It only took Mijeong Park one month of teaching school in South Korea to know it wasn’t the right fit for her. So she did something brave and left, instead following a lifelong passion for fashion design and enrolling in Seoul’s prestigious Ewha Womans University to learn the trade. After graduation, armed with a work visa and a talent for minimalist design, she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked behind the scenes for upscale lines. In 2011, she did something brave again: She and her husband, Kevin Noh, struck out on their own as business partners, selling Mijeong’s streamlined dresses, coats, and tops to major department stores.
“The business was doing well, but we were both so unhappy,” remembers Kevin of those years. The pair was designing, overseeing production, coordinating deadlines, managing cash flow, and, on top of all that, raising a son together—and they were totally burnt out. So they booked a four-day getaway to Portland, Oregon, in an attempt to chill. “That trip was life-changing,” Mijeong says. “We spent time outside, relaxing in nature as a family.” Refreshed and inspired, the couple decided to downsize their business. They adopted a philosophy of slow minimalism, both in their business practices—they no longer sell to department stores—and their aesthetic, which now highlights Mijeong’s gift for restraint in the form of drapey, delicate knitwear in an austere color palette. And what’s more fearless than doing less, better?