New York based label Homeboy began in 2022 created by Manse Jang, who is graphic and branding designer from Korea. His collection Homeboy has bold, vibrant, noticeable design features based on streetwear. Inspired by his cultural background and life journey, he designed and interpreted graphics that represented them. He merged apple and magnolia, which represent his hometown, and apple and rose, which reflect New York, where he started his design career, using his nature-inspired design aesthetic.
Tracker hat, beanies, T-shirts, and sweatshirts more clearly show brand identity by applying intense but elegant color graphics with screen printing and embroidery. The two-toned rework inseam slit jeans additionally display Homeboy’s original fit and silhouette as well as a sophisticated and refined design with a white graphic finish.
IN CONVERSATION WITH MANSE JANG
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a graphic + branding designer?
My mother, an art instructor since I was a young child, had a big impact on my passion in art, painting, music, and fashion. While I was growing up, I thought about why my favorite brands were so enthusiastic, and when I saw their branding and graphics being solid and appealing to people, I also wanted to become a designer who make those brands, so I wanted to build a career as a graphic and branding designer I made up my mind.
How important is your background for your career?
I am a designer who grew up in Korea, majored in graphic and branding in New York and continues my career in the United States. I’ve been to Korea and New York, two places that are responsive to graphics, fashion, and all kinds of designs, and I believe that by including various elements based on those experiences, I can make my design more attractive to and interesting to people.
Who have been your biggest mentors in this industry and what is the best advice they have ever given you?
When I was studying at FIT in New York, Cliff who is a branding and packaging design professor taught me how to connect the brand’s story and design. It wasn’t about creative graphic design for no reason, it was that when I showed people as a visual why I made a product with this design, it had a synergy effect. It gave me a hard time with his rigorous training, but I realized how much growth it has brought to me today.
Also, when I worked as an intern for a packaging design company, my boss Louis taught me how to do refined graphic design that caught people’s attention and how to do production in the Industries. Even though I’m just an intern, he respected my design esthetic, encouraged me to continue my career as a designer and to combine fashion and graphic design.
What was your biggest fear when starting your own label?
I wondered if people would feel fresh when they saw the graphics on my clothes. However, unlike other streetwear, I’m confident that consumers will be able to identify the distinctive graphics with their high quality, original silhouette, and branding.
How visual communication can improve a brand in a better way?
Visual communication, in my opinion, can clearly convey the brand identity. Because it can sometimes be simpler for people to grasp when presented visually rather than verbally, it can be one of the effective approaches to enhance the brand.
Who would you most like to collaborate with in terms of fashion labels?
Human Made. It is a Japanese street wear brand that reinterprets American vintage wear with the theme of ‘Fusion of Past and Future’ inspired by past products. Reinterpreting the past in their own style, clear and meaningful graphics are impressive. In addition, considerable effort is shown in the quality of the product. It’s one of the fashion labels I want to collaborate with the most because I get a respect from looking at their works.
What are your favorite softwares to work with when it comes to graphic + branding design?
I usually use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Also, when I want to sketch with my own hands or draw a natural and unique design, I use Procreate on my iPad.
A letter to your future self. What would you write?
“It’s a good thing you kept challenging yourself, right?”
FOLLOW MANSE JANG HERE