The fashion world loves nothing more than a new economic and cultural hotspot, and Seoul has become something of a destination for the international style seeker.
With China’s economy slowing, Seoul is increasingly viewed as the burgeoning fashion market in Asia; it is, after all, the fourth fastest growing luxury goods economy after India, China and Hong Kong.
Head north of the Han River to Gwangjin-gu and you will find Common Ground. Made up of over 200 shipping containers, it is supposedly the world’s biggest pop up mall, housing both established and emerging fashion and lifestyle brands. Common Ground is home to Korean labels such as Buru and Judy, EVAJUNIE and Grove Rhyme and also houses well known global brands Dr. Martens and Vans. But it’s not all about fashion, Common Ground has a great variety of excellent eateries and cafes with something for everyone. The space is also used to showcase a number of events and exhibitions such as Seoul Beer Week and Make Your World Music Festival.
Hongdae, close to Hongik University, is filled with a number of quirky independent retailers offering amazing fashion at great prices. You can find incredible quality in these stores as a lot of the raw materials and fabrications are sourced and made in Korea. Hongdae is oozing with creativity and culture so it’s no surprise a lot of Seoul’s artist’s set up camp here. The Free Market takes place every Saturday; this is an open space where local creatives can showcase and sell their latest creations. On Sundays, the space showcases the Hope Market which focuses in on craftwork with the aim of reviving the environmental-friendly handcraft industry. Hongdae also has a big underground music scene and many of the cafes and nightspots have shaped a platform for a number of Korea’s now top brands. We see both art and music come together at many of Hongdae’s festivals and exhibitions.
Style and Culture
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Seoul has so much choice when it comes to shopping. Myeong-Dong, one of Seoul’s main shopping districts, is a must see for anyone visiting the city. It has an extensive offer of beauty stores housing Korea’s top cosmetics brands, such as Too Cool For School, Tony Moly, Holika Holika and Innisfree, to name but a few. It is Korea’s beauty hub & this is where you will discover the freshest beauty products and ingredients ahead of anywhere else in the world. Myeong-Dong is not just about beauty and there are also some great fashion stores offering on trend clothing, shoes and accessories. Here you will find well known global brands such as Zara and Forever 21 and also Lotte department store which has an extensive edit of fashion, beauty and household spread across nine floors.
Cheongdam-dong, in Seoul’s Gangnam district, is the main shopping district for luxury and high end designs. Here you will find cutting edge fashion pieces, up and coming designers and a number of innovative concept stores and galleries. Concept store, 10 Corso Cosmo, is home to some of Korea’s must influential designers such as Juun J and also London catwalk favourite, Dublin’s super talented Simone Rocha. This store is an absolute dream to explore with so much on offer across ladies and men’s fashion, beauty, books and lifestyles brands. The instore café is super slick and the general store interior resembles a cutting edge design exhibition.
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