No trip to Seoul, South Korea is complete without a shopping spree. But aside from beauty products, Korean-made clothes and accessories should be on your list too. Local brands are often ahead of the pack when it comes to trends, plus their products are always well-made! This comes as no surprise since Seoul hopes to be Asia's new fashion capital.
Since most tourists' itineraries include a visit to Seoul's shopping capital of Myeong-dong, we've listed seven Korean fashion labels you need to check out:
1. 8 Seconds
Think of 8 Seconds as the Uniqlo or H&M of South Korea. They have a wide range of affordable offerings, from basic to fashion-forward pieces, with new collections coming in every week. It's a well-loved place for young locals—Big Bang's G-Dragon included; he previously released a collaboration with the brand.
How to get there: 8 Seconds Myeong-dong – Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station, Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 5
Stylenanda is the mecca of Korea's fashionable crowd. Roughly translated as "I am style," Stylenanda is just that, with clothing, shoes, and accessories for the cool girl. Their shops are Instagram-worthy hot spots on their own—the flagship store in Myeong-dong is a hotel-style boutique straight out of Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel. And because Seoulites just can't get enough, Stylenanda also has an in-house cosmetic label called 3 Concept Eyes or 3CE.
How to get there: Stylenanda Pink Hotel – Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station, Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 5
While Stylenanda delivers runway-inspired trends, Roem leans toward the demure and girly. With leading actress Park Shin Hye as its endorser, Roem feels like the wardrobe of the perfect Korean girlfriend. Think romantic florals and pretty pastels, aka things you'd want to wear on a date. Just recently, the brand launched a Beauty and the Beast collection, with dresses and blouses fit for a princess.
How to get there: Roem Myeongdong – Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station, Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 5
One simply cannot pass by a SPAO shop without going in. The store's exterior is plastered with pictures of the boys from EXO (as it should), since they are one of the brand's endorsers, along with girl group AOA. This brand offers men's and women's street and casual wear, but I think Chanyeol and Sehun are reasons enough to browse through the racks (and maybe sneak a photo with the EXO standees).
How to get there: SPAO Myeongdong – Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station, Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 5
Chuu is like the little sister of Stylenanda. The brand is well known for its curiously named line of denim jeans, -5kg. Though this may be a case of things getting lost in translation, our guess is that the jeans make you look five kilograms slimmer. Whatever the reason may be, one thing's for sure: Their clothes are super bagay for girls who love social media and that shade of millennial pink.
How to get there: Chuu Hongdae - Hongik University Station, Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 8
NAIN's a staple favorite among Korean celebrities. Current It girl Lee Sung Kyung wore a couple of its pieces in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, and local fashion magazines such as Cosmopolitan Korea have featured them in their editorials. Their clothes are a little pricey, but it pays to look good, doesn’t it?
How to get there: NAIN at Lotte Myeongdong – Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station, Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 7
Wonderplace is one of the lesser-known Korean high-street brands, but that makes us love it even more. Our tip? Check out their selection of cozy oversized sweatshirts and hoodies. Perfect for lazy days and for that Kim Bok Joo vibe. ;)
How to get there: Wonderplace Hongdae – Hongik University Station, Seoul Subway Line 2, Exit 8
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