News & Runway

Designer Dossier: Doo.Ri Chung

When Doo Ri Chung announced in June 2012 that she would be leaving her eponymous label, Doo.Ri, we knew we had to feature her in our Designer Dossier series. Though she isn't a 22-year-old wunderkind "it" designer, she has proven that sticking to her design style and viewpoint, as well as making sacrifices, creates a successful label. Though she hasn't announced what her plans are next, we want her skills to be remembered in case she takes a break from designing. Often imitated, the "Queen of the Drape" will never be completely duplicated.

Doo Ri Chung was born in South Korea but her family emigrated to New Jersey during her childhood. As a high school student, she spent her spare time taking classes at Parsons and FIT. She graduated from Parsons in 1995 with the school's designer of the year award and went on to work for such labels as Banana Republic and Geoffrey Beene. In 2001, Doo Ri borrowed $100,000 from her parents and set up an office for herself in their basement. She's quoted saying, “My mother helped me sew; my father picked up the clothes from the production house. They fed me…My parents became my coworkers.” The risk paid off, as Doo Ri found herself the recipient of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award in 2006 and her reputation as a talented designer firmly in place. 

The fashion industry knows Doo Ri Chung as the go-to designer for expert draping, particularly with jersey fabric. Chung has been open about her prodigious use of the oft-avoided material. According to her, she knows it's one of her strong points and wants to retain her loyal fan base by not varying her theme too much. Sophisticated, flattering, and sometimes edgy, Doo.Ri is a retail-darling design house and if the group that owns the label can help it, will remain so even after its founder's departure. We can't wait to see what's next for Doo Ri Chung, as well as what's next for Doo.Ri. For the time being we're going to appreciate some of her most recent creations, enjoy!