I recently stumbled across Keun Baek Lee’s Korea-based brand, Mother Ground while going through my Tumblr feed.
After initially being drawn in by the brand’s super unique outsole, and a quick image search on google (which lead me here), followed by some avid text translation (again, thank you google) the brand started to become more and more interesting the more I read.
Mother Nature’s “representative, designer, treasurer, production manager and sales manager”, Keun Baek Lee co-founded a brand called BROWNBREATH about 10 years ago with three friends. At the beginning of 2016 however, Lee wanted to venture into the independent footwear world and launch his own brand.
Being in the industry for over a decade, and also being a designer by trade, Lee knew how important brand story was. “The story of mother ground is mainly about the outsole (soles). I wanted to be able to imagine nature by simply expressing the texture of nature reminiscent of contours or wooden patterns, and seeing and walking.” say’s Lee.
“Many of the elements that make up nature have their own unique colors or symbolic colors. I have decided on four elements of them, and I have composed the products with the motif of the four colors that each elements symbolize. In addition, we have added Chinese characters for each color that can represent the elements in one letter.”
1. The first is birch ‘Tue’ and the Chinese character is ‘Tue’. It is hidden behind the white bark and skin of the birch, but reminiscent of the interweaving brown color, composing the colors of the product, and creating direct images that symbolize or manifest it.
2. The second is the muddy ‘Tan’, and the kanji ‘滩’. It is the burnt when it is “burnt”. I set the color while imagining the dark, dark mud of the tidal flat and a little light brown soil that comes out a little. The various lives that come out of the darkness where there is nothing at all, also break the prejudices that come from color.
3. The third is the building “Lu” and the kanji “楼”. It is the letter when we do the ‘Lulu’. I imagined the gray landscapes created by the imaginative gray buildings without saying anything. It seems to be confronted with nature in some way, but it seemed to me as nature of the present age.
4. The fourth is moss ‘Tae’ and the kanji is ‘moss’.
The rolling stone does not have moss. However, the moss that comes from stopping has a dynamic vitality. The bluish color that symbolizes its vitality has come to me as a very attractive and became a theme of this product.
For a further in-depth look at the story of the brand, head here.
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