By Chung Ah-young
Korea’s iconic fashion designer Andre Kim, known for his bold and elegant evening and wedding gown collections, died Thursday evening at a hospital in Seoul. He was 74.
Kim, who had been battling colon cancer, was hospitalized at Seoul National University Hospital last month after he developed pneumonia. He failed to recover and died at 7:20 p.m. Thursday, 20 days after hospitalization.
Although his health worsened from earlier this year, he took part in various events and activities.
In March, he unveiled his 2011 spring-summer collection at this year’s CHIC, Asian’s largest annual fashion exhibition held in Beijing, but rarely made public appearances since then.
Despite his weak health, he was known to have been preparing for a fashion show in China in October.
Kim always featured the nation’s top stars in his shows and received respect from the public for his frequent donations of profits to the underprivileged.
The designer held fashion shows in high-profile venues such as Angkor Wat, Cambodia and with the Egyptian pyramids as a backdrop.
At his last fashion show in China, he said that he wanted to hold a show at the Forbidden City in Beijing one day.
Renowned for his signature white, he preferred to exhibit glittering and romantic dresses in the color at his shows.
Kim garnered popularity not only from the fashion circle but also from the general public. His eccentric style — wearing heavy black eyeliner and all-white outfits — and his unique tone of speaking were often parodied by many comedians.
Born to a humble family in 1935, Kim, whose birth name was Kim Bong-nam, held his first fashion show in 1962 before opening “Salon Andre” in central Seoul. He was the first male designer and the first Korean to hold a fashion show in Paris in 1966.
Kim is survived by his son, Jung-do, 30, who he adopted in 1982, and two grandchildren.
한국 패션계 별이 지다.
한국 패션의 상징 앙드레 김이 서울의 한 병원에서 목요일 저녁 유명을 달리했다. 향년 74세. 앙드레 김은 대담하고 우아한 파티 의상과 웨딩드레스롤 잘 알려진 세계적인 디자이너.
앙드레 김은 대장암 투병 생활은 해왔고, 지난달에는 서울대병원에 입원해 폐렴 치료를 받아왔다. 하지만 입원 뒤 약 20여일이 지난 목요일
저녁 7시 20분 경 세상을 떠났다.
비록 올해 초 그의 건강이 많이 악화됐지만, 앙드레 김은 다양한 이벤트와 활동에 참여해왔다. 지난 3월에는 베이징에서 열린 아시아 최대 규모의 2011년 봄여름 컬렉션을 개최하기도 했다. 하지만, 그 이후로는 대중에 모습을 보이는 일이 드물었다.
건강이 좋지 않음에도 불구하고, 앙드레 김은 중국에서 올 10월에 열릴 예정이던 패션쇼를 준비해온 것으로 알려졌다.
그는 항상 국내 정상급 배우들을 자신의 패션쇼에 출연시켜왔다. 앙드레 김은 소외계층을 위한 기부로 인해 대중들의 존경 또한 받아왔다.