Kaylee Tankus Creates Modern Pieces With Architectural Focus


Korean brand Kaylee Tankus began under the helm of Kay Lee in 2004, catering to a modern woman who appreciated avant-garde design but wanted easy-to-wear contemporary pieces. After almost four years, Lee took a step back to focus on other pursuits, and the line was in need of a new creative director for both its domestic and international collections. So the label signed on Obzee's Ryanghee Kim to design the domestic line, but still needed someone with more global experience. In stepped Minjee Kim, a Korean native who honed her skills in New York City. Minjee moved to New York with the intention of being an architect, but wound up as a founding member and creative director for Hanii Y.

After having a baby and returning to Seoul she was handpicked for her experience in creating sleek and girly (but never frilly) womenswear. Minjee refers to her architectural background, noting the works of Gaudí and Zaha Hadid as favorites, and has love for futuristic design with a strong viewpoint, citing designers such as Rick Owens and Sharon Wauchob as influences. Working in tandem with Ryanghee, Minjee draws upon these influences to create pieces made with natural fabrics like linen, silk, and unbleached cotton. Dresses and blouses are relaxed and flowing, meant to flatter the figure without being constricting. “[My customer] is not afraid of expressing herself, trying intriguing and experimental styles. She is confident with her own sense of style, yet never overdone," explains Minjee. Notable fans include Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal. With prices ranging from $100 for jersey tops to $250 for dresses and topping out at $600 for leather jackets, retailers such as Big Drop, Oak, and Revolve Clothing have snapped up the line. Click ahead to check out what’s in store for spring.