Post Archive Faction: The balance between art and fashion

Post Archive Faction : L'équilibre entre l'art et la mode

Dongjoon Lim, through his rising brand Post Archive Faction (PAF), is constantly seeking balance. Based in South Korea, PAF offers men's clothing that oscillates between utilitarian sportswear and experimental futurism.

Lim's precision in the design process stems from his background in industrial and spatial design. Since its emergence in 2018, the brand has racked up an impressive list of accolades, including a semi-finalist for the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2021, a presentation at Paris Fashion Week, and highly anticipated collaborations with FILA Korea and Off-White by Virgil Abloh.

PAF divides its collections into three main categories: conservative on the right, intermediate in the center, and radical on the left. These terms, borrowed from political systems, are found to varying degrees in the brand's clothing, from long monochrome shirts and tailored pants to mesh abstractions and voluminous, cocoon-like outerwear.

Lim was not initially attracted to fashion, preferring to pursue a degree at Hongik University, a private institution in Seoul known for its architecture and design programs. It was there that he gained knowledge of product development, which later influenced the analytical and experimental elements of his brand.

“When you think about a classic shirt, you are reminded of an archetype. The exact perspective depends on the person, but there is a common thought of that archetype in our mind, so I'm trying to find that point. From that, I stretch the experimental level to the left and try to find a balance.”

With increasing visibility in the industry comes a dichotomy: how to properly scale a business while remaining true to an artistic vision. The 2022 opening of the brand's flagship store in Seoul signals how Lim is approaching this polarity. PAF's new space emphasizes craftsmanship, as it is based in the brand's former sewing factory, and features an interactive display system that highlights the functionality of its clothing.

Lim was preparing for "CHAPTER TWO," which brought the brand's 6.0 collection to Paris Fashion Week earlier this year. He's also considering a creative director role at a luxury brand, which he reveals is his "next personal goal." While running a brand with such exponential success can overwhelm some designers, Lim takes it philosophically – and PAF's guiding principles of balance and exploration guide him. “People say that life is a marathon,” explains the designer. "I'm OK with that. When I'm learning about my business, it feels like a marathon." As Lim navigates uncharted territory, PAF's meeting point remains constant: a place where uniform flourishes, function meets aesthetics, and yesterday's conservative becomes the new avant-garde.

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