Written By Jessica Schultz
Interview Interpretation by Choi Shin-ae
Photos courtesy of Lubunny
Few industries change as quickly as the fashion industry. With evolving trends and ongoing customer demands for both practicality and visual appeal, it takes a strong brand to satisfy both functional and design needs. LUBUNNY has grown over the last 30 years by satisfying those demands, and looks forward to evolving their business into an even more well-known fashion icon. Gwangju News recently had the pleasure of meeting Park Joo-hyun, the CEO and owner of LUBUNNY Co., Ltd.
GWANGJU NEWS (GN): Tell me about LUBUNNY.
Park Joo-hyun: Lummi from luminous + bunny combine to make LUBUNNY, a manufacturer of living items, fashion clothing and accessories, and more. LUBUNNY aims to help women shine more brightly in whatever endeavor they pursue through lightweight and eye-catching products. The company was founded 30 years ago as a family-owned company and we hope to keep the LUBUNNY family tradition.
GN: How is LUBUNNY different from other fashion and lifestyle companies?
Park Joo-hyun: Our company continues to manufacture all products in South Korea and has a reputation for excellent quality and durability. Continuing to manufacture in South Korea has helped us streamline the design, manufacturing, distribution and sales process for optimal efficiency. With this efficiency comes greater price competitiveness and more time for focusing on new designs and items that our customers will enjoy. Our company has also considered the environment since the beginning. LUBUNNY makes eco-friendly bags that use fabric instead of animal skin.
GN: What is LUBUNNY’s signature product?
Park Joo-hyun: The RuMe (Re-use Me) eco-bag has always been our best-selling product. The material is parachute fabric, making it lightweight and incredibly durable. Bag maintenance is not an issue with this easily washable fabric. RuMe was launched in 2007 based on an agreement between LUBUNNY and Rume, Inc. in the United States. The brand awareness continues to grow and exports are now worth more than one million USD. LUBUNNY bags have several designs, including cross bags, shoulder bags, and backpacks. Aprons and jackets are also very popular products.
GN: It looks like LUBUNNY has some interesting marketing ideas. Could you explain those more?
Park Joo-hyun: Since LUBUNNY is a fashion and lifestyle brand for women and children, we have begun marketing the brand through additional lifestyle channels. Both Café LUBUNNY and Sports Chicken lucoqkio combine high-quality coffee and farm-fresh food with LUBUNNY products for a total brand experience. LUBUNNY products are on display at all locations and provide multiple ways for LUBUNNY customers to interact with the brand.
GN: Where is LUBUNNY focusing international efforts?
Park Joo-hyun: When LUBUNNY first entered the international market, our main targets for exports were Hong Kong, Japan and the United States, but we have since expanded to more markets. LUBUNNY currently exports to 24 countries around the world, but we are concentrating on China and Southeast Asia presently. We are working on both the online and offline Chinese markets and already you can purchase items in Guangzhou, Tianjin.
GN: While international markets are a focus, how has LUBUNNY progressed in Korea?
Park Joo-hyun: We have made great strides within our domestic business in the last few years. In 2012 LUBUNNY signed a sales agreement with Samsung Everland, Samsung HomePlus, Lotte Mart, Lotte Department Store, and Shinsegae Department Store. In 2013 we founded a similar entity, LUBUNNY Co., Ltd., to enter additional markets. Our company has since established shops in New Jersey in the U.S. and in KORAIL stations in Seoul, Gwangju, and Myeongpummaru. Then in 2014 we entered Lotte Department’s Myeongdong flagship store in Seoul. We continued with stores in Gwangbok, Jamsil, Gwangju, and Seomyeon in Busan. As of this year we also have a duty-free shop in Incheon airport.
GN: Where do you see LUBUNNY going in the future?
Park Joo-hyun: LUBUNNY plans to continue expanding into the luxury goods market with additional clothing, accessories, and living items. Already the fall designs are ready to launch and many more products are in the works. Our customers should look for umbrellas and suitcases in next year’s product line and even catchier designs.
LUBUNNY is also online at http://LUBUNNY.co.kr/eshop/sub1010.