prototyping and distorting familiar pieces from earlier collections. 

Co-founded by Creative Director Dongjoon Lim and Head Designer Sookyo Jeong, PAF’s forward thinking designs reflect the brand’s unconventional beginnings. Lim was born in Seoul, Korea in 1992 and studied Industrial Design and Spatial Design at Hongik University. After graduating in 2016, Lim worked as a UX designer for fashion brands and IT corporations. He soon developed an interest in launchings his own business, although he did not initially land on fashion. In an interview with Hypebeast, Lim likened the experience of entering the fashion industry to “those times when you play a game without giving it much thought, but it turns out to be very enjoyable”. 

Since the start, PAF has eschewed the conventional system of seasonal collections, instead opting for a numerical system beginning with “1.0”. This allows the studio to take a more introverted approach to design, and allows more leeway in the production process given the supply chain issues that have plagued the fashion industry due to COVID-19. Moreover, design influences can easily be traced back to earlier collections through titles. For example, the “3.1” collection was directly based on the brand’s “3.0” collection, but developed many of the ideas seen in the preceding work. 

Post Archive Faction

PAF’s unique approach to design extends well beyond their nomenclature and into the finer details of design. Each garment is labeled left, right, and center, and often a single idea will be expressed in all three modes. The labeling system is akin to a political spectrum, where left represents the most radical and experimental ideas, right is a more conservative and traditional route, and center sits as an intermediary between the two. This system takes on a new life when ideas on the left move towards the right in succeeding collections, as both PAF and its audience become more familiar with a certain garment or concept. 

Post Archive Faction

In January of 2020, PAF was invited to present their clothing in a showroom at Paris Fashion Week, where the team assembled an array of 3D printed and foam-meshed art pieces into a beautiful display that highlighted the “3.1” collection. The work on the presentation indicated that the PAF team has interdisciplinary skills outside of fashion, something which Lim has expressed interest in. He has mentioned that in the future he would like to see PAF developing its identity in the realm of tools and furniture in addition to the exploratory clothing they already produce. In any case, we will be watching al future developments with a keen eye, and so should you. 

Check out PAF’s Instagram where they have just begun teasing their 5.0 collection, or purchase a piece from their earlier collections, which are available on their website

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