Chapter 36 – Fashion Actually (5)

《Yesung Wool puts a premium on the colors of this coming autumn.》

[Finance Economy] The design team at Yesung Wool revealed their special pictorial cut with top model Janghoon and number one national actress Yongjoo Kim.

Janghoon showed off his proportionate figure in a striped yellow knit, new for this fall season. 

It was later said that Janghoon who thought the classic and modest patterns were clichéd was very satisfied with the clothes as he participated in the photoshoot.

Yongjoo Kim appeared with no makeup wearing an animal print jumper and jeans. She radiated her charms with a mature and alluring aura.

Yesung Wool’s new products are taking the center stage in the industry with this colorful series that is expected to set the main trend this autumn.

Reporter Homin Song

Miranda took her eyes off the monitor screen.

Not only did they copy the design but they used top celebrities worth millions as their models.

That was a luxury for Miranda who was adhering to the principles of using models that best fit the season’s design, but Yesung Wool was going all out without caring about such issues.

It was clear there had been a lot of preparation.  By the time the legal team was winning the lawsuit for plagiarism, it would not be fall anymore but winter or spring, and they would be selling new products. 


The photoshoot staff all stood frozen around the room. The photographer looked at her as if to say ‘What do we do?’

“First, proceed with the photoshoot with the clothing lines that weren’t copied. And Manager Yoon, call Chief Choi.” 

Miranda’s voice was no different from usual but to those who knew the severity of the situation, she was like a time bomb that could go off at any moment. Clearly, there would be some bloodshed in tracking down the culprit who had leaked the design.

The photoshoot staff were just watching her closely.  Her high-pitched voice rang out.


The all the staff began to swarm out of the room.

Eunha was about to go outside as well but saw Minho who was standing with his arms folded, staring blankly into space. He seemed like he wasn’t going to move, so she quickly grabbed his arm.

“Let’s go, Minho. I don’t think there’s anything we can do here.”

Minho roused from his deep thought.

Following Eunha out the door, Minho looked at Miranda who was standing in the middle of the room.

‘The design was perfect.’

After contemplating the same thing, he knew that ultimately the only way to solve this situation was to create clothes in a different style. But even for Miranda, it was impossible to create in one day something that took two months to design in detail.


It felt like there was a great chance that Minho wouldn’t be able to meet Manager Gong’s expectations no matter how hard he tried today.

The official start of the photoshoot was pushed back to 1:00 PM since the schedule was in disarray.

“How can such a thing happen?”

As they waited for the photoshoot, Manager Gong who was sitting next to Minho in the waiting room let out a sigh.

“I heard the employees’ conversation just before. They even copied the points in the draft proposal perfectly.”

Manager Gong waited until the photoshoot staff walked by then lowered his voice and whispered,

“They said it’s a veteran designer from the inside that passed it on. Everyone is on the downlow saying that a storm is coming. I don’t know when the next photoshoot will be if we don’t get it done today.”

Minho continued to speak in a low voice as well.

“They could choose a different model to fit the new design when it comes out. So you might need to plan the next schedule with that in mind.”

Considering the atmosphere of this place, which valued marketability over expenses, it was reasonable for them to discard and redo the photos right away if they weren’t pleased with them.


Manager Gong covered his mouth realizing his voice had risen and then continued.

“You’re smart so if that’s your analysis it must be accurate.”

But Manager Gong continued to lament that such a thing should never happen.

“Ugh. I’ve heard enough to know full well that the fashion industry is cutthroat but…”

Knock knock.

Manager Gong who was speaking quietly flinched at the knocking sound on the waiting room door and turned towards it.

“We are a bit late, aren’t we.”

Stylist Youngeun Hwang from KG entertainment entered holding a makeup bag. The two were relieved when they saw her. The KG staff entered in a line.

Youngeun Hwang spoke as she put the bag down next to the vanity.

“We left late because of Chief Jay Kim.”

