André Kim

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Birth name
Hangul김봉남
Hanja
Revised RomanizationGim Bong-nam
McCune–ReischauerKim Pongnam
Stage name
Hangul앙드레 김
Hanja앙드레
Revised RomanizationAngdeure Gim
McCune–ReischauerAngdŭre Kim

André Kim (August 24, 1935 – August 12, 2010) was a South Korean fashion designer based in Seoul, South Korea. He was known mainly for his evening and wedding gown collections.

Kim, whose real name is Kim Bong Nam, is one of fashion designers in South Korea. He has made a lot of achievements in not only Korean fashion but also International fashion, so even New York Times and Herald Tribune in London described him as 'A pioneer in Korean fashion' and 'Alive fashion hero'. His personal life was hidden in secrecy except for the fact that he adopted a son.

The modifier 'The first' always follows his name. This is because, Kim became the Korea’s first male fashion designer as he opened his fashion shop in 1962 and since that time he attracted public attention by designing a wedding dress of Um Aeng Ran who was a top star at that time and designing many clothes like uniforms of the Korean athletes for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Furthermore, not only did he hold a fashion show in Paris as the first South Korean in 1966 but also he held a lot of fashion shows in many countries such as New York, Washington DC, Beijing and Sydney. Also, he was in the spotlight of world because he became the world's first fashion designer to hold a fashion show in front of pyramids and Angkor Wat temple, which is regarded as impossible before.

There are many characteristics that only André Kim has in his fashion shows and styles. One of them is wedding finale, which is representative symbol as a bride and groom wearing wedding gowns confront each other. Another feature is his fashion style. Kim sticks to a design which emphasizes woman's elegance and tries to apply Korean traditional pattern. Moreover, he always emphasizes white color. To be specific, the clothes that he designed is white as well as the things that he uses, such as furniture and cars, are also white. Moreover, he wears only white clothes regardless of the situation, even when he sleeps and takes a rest.

According to article that he interviewed with, the reasons why he loves white color are as follows.

"Since I was young, I really love snow so naturally I love a white, which is the color of snow. Also, I think that white represents purity. I can feel emotional purity by the white color and get relaxed whenever I wear white clothes."

Since 2002 Kim has expanded his business into not only design field such as children's wear and golf coat but also various fields like cosmetics and jewelry. He was active in his work even before he died on August 12, 2010 because of the pneumonia and colorectal cancer at age 74.

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