Taking the High Road with Sundae School: NYFW:MENS x CAPSULE

New York-based, Seoul-inspired smokewear brand, Sundae School, launched most of its second line, Chapter 2: When Tigers Used to Smoke, at NYFW: MENS x CAPSULE this month. Numerous designers and a few rookies were up to bat this past week, but sister-brother pair Cindy and Dae Lim of Sundae School brought their best rolling papers for the test of a new line: the showroom.

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Chapter 1: Genisis, their first shot at good grades in the fashion world, featured humorous details such as spliff holders built into their caps and embroidered pot leaves on their patches. Chapter 2 offers a more sophisticated style of loungewear designed for the chic honor-roller to achieve the perfect high.

Spindle photojournalist, Darragh Dandurand, interviewed the industrious stoner siblings with their heads in the (smoke) clouds.

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Spindle: Tell me about how Sundae School started?
SS: We are siblings from Seoul Korea who grew up in the States. This January, we were both in Korea for the holidays and we decided to start a project together we’d thought about for a bit – a smokewear label based in Seoul. Then it all just happened fairly quickly – Cindy went out looking for manufacturers and tech pack designers the next day, and Dae started the narrative and design development process. We had a clear goal, utilizing fashion as a medium to send a message. We decided to jump on the opportunity and launch our line on 4/20.

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Spindle: Why is Sundae School an important and upcoming brand?
SS: We really want to represent two cultural elements – the high and the East – that are very dear to our hearts. Our goal is to create a community of “Honor Rollers” around the world who appreciate “higher education,” especially amongst Asians and Asian Americans who are not normally discussed in the realm of counterculture. We translated our cultural influences into comfortable “smokewear,” designed for and by smokers to simulate the “high” whenever you’re wearing our garments. And while we know that our garments themselves are important, we also prioritize the cultural narrative behind the designs– excerpts ranging from our experiences as Korean American puffing after work/school, to our childhood survival under education-focused “tiger mom.”

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Spindle: To show at NYFW:MENS x CAPSULE was a rush order that you had to push out. How did that work?
SS: We are launching our second collection, Chapter 2: When Tigers Used to Smoke, in late August, but rushed our sampling and shipping process to showcase it at NYFW:MENS x CAPSULE show. Highsnobiety thankfully offered us with a very fortunate opportunity to showcase for free as one of their ‘Under the Radar’ brands, so we had to work extra-hard in order to seize the moment. While we are not 100% done with the collection, our reviews and responses have been overwhelmingly positive and we are in the final editing process to launch Chapter 2.

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Spindle: What are you trying to do moving forward with Sundae School?
SS: Our main objective is two fold: to bring awareness to the the stark invisibility of the Asian American culture, and especially yellow counterculture, in the States, and to fight the stigma against stoners via sharing thoughtful stories and garments. We hope to create a strong community of honor rollers, especially within the Asian American community.

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