Manager Gong clicked his tongue as he asked,

“Did Chief Jay Kim ultimately decline the business trip here?”

“No, he said he’ll come directly here from his home. He’s more relaxed than usual during business trips. At this rate, there’s a high chance he’ll come after eating lunch.”

Youngeun realized that the model who was supposed to be here wasn’t and pointed to the empty seat in the waiting room.

“What about Ms. Eunha?”

“She’s getting dressed.”

Youngeun’s gaze turned towards the women’s dressing room.

“I heard on the way here that today’s schedule got cut in half. Do you know anything about it?”

“Well, that’s…”

Manager Gong explained what happened that morning. Youngeun clapped her hands together in surprise.

“Oh my, maybe that’s why the president came too.”

“The president?”

“Yes. She’s coming up with chief Taebaek Yoon.”

Manager Gong turned his head toward Minho.

“I’ll go escort her here.”

President Im had come in person. Minho felt hopeful that maybe she would be able to find a solution with her exceptional business ability.

During that moment, Eunha who was in the dressing room came out. She was wearing the clothes arranged for the first photo shoot and struck a slight pose as if to ask Minho ‘how do I look?’

It was a mix-and-match of a casual baseball jacket and a lace skirt. They were like bubbly wings on Eunha who looked good in anything.


Minho put up his thumb and Eunha smiled as she walked over to him. She took off the baseball jacket because it got hot and put it on the chair as she spoke.

“I think they went with the popular products from last year for the first photoshoot.”

One of the staff peeked his head out of the men’s dressing room.

“Mr. Minho Kang, can you please come in?”

Minho stood up from his seat and went to get dressed.

A short time later, he came back wearing a suit jacket over a comfortable tracksuit. It was a sporty look that seemed unbalanced but portrayed an active style.

Eunha was watching, then mimed a ball-throwing movement. Minho got into a posture of a batter smoothly hitting the ball.

“You remembered.”

“Because your form was very impressive.”

“Eh hem, was it?”

Minho stared at Eunha who was smiling brightly and felt somehow disappointed. He would’ve spent a joyful time in the photoshoot if it wasn’t for the T brand company’s internal situation. But that was about to be shattered.

“We have to start getting our hair done but I don’t see Chief Jay Kim.”

As Eunha said this, Minho’s gaze remained on the beauty tools that were almost done being organized on one side. Jay Kim’s personal tool box was there.

‘Should I just quickly finish the hair styling for the first photo shoot since he’s going to be late anyway?’

Minho thought this wasn’t a bad idea if there was a high possibility they could go rest after briefly styling their hair like the time with Sora. He had to be in the best condition to at least finish the remaining photoshoot in order to be given another chance next time.

With this in mind, Minho walked over to the tool box, but couldn’t help but be flustered when he saw Jay Kim’s scissors.

‘Why is it glowing?’

The cherished object he had already touched was faintly glowing again. Minho put his hands on it thinking ‘did Jay Kim die?’ and the glow disappeared as usual.

‘What can it be?’

As Minho wondered this, he recalled Chulhwan Bae’s headset that had glowed with Sanggun’s guitar in front of it.

The two cherished objects had synergized and formed a better effect.

The only other cherished object in this studio was Miranda’s work space.

‘Can it be….’

Miranda’s pursuit of the perfect design didn’t seem to suit Jay Kim’s carefree opinion on style, but there was a strange anticipation about the synergy of these two.

Just as Minho was about to instinctively grab the scissors, a woman in her mid 30s entered the waiting room.

“Mr. Minho, Ms. Eunha.”

Eunha, who was fidgeting with the basic makeup contemplating what to put on, turned her head in response to President Sohee Im’s voice.


Minho stepped away from the scissors as well and walked over to her. Sohee Im quickly responded with a nod to the two people’s greeting and continued speaking.

“I heard everything. You two just be on standby for now. Half a photoshoot is a loss to T brand but it’s a loss to the KG models as well.”

