Capturing the beauty of everyday life with an Isu Milano bag
ISU is a women's accessories brand launched by Korean sisters Suyun and Yungju Lee in 2016. Although ISU bags come in classical shapes, they definitely make a statement with their bright colors and unconventional materials. Inspired by the shapes and textures around them, ISU bags try to capture the beauty of everyday life, such as with their signature cross-body bag that mimic the shape and texture of pebbles. Being based in Milan also means the brand benefits from the finest Italian craftsmanship and leathers. Here to speak about ISU is an interview with the founding sisters, Suyun and Yungju Lee.
What is a typical ISU wearer?
Our bags are made with various materials and uncommon colors in simple shapes. Therefore our customers are aware of the differences in such details and are delighted to see them. We always want our brand to be elegant and inspire the women who are passionate about their choice.
How did you get into fashion?
Since I was a little kid I’ve dreamt of becoming an accessory designer. So I studied Fine art and Jewellery Design in Korea and then I moved to Italy to master an accessory design course. I have never thought about myself other than as a designer and luckily my family believes in me and supports me unconditionally.
Where are most of your customers based?
Our bags are especially beloved in England and Japan. Our customers say they love our materials and color choice and the clean shape of the bag. So we feel very grateful to be recognized by them.
What’s one of your favorite bags you’ve designed?
My favorite bag is one from our first collection. A cross-body bag that is matched with python printed green leather and white leather. I think this bag contains what I really want to put into our bags purely. So I’ve already kept an extra bag to use when it gets old in the future. One day I’d like to make another bag using the same elements.
You are both from Korea, do you think this has an influence on your designs?
Actually we are very curious how people think about Korea. As Koreans we think Korea is one of the many countries that is very smart, trendy with a lot of fashion lovers. Our designs start from something beloved and timeless and then we add little bit of modern sensibility and taste.
What’s the best way to wear an ISU bag?
The reason we make our bags is because they're so fun to style. Our bags have a variety of material and color choices so the styling possibilities are endless. For example, when you wear a white t-shirt with denim pants it goes well with our gray crocodile pebble and when you dress a dark green silk blouse with wool black wide pants, our black velvet mini vase can complete the look.
How is it to have created a brand with your sister? Is it easy to work together?
We are alike and very different at the same time. We share the same taste and ideals. But the rest, is very different. The way we approach our brand is different. One sees our brand very rationally and the other one sees it very sensitively. We think our brand’s strength is the direct communication and the profound sharing without speaking to each other.
If you could have any celebrity wear your pieces, who would you want it to be?
We don’t have any specific celebrity in our mind for now, but we adore old Hollywood stars.
What helps you find inspiration for your designs?
I find the beauty from everyday life. Because to me design is the result of appreciation of our daily life. Most of inspirations come from the shapes, colors and texture surrounding me. They are rearranged and expressed on the canvas and in our case it’s the bag.
What can we expect from Isu Milano brand in the next five years?
We don’t want to put any limit to ourselves as an accessory brand. Therefore we’d like to do various collaborations with other designer brands who share the same vision. We still don’t know what it will be yet for sure other than bags. Whatever the results will be, it must be in line with Isu’s mood.