The Korean wave hasn’t shown any sign of losing momentum, and neither should it, with Seoul emerging as one of Asia’s foremost fashion cities. In fact, it is hot on the heels of Tokyo in terms of style-hungry shoppers and trend-setting designers, and there is no better way to discover them than to take to the streets in search of the next big thing. To help make navigating the city’s many shopping districts that little bit easier, the experts at Quintessentially Lifestyle have put together their guide of the 10 best boutiques in Seoul.
MAGNMAG originated as a popular online store which was then translated into a physical bricks and mortar store to enhance the virtual shopping experience. The five-storey flagship store in popular shopping district Myeongdong was recently completed and comprises 10,000 square feet of fashion and lifestyle zones. Allocate an hour or two to browse through the racks full of local and international brands alongside some of Seouls leading supermodels, stylists and fashionistas.
Established by renowned stylist Chae Han Suk, MiK, which stands for Made in Korea, carries exclusively homegrown brands with the aim of introducing local designers to savvy shoppers at prices that won’t break the bank. Chae is known for dressing some of K-pop’s biggest stars, so his selection is guaranteed to be on point. He also collaborates with local young designers to create limited edition pieces only available at MiK 24/7.
MO Jain Song
MO Jain Song combines Korean designer Jain Song’s passions for ethically produced fashion and finding a nature-inspired, contemporary space in the heart of the city. The result is a stunning concept store that offers Jain Song’s current collection on the first floor, a carefully curated selection of interior design and lifestyle items from local and imported brands and a café above on the second floor, and finally a city garden on the rooftop that grows kale, strawberries and more.
Steve J and Yoni P Showroom – Two Heads Are Better Than One
Married designer couple Steve J and Yoni P met when studying fashion in Korea before going onto hone their skills at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. Their shared vision for a Korean clothing brand that combined elements of classic British tailoring with their own whimsy and wit has proved deservedly popular in their homeland and beyond and this Itaewon showroom is where the magic happens.
Widely recognised as one of Korean fashion’s rising stars, Lee Myung Shin has been establishing her promising career ever since appearing on Project Runway Korea in 2009. Minimal, clean and conceptual, her designs also maintain a certain feminine elegance, which has made her popular with Korea’s style savvy. Her new showroom just opened in Hapjung.
Opened in 2007, FLOW is one of the city’s leading multi-brand stores, now boasting three locations around Seoul. For the past seven years its mission has been to introduce emerging local designers and incubate experimental and unique overseas brands for the fashion forward public, something that it has achieved in style.
Around the Corner
Seoul-born boutique Around the Corner is like a treasure trove full of Korean and international brands that don’t otherwise have a platform, yet, in the city. As a result, it offers some of the most original and inspiring garments around, as well as skincare products, stationary and even European-style coffee, making it an ideal spot for picking up a gift for yourself as well as your friends.
Jardin de Chouette
Jardin de Chouette is one of Korea’s fashion success stories. Designer Kim Jae Hyun’s couture-esque collections have proved immensely popular with some of the country’s biggest stars and, in turn, her diffusion line Lucky Chouette is a hit with Seoul’s most style-conscious denizens. Think young, fun, feminine silhouettes infused with an irreverent rock spirit that are immensely wearable.
Beaker (main image)
Effortlessly fusing the worlds of fashion and lifestyle, Beaker’s industrial-chic flagship store presents the best of both Korean and international designers, including Helmut Lang, Aspesi and Rag & Bone. Using reclaimed furniture to display its wares, this boutique is an exercise in cool, not to mention a wonderful space in which to while away some time.
Style must run in the Kwon family, because Dami, who opened this über-cool fashion boutique in Gangnam, is the sister of K-pop’s biggest star, G-Dragon. Showcasing her incredible tastes in fashion and lifestyle brands, the Rare Market has already attracted a celebrity following and hopes to start producing its own lines in the future. It also boasts one of the city’s first Water Bars, serving various different brands of water.
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