Sohee Im turned her head towards chief Taebaek Yoon and Manager Gong who followed behind her.

“Chief Yoon, notify the one in charge of the photoshoot saying we can proceed in this way. If they say anything, argue about the contract breach with the company first.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Doyoon, you call Yesung Wool company. If you give my name to Director Jeon of the marketing team, he’ll give you information.”

“I understand.”

Minho automatically felt relieved as she sorted out the situation with ease.

‘She definitely calculates quickly.’

Minho felt at ease thinking at least they wouldn’t be at a loss, and his eyes grew wide when he saw the fountain pen that was attached to the front of Sohee’s blouse.

It was glowing the same way as Jay Kim’s scissors.

It was out of the ordinary, so Minho thought he should confirm it to be sure.

“I’m going to go to the bathroom.”

He quickly went out of the waiting room and turned his gaze toward Miranda’s space. A faint glow formed on the walls.

‘Why is that?’

The three cherished objects with different distinct characteristics were glowing at the same time asking to be touched.



Miranda checked the name ‘Sangsik Choi’ popping up on her cell phone screen and brought it to her ear.

– What happened?

“Five main styles were leaked to Yesung Wool.”

– What?

A baffled groan came from the other end of the line.

– What are you going to do?

“Trying to figure it out now.”

– Just launch it. Either way it’s the era where the originator is important. We’re still going to make a profit with your name value and brand recognition no matter how hard Yesung Wool tries.

Miranda coldly cut him off as if she knew he was going to say that.

“I cannot tolerate them releasing the same design.”

– Don’t say that. The damage of retracting five designs waiting for production is far beyond the damage of restoring the knit. Even if it’s you, Miranda, the executive board won’t stay still and let you do this. We just need to market it well and imprint to the public that we’re the original. They won’t able to claim they’re the original, even being this brazen.

“Forget it.”

– Aren’t you being stubborn? This isn’t a gamble for design. It’s a fashion business. Miranda. No, Chief Song. Listen to m…..


Miranda hung up the phone and stared at the five empty mannequins in the middle of the room. Ultimately, Chief Choi had only given her the answers she expected.

It was a timely, direct hit but that was all. If she created something new, that would be it. 

She erased from her mind the five designs that were perfectly finished and was going to think of a sensational design that would lead the trends. She might not be able to leave this room for quite a while.

“Chief Song.”

Soyoung Kim opened the door and spoke carefully.

“Mr. Minho Kang wants to speak with you. What should I do?”

“That model? I told you not to bring anyone in while I’m working. Tell him to leave after meekly finishing the photoshoot.”

Soyoung cringed at Miranda’s sharp tone. She was about to close the door but a hand grabbed the door.

“Excuse me.”

Minho bowed courteously to Miranda who was frowning.

“How about we go Normcore with the designs that were leaked?”

“You’re saying release them with an ordinary look?”


Miranda shook her head as she scoffed. She had rejected the idea of selling it the way it was but now to Normcore it?

“Stop speaking nonsense and get out.”

The young man who had shown similar tendencies to her at odd points in the morning discussion wasn’t backing down from this.

“The sales from T brand’s sporty look last year was 17.9 billion won (approximately 17.9 million USD). At a rough estimate, that means over 200,000 people chose this brand. They say the essence of fashion is to seek something different from others but T brand has already exceeded that value. Wearing the T brand means you become like everybody else. This is the same fundamental concept as Normcore.”

The design was unique, so it sold well, and thus it became no longer a unique design. Miranda  rested her chin on her hand and contemplated this interesting viewpoint.

“Excuse me, please go.”

Soyoung, anxious because Minho had entered the room, became flustered and tried to bring him out.

“It’s okay.”

Miranda raised her hand and stopped Soyoung. Soyoung looked at Minho in disbelief because of this unexpected answer.

“So in what way do you want to redesign the main line of styles?”

Minho evened out his deep breathing as he put the two items in his left hand into his pocket.

