Wendy Donahue names Gemma Kahng (MFA 1980) “Fashion’s Comeback Kid,” detailing the designer’s return to fashion fame.
Wendy Donahue names Gemma Kahng (MFA 1980) “Fashion’s Comeback Kid,” detailing the designer’s return to fashion fame.
November 25

Gemma Kahng’s Fashion World Resurgence

Wendy Donahue surveys the career of SAIC alumna Gemma Kahng (MFA 1980) in “Designer Gemma Kahng: Fashion’s Comeback Kid” published in the Sunday, November 16 edition of the Chicago Tribune. Kahng achieved fashion world stardom in the 90’s, selling her collection to more than 30 different retailers and dressing celebrity clients like Madonna and Sharon Stone. But not long after, as Donahue states, “the winds shifted away from her expressive aesthetic and into grunge and minimalism” forcing the designer to close her business. Today, Kahng’s career is on the upswing again, thanks in large part to Joe Zee, creative director of Elle Magazine, who counseled Kahng on the Sundance Channel show, All On the Line. This fall, her new collection of “whimsi-cool” attire was picked up by Neiman Marcus for stores in Chicago, LA, Boston, and San Francisco. “What I was doing before is what people are looking for again,” says Kahng, “but of course in a different way—more refined.”