By now, frequent travellers like us would know where to shop in Seoul: Myeongdong