Steve J & Yoni P
Photograph by James Muldowney

Besides being fashion’s very own homage to a perfect fantasy union of the Asian Johnny Depp and Anita Pallenberg, this utterly charming couple have been designing their eponymous line together since they launched at London Fashion Week 5 years ago. Lovers of all things London, Steve did a BA and an MA at St Martins, Yoni an MA at London College of Fashion. They met when they were 20 years old but only got married last year – “we’ve been too busy!” they chime in unison. Employing a core of 7 people, with all their clothes manufactured in South Korea, they endeavour to keep it small, like a family. They brainstorm together and would be at pains to work out who does what, instead they design as one.

Kooky and happy they encapsulate the ethos of their designs, which are all about not stressing out, but trying your best to be happy.

Volt Café: Your latest collection was very upbeat and fun! Tell us about the inspiration behind it?
Steve J & Yoni P: Fly Me Away! We imagined a woman who daydreams about getting away. It was a happy collection, fantasizing about all the elements of travel, from the in-flight sleeping cushions as collars, the wheelie bags and instead of a tiny dog in a bag our two cats as cardboard cut-outs!

VC: How would you sum up your collections in general?
SJ & YP: Stylish downtown. As yet we only show the Womenswear collection, but we also do Menswear, both of which sells at 10 Corso Como in Seoul and Harvey Nicholls in Hong Kong.

VC: As you sell in both the East and the West, do you find you do different things for those quite different markets?
SJ & YP: Not really. The Eastern market is growing and our collection encompasses both. Our flagship store is in Seoul but we also sell in high-end stores all over the world. We have friends everywhere and we love that internationality!

VC: What inspires you?
SJ & YP: Puppets! Designers like Rei Kawakubo. Art books… Artists like Basquiat or going to the Mangal on Kingsland Road and seeing Gilbert & George having dinner there every night. Films like ‘Factory Girl’ but most of all, our friends.

VC: If you weren’t designing clothes, what would you like to do?
YP: Actress in musicals – I LOVE singing and dancing!
SJ: And I’d be her back-up dancer!

Steve J & Yoni P surrounded by their models at Seoul Fashion Week S/S2012
Photograph by James Muldowney

Words by Anna Bang and Rebecca Hawkes

All photos unless otherwise stated courtesy of Seoul Fashion Week

With thanks to Seoul Fashion Week and Suk Kyung Yun (Yurusi)


10 Corso Como, Anita Pallenberg, anna bang, Gilbert & George, James Muldowney, Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hawkes, Rei Kawakubo, Seoul Fashion Week, Steve J & Yoni P,