Joanne Kim on Creating FLAT WHITE, a Modern-Day Knitwear Brand
By: Olivia Marrone
”Trendy, modern, and comfortable” is how knitwear brand FLAT WHITE describes its aesthetic. The LA-based brand provides a chic take on classic knitwear styles, including knitted dresses, sweaters, jumpsuits, vests, cardigans, and sets in an array of neutral and muted-toned colors.
We caught up with Joanne Kim, Founder of FLAT WHITE, to hear all about the brand’s launch.
How did your career in fashion begin?
My fashion experience started back in 2005 when I began to study fashion merchandising management at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. After graduating from FIT, I dove into the fashion industry as a fashion merchandiser.
What inspired you to create a knitwear brand?
Working in the fashion industry for more than 15 years, my team and I realized that the need for comfortable yet stylish clothing lines was ever-present in our lives. As I was driving to the office, a wintery scene entered my mind: a vibrant woman wearing a white turtleneck strolling down a snow-covered lane while sipping a flat white latté. That is how the idea and name came to be.
What was your design process like for your first collection?
Our goal at FLAT WHITE is to provide trendy yet wearable clothes that are accessible to everyone. Our design process started with collecting essential materials (such as silhouettes and various yarns) and keeping up with global fashion trends. After collecting this data, our team created a mood board to determine the main concept for the collection. Then, we made appropriate samples and fittings according to the mood board. Finally, we selected final pieces that met our company standards.
Do you have a favorite piece from the collection?
Although I cherish every piece in our collection, my favorite is the Como Fitted Sweater. It is the ultimate classic yet trendy piece.
How would you describe the Flat White customer?
Our customer is chic, sophisticated, and classy yet trendy!
What’s next for Flat White?
We are currently preparing our 2022 spring/summer line, which will consist of lightweight sweaters and natural fiber pieces. Our debut collection is available now, and you can keep up with the latest on Instagram @flatwhite_la!