The LTEKS [LIFETECH] brand was founded by Kolon Sport, a well-known Korean outdoor brand with a 40-year history. The line uses the concept of urban streetwear, most suitable for various movements, not limited by time or place, behind the development of which lies countless ideas and experiments with materials, designs, and technologies. The brand does not produce seasonal collections but adheres to the concept of capsule drops/editions to emphasize its commitment to sustainability.
The brand's new collection embodies the "desert", an environment subject to extreme climate change, and offers clothing that meets the lifestyle of a modern society that lives daily in this climate crisis. The collection combines functional designs and advanced materials in the form of Gore-Tex Infinium membrane and Cloud Nine Cotton, emphasizing activity in everyday clothing, providing comfortable movements, while at the same time presenting a style that can naturally fit into any situation.
We interviewed Jai Lee, the creative director of the collection, and asked him about the concept and fabrics of the collection, the promo campaign with contemporary dance artists, sustainability, and the new trend on the difference in functionality on a design level between menswear and womenswear lines.
Read the full interview below.
Questions: Alex Zabelin [TECHUNTER magazine, chief editor]. Answers: Jai Lee [LTEKS, creative director]. Photo: LTEKS.
[Hey, guys! Can you introduce a little of your brand's main concept and design philosophy as well as the team behind it?]
LIFETECH(LTEKS) proposes an essential product with a practical yet aesthetic design and adds functional details, delicate finishes, and stylish silhouettes to create urban performance wear that modern people can wear regardless of time, place, or environment.
The most important part of this is to observe the daily lives of people living in various cities, to incorporate features that help people perform activities in their daily lives, and to experimentally fine-tune materials, designs, and applying technologies
[What was the main inspiration point for the design team behind the edition 02 concept?]
We focused on developing clothing that can be worn in a wide range of climates due to climate change. With one piece of clothing, we hope to be able to protect the body in every environment.
[You have formed your new collection embodying the "desert" concept. What are the key product elements of edition 02 and how does this relate to the concept?]
The desert has a dramatic climate difference between day and night. In order to cope with these changes, we developed the Cloud Nine Cotton, a material with the right thickness that is breathable while also having enough insulation properties to make the wearer comfortable.
[You had split the collection into 2 separate lines by fabric. Can you please explain this choice and why did you use these fabrics for this collection?]
I wanted to use a cotton-based material to protect the body from the environment while also being very comfortable. That is Cloud Nine Cotton. Also, highly functional Gore-Tex fabric wearable for the summer.
Gore-Tex is a representative material of high-functional fabrics. It is the most suitable material for ever-changing climate conditions and is a key fabric used in all editions of LIFETECH(LTEKS) because it can effectively express the brand's outdoor heritage. The Gore-Tex is applied to essential everyday clothes frequently worn by modern people in the city, giving them a sense of unexpected style, while adding functional details to the lifestyle of those who do several activities a day to enhance daily efficiency.
Cloud Nine Cotton is a fabric that started development in order to apply more comfortable materials to clothes with functional designs. Cloud Nine Cotton comfortably drapes around the body and we added the technical design aspects of outdoor and performance clothing for wearability and mobility.
In Edition 02, you can see and feel the difference in styles by the two different materials used in the same design, and each material has its own characteristics added to enhance its completeness.
[Which exact functions do you think clothing will need in these climate crisis conditions?]
The ability to maintain proper body temperature and permeability. I think it is necessary to maintain comfort from humidity and to have some degree of waterproofing.
[What do you think of the idea of difference in functionality on a design level between menswear and womenswear lines? How does LTEKS work in this direction?]
If there is a suitable reason, I think it is possible to create a women's line. LIFETECH(LTEKS) products are making essential products, so they are operated as a unisex line so that men and women of all ages can use them comfortably.
[How did you come to the idea to collaborate with contemporary dance artists for your main editorial and what is its main idea?]
I thought of "movement" to express the characteristics of LIFETECH clothing and various human emotions regarding climate change and there was no material more suitable than modern dance to capture this.
We decided to hold an art collaboration called "Monolith" with two themes, dance, and clothing, with Collective A, a creative art group led by modern dancer Cha Jinyeob.
Adding on to Collective A's previous work, "The Circular Body," focuses on natural phenomena and the environment, and postulates it against the backdrop of "desert," an environment where climate difference in a given day is extreme. Ten young and energetic dancers are utilized to maximize the insightful perspective of human survival' by embedding natural phenomena, such as light and shadow, soil and wind in their movements. Through this campaign, we intended to show the process of enduring, adaptation and overcoming the harsh environment in the functional beauty of textiles and clothing, which are the technical products of textile chemistry, with overwhelming energy in artistic form.
collective A is a creative art group founded in 2012 by contemporary dancer Cha Jinyeob expanding beyond the typical form of the existing performance arts by exploring diversity and the possibilities of art. They are exploring the three-dimensional value of art, unbound by borders, through creative freedom independent of space, genre, form and medium. Collaborating with artists of various genres, collective A expands their domains through various media, and explores multifaceted approaches to dance language.
[What are your thoughts on today's trend on sustainability and ecology and what does LTEKS do in this direction?]
I believe in order to pursue sustainability as a brand focused on R&D, is to use functional fabrics that can be worn for a long time and suitable for any activity.
To emphasize sustainability, we introduced the concept of "Edition" since its launch in 2020 without operating a separate seasonal collection to showcase fashion that can be worn in any weather or season.
LIFETECH incorporates functional designs and avoids trends by focusing on essential items with an emphasis on comfortable movement in various situations encountered by urbanites (work, meeting, nightlife, relaxing…) and consists of a style that can melt naturally in any environment.
Rather than clothes made for only one purpose, we strive towards sustainability by designing with various environments and uses and inducing consumers to purchase only essential clothing.
Learn more about the LTEKS Edition 02 collection here.