It was the scissors, which he had brought in after checking with Youngeun, since Jay Kim wouldn’t arrive for some time, and Sohee Im’s pen which he had borrowed from her saying he needed to take notes.

Minho had the style sense that wasn’t bound by anything, along with the quick calculation abilities of a businessman thanks to the two cherished objects.

Add in the sensibility of the industry’s top designer, and the entire situation became clear.

Normcore was a concept that he had thought of as soon as he stepped into this space with the two objects. It referred to a look that emphasized the ordinary over following the trends, and created a stylish look with just a standard item.

“I’m not saying reform it into something ordinary. Yesung Wool might have copied the colorful design but they don’t know the intent of the designer who created it. I’m talking about the trend of thinking it’s cool to wear the T brand.”

Minho walked over to the worktable which had the sketches that were about to be destroyed.

“We consider this design as ordinary, and then add the sensory point.”

Miranda, who thought the design was perfect the way it was, listened to Minho half in doubt.

“The main point of Normcore is a fashion item that seems carefully thought out but carelessly picked. So we’ll add an accent item like a leather strap watch or tote bag, or sneakers instead of dress shoes.”

Minho sketched the accent piece with the fountain pen as he spoke.

“People will know which is the original design even if they aren’t told if we add a better accent to the same design. It’ll be a style that Yesung Wool won’t even be able to attempt no matter how well-known the models in their advertisement are.”

Ts ts.

[Unified sales for two sporty looks from September to November of last year = 17.9 billion won]

[operating profit to sales ratio = 18% (32 billion won)]

The fountain pen began to write President Sohee’s sales analysis in the empty space next to the designs. Minho flinched in surprise but continued to write it out.

[Expected unified sales of the five Normcore design lines = approx. 45 billion won.]

[Expected operating profit = 45 billion won × profit rate 18% = 8.1 billion won]

“If the profit rate is 8.1 billion won, the commission given only to the design studio will be 1.62 billion won.  Then there will be more room to decorate this studio more creatively and the designers of this studio can work more with energy. Isn’t this worth trying rather than risking a loss by retracting the five design lines?”

Miranda who had her chin resting on her hands walked over to the sketch after Minho finished talking.

“Hmm, this is…….”

What was important to Miranda wasn’t the profitability. The design just needed to meet her standard of being worth putting out in the market or not. That’s why Minho knew.

He knew that Miranda would be satisfied as long as the new perspective on the perfect design didn’t take away from its perfection.

Miranda examined the sketch and looked squarely at Minho.

“What’s your reason for helping like this?”

He met her gaze with the eyes of a person with insight into fashion trends. At this moment, Minho was as intelligent as Sohee Im and quick to discern.

It was the price of giving some small inspiration to a legendary designer who was only obsessed with fashion and didn’t care a bit about the other problems.

He would’ve been hurt if he had hoped for something more.

The calculations related to the maximum profit sequentially passed through his head.

“As much as this is my first photoshoot as a model, I just want it to be successful. That’s all. If this photoshoot goes well, I hope I will be able to participate in the next quarter photoshoot, and the next and the one after as well.”

Miranda pursed her lips for a while and then called toward the hallway.


Sooyoung who was waiting immediately answered and opened the door.

“Tell all the designers in charge of each line to come!”

Miranda was going to start a meeting about the design that would be put into production. Minho, understanding that his opinion was heard, bowed his head.

“I’ll be leaving to go to the photoshoot.”

Miranda spoke towards Minho who was leaving the room.

“Mr. Minho.”

Minho turned his head.

“Let me know whenever you want to become a designer. I’ll treat you well, as skilled as you are.”

“Thank you for your words, but I’m satisfied with being a professional gamer right now.”

Minho firmly declined and left. Miranda stared at his back without saying a word.

cross object : Fashion collaboration of the fountain pen, scissors, and workspace.

effect : Inspires the creation of a different trend that is carefree but follows the market analysis.

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