early work with mimi jung

earlywork studio

Mimi Jung is one half of Early Work the LA based design studio who, along with Sydney’s Akin Creative, worked across the creation of the bassike Venice store.

We spoke to Mimi about the artwork she produced with her partner Brian Hurewitz as part of the bassike 10 year collaborators project as well as their design philosophies and recent visit to Australia.

bassike 10 year artwork by earlywork studio

Hi Mimi, how‘s your day been so far?  

I would like to complain and say that my schedule is a bit too packed. But my profession is a privilege so I'll say, wonderful instead!


Can you tell us about ‘A Ten Year Mark’, the work you created for our 10th anniversary celebrations?

The work is named ‘A Ten Year Mark’. A single circular candle, following the shape of the bassike dot, was made with 10 wicks representing 10 years of influence. The candle was lit continuously for the duration of a day. As the wax melted and organically poured onto the surface, it created distinct ridges, pockets and puddles. Each motive and gesture from the hot wax was permanently documented as it hardened into a mass.

This expression represents bassike's impact. At its core, bassike begins from a place of simplicity much like the dot, humble yet powerful.


Can you tell us a little bit about Early Work? 

Early Work partners with retail, hospitality, and corporate clients to articulate their spatial identities through environments of singular beauty and simplicity. Our programs include space planning and custom furniture and fixtures designed and produced to ensure a comprehensive vision otherwise untenable through mere curation.

Our name, Early Work, is inspired by two core ideas: the spatial identity as a foundational component of any brand experience, and our own unrelenting pursuit of the sublime. Like the many artists, authors, and thinkers whose oeuvres inspire us daily, we view our chosen profession as a life-long vocation, one in which we consider all work early work.

bassike 10 year artwork by earlywork studio

You collaborated with Sydney based Architecture firm Akin Creative on the development of the bassike Venice store in Los Angeles. Can you tell us a little bit about this process and your role in bringing the space to life? 

Working with Akin Creative, we created an LA inspired, relaxed and open interior that feels more residential than commercial.

Our brief required both built-in and movable fixtures, giving the store a sense of permanence while simultaneously offering flexibility for future iterations of the interior. It needed to conceal two complex point of sale units, along with the majority of the store’s inventory in a centrally accessible location. Overall, we wanted to create a system that didn’t look like a system, one that help distinguished men’s from women’s, and each collection from one another.

It was important to us all that the interior of the store support rather than outshine the clothing. When thinking about the design of each individual piece of the store, we drew inspiration from bassike's restrained, laid back beach vibe and use of honest materials. All of our choices conjured the LA lifestyle, feeling as though you have the same abundance of light indoors as you do being outdoors.

We used a palette of understated, luxury materials in their most basic forms. We played with varying angles to emphasize the beautiful light reflections and shadows cast throughout the sun-filled space.


Alongside your design practice, you also produce art. How do these two disciplines feed into each other and what works have you been creating recently?  

They are quite different. My personal work is an indulgence of self expression, while our studio work is a foundational support for brands. However, since I lead the design for Early Work, there is bound to be overlapping motives.


How has the LA creative scene developed and changed over the past few years?

NY is no longer the single creative center point in the US. I would like to think that LA is slowly (and hopefully) becoming its equal.


Are there any galleries that you visit frequently or any local artists whose work you are particularly interested in? 

Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, Parrasch Heijen and JF Chen are a few of the galleries and showrooms I visit most frequently.


Before LA, you were living in New York. How has your lifestyle changed since moving to the west coast? 

We no longer live in a concrete box inside a concrete world. Now our home is surrounded by nature and endless sunshine!


You visited Melbourne earlier this year, how was your time in the city?

I hate to sound like a typical tourist but the drive on Great Ocean Road was an absolute highlight! It was such a privilege to experience such vastly different landscapes. The textures and colors I experienced will certainly influence my work moving forward.


What do you enjoy doing outside of the studio? 

Between my two practices, unfortunately, I don't have much time for anything else. Luckily I enjoy what I do.


Finally, what else do you have coming up for this year?

Early Work is in the last phase of designing/building out a showroom in downtown LA for jewelry designer, Grace Lee. At the same time we're launching a sofa collection with a new LA showroom called Not So General, and designing a space for General Assembly in Boston. We're also designing a new cafe in DTLA and somehow finding time to finish building out and designing our own studio space for our November opening… and that's all just in the next two months!