Meet Alice Eugene Seon

Delve into the creative universe of Alice Eugene Seon, a recent Parsons BFA graduate and a standout addition to the NJAL Community. Her Thesis Collection "Invisible Woman" is an exposé on the pervasive stereotype that diminishes the significance of women's jobs. Reflecting on the historical trivialization of domestic chores as exclusively women's responsibilities, Alice draws inspiration from her mother's revelation of feeling unseen within her own home. Through her designs, Alice aims to liberate and empower women, crafting resilient figures who are poised to assert themselves and break free from societal constraints.

Not Just a Label sits down with her to discuss her experience whilst crafting her collection, her next steps, and how joining NJAL has shaped her early career.
Alice Eugene Seon CollectionCourtesy of Alice Eugene Seon


You recently graduated from Parsons in the Class of 2023. Tell us about your experience of finding the course, applying, settling in, and completing? What was this entire journey like? What advice would you give to other students looking for the right place to study and how to succeed whilst maintaining well-being and balance?

Trying to get an education during COVID was a challenge, the journey entailed a lot of hustling. I had to find classes outside of Parsons to fulfill requirements and spent every summer and winter break doing so to be prepared for the industry I was planning a future with.

In my senior year, when I was creating my thesis, I had to learn how to be my own critic, my own teacher, and my own model. I quickly learned to collaborate and deal with people, as well as business skills outside of the industry. I feel like I became much more knowledgeable through all my trials and tribulations during this year.

It is very important to me to maintain balance and well-being. My best work is done when I am at peace. I become more creative so I constantly seek out ways to relieve stress. Towards the end of my senior year, while preparing my thesis, I put my heart and soul into the home stretch because I wanted to finish successfully. I have to admit that this period took a toll on me. I realized after graduation that I had not taken care of myself and I was now paying for it, health-wise. But this was also a learning curve, I now know that maintaining balance and well-being is crucial for me to do my best work.


As a fresh graduate, what are your next-step thoughts? Are you setting up your own brand?

I would love to set up my own brand but I would like to continue my education in fashion design and learn under proficient designers who were already out in the industry to grow more. Maybe get into a masters degree program before establishing my brand.


Alice Eugene Seon CollectionCourtesy of Alice Eugene Seon


If you could change one major thing about the fashion industry right now, what would it be?

One major thing that I would like to change about the fashion industry would be in regards to sustainability. I acknowledge the fact that people pay a lot of attention and are aware of the environmental effects and waste from consuming fashion. I strongly believe we need to continue to find possible solutions in the industry. I know it’s impossible to get rid of all the waste when we as designers have to sell our designs. However, we can all continue to create our pieces while wasting less and finding a happy medium.


Your final collection Invisible Woman is stunning and it also has a vitally important narrative to it. Please can you expand upon your thesis and the process you personally went through to decide to share this personal story (noting the theme springs from something your mother shared with you, and is reflective of many women across homes the world over)?

Last summer, I was wracking my brain around the theme for my thesis. My  mother once confessed to me that she felt invisible in her own household since everyone in our family thought and acted like taking care of the household was her job and nobody helped her out. Therefore, my idea evolved from this statement. By the time I finished my thesis collection, it felt weird to even say ‘helping her out’, which seemed to refer to the other family members not having accountability for the chores that needed to be done. It was actually everyone’s job, not just hers, to fulfill. I felt a responsibility towards becoming a voice for those women who perform hard and monotonous labor daily. Domestic labor is underestimated and hidden and this needs to be recognized.


Alice Eugene Seon CollectionCourtesy of Alice Eugene Seon


How did you distill this message about women's domestic circumstance into silhouettes, colours, and garment designs?

Prior to the design development process, I started researching about the actual chores and the movements they enticed. I first filmed myself working on each category of chores to feel the hardness of it and how time consuming it is. This experimentation led to a photoshoot with a friend of mine while working on chores to create my own references. To start designing, I simply traced the silhouettes of her movements while performing daily chores and translated them by draping experimentations with an apron that I made to find possible shapes. For the color schemes, I extracted color palettes from cleaning tools, which tend to have vivid and playful colors to create a humorous and attractive product.


Alice Eugene Seon CollectionCourtesy of Alice Eugene Seon


Do you think that each of your future collections will have an underlying message about rights, feminism, and socio-political overtures?

