Meet Angela Gahng—the founder & CEO of Almina Concept. Almina Concept is a clothing brand based in Los Angeles that illustrates minimal and modern sensibility. Each garment is manufactured in Seoul, incorporating sophisticated and timeless design details.
Kinn: How did you get started building Amina Concept? What did you envision when you first started?
Angela: Before I started Almina Concept, I was the North America Merchandiser for Loewe. I noticed from a consumer and industry professional standpoint it was hard to find high quality pieces with modern design elements at an affordable price; following trends in an understated way that can be worn timelessly.
Kinn: How did you go about finding the mom and pop factories that you work with in Seoul?
Angela: I previously worked as a merchandiser at SK Networks a Korean conglomerate and understood how factories and fabric sourcing worked in Seoul. I was able to go to the different markets here In Korea to source fabrics and factories directly.
Kinn: How are your designs inspired by Korean fashion?
Angela: Korea has mastered incorporating old classics and traditions with new modern elements. With 5,000 years of history, they adapt quickly but still do not miss to incorporate classic traditional elements in their modern buildings, art, and fashion. That is the basis of what Almina Concept stands for, keeping classic pieces but adding elements of newness to keep the brand attractive and appealing.
Kinn: What Korean food makes you feel the most at home?
Angela: I look forward to celebrating New Year’s with a bowl of tteokguk that my mom makes with homemade mandu (dumplings). Making dumplings together and having tteokguk has been a yearly tradition in our household and for many Korean households. Each bowl symbolizes getting one year older and wiser.
Kinn: Have you faced any challenges as a female Korean business owner?
Angela: The fashion industry is underrepresented by Korean American designers. I do my best to leverage my Korean American heritage, starting from design, sourcing, production, and packaging.
Kinn: Can you share the most memorable milestone in your journey as a business owner?
Angela: When I see people wearing Almina Concept clothes while I am out and about with friends and family in LA. When I see our product being recognized in so many media publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle to name a few. When Kendall Jenner organically wore our Oversized Long Sleeve Shirt. Being a small business owner, it hasn’t been easy at times but the support and love we’ve received from all our Almina Concept customers has made this whole journey worthwhile.
Kinn: What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs looking to blend their heritage with their business pursuits?
Angela: Always try to use your heritage as a source of strength, identifying what differentiates you from others and bring that to life. South Korea has a long history of high-quality clothing production that comes from craftsmanship, and I really wanted to incorporate that into my designs. This made me choose South Korea as our sole production country, we do not produce anywhere else.