For sure. As I mentioned earlier, I am thinking of continuing my education and launching my own brand in the future and I would definitely speak up and continue talking about rights, feminism, and socio-political overtures since those are the topics that inspire me the most. The world won't change easily, but it's imperative that we speak up continuously.


Describe one of the most innovative and unique design and production techniques you used in creating your collection?

I would say the lace patchwork on the pink dress, the one that got an unexpected social media appreciation, which is my 3rd look of the collection. I personally adore this look the most since it took the most time. It was inspired by laundry and I wanted to create the idea of soap. Originally, It was planned to be produced by digital printing. However, I thought the foam texture would not be visible, so the materiality was developed by cutting laces in pieces and creating it three dimensionally. It was quite a challenge since it was my first time working on lace patchwork and I could not tell what it would look like upon completion but Voilà! It was a happy accident! I’m glad that a lot of people enjoyed this lace patch-work that took such a long time and dedication.


Alice Eugene Seon CollectionCourtesy of Alice Eugene Seon


Who inspires you creatively?

The person who inspires me the most is my mom. I always talk to my mother when I am struggling. She is a brilliant lady with great insight and creativity. It is always pleasant hearing things from different perspectives. 


What are your ideal conditions for creativity?

I believe that the Ideal conditions for creativity are patience and stability. Inspirations do not come quickly overnight, you need to continuously put in effort to gain them. To be able to do that, I truly believe that you have to be stable and take time.


Which song is top of your playlist?

I’ve been obsessed with Nochentera by Vicco, which I heard while I was traveling through Spain in June and it kept looping in my head and I couldn’t get it out.

This song will always represent my entry into the fashion world, since I went to Spain right after graduation. 


Alice Eugene Seon CollectionCourtesy of Alice Eugene Seon


What is your day-to-day life like? How do you balance life being in-between Korea and the USA?

I’ve been taking a little career break since I graduated. I traveled, spent time with my family, took classes, and worked for competitions during the day. I have been too exhausted both mentally and physically so I thought I should take a break and wait for a bigger leap. Since I was on a break, it was not a lot of work to balance real life being in-between Korea and the United States. But now, I feel like it’s time for me to get back to my life at the studio.


How do you draw from your own cultural identity? What are the most important pillars of your sense of self?

This is such a great question since I have a background story about Alice Eugene Seon as the name for my brand. I used to live in a very white neighborhood and I remember I was ashamed of my korean traits since I wanted to look like others and act like others. I tried really hard to blend in by dressing like other girls in my school, putting on makeup like them, and talking like them. One of my friends from high school used to make fun of my middle name and said that it was such a “white guy’s name”, although it’s a typical girl’s name in Korea. That incident made me ashamed of my Korean traits even more. After spending years at Parsons, I realized that It is fine to be different and I started liking my identity as a Korean American, having experienced both cultures. Therefore, I go by my full name now, Alice Eugene Seon, to proudly display my identity as a Korean and American.


How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes? Who is your core customer?

Women of course are my core customers. My potential customer for Invisible Women was middle aged women who have been dedicating themselves but I would like to create a brand of women, by women, and for women in the near future. Recalling some of John Galliano’s words  “My role is to inspire women, to make them dream and to dress these desires”.  I believe that my role as a designer is to make all women feel confident and feel comfortable in their own skin.


Alice Eugene Seon CollectionCourtesy of Alice Eugene Seon


Do you have a quote of wisdom you'd like to share with other creatives?

My favorite quote is “Be reckless enough to gamble all or nothing to follow your dreams.” by John Galliano who I genuinely admire as a fashion designer.


Finally, how has joining Not Just A Label changed your early career?

I’ve been getting so many emails about collaborations for photoshoots from all over the world. Joining Not Just A Label was a big fortune for me since it is such a great platform for fresh graduates. I remember Bella Thorne commented under NJAL’s post when they featured my work. I had to pinch myself since Disney was my childhood memory and I remember watching her shows when I was a little girl. My collection has also been recently published in NJAL’s marketplace and I can’t wait to see how it goes. I would like to thank NJAL for having me and providing me with such a great opportunity. I can’t wait to have more adventures with you!


Visit NJAL I The Shop to discover all of Alice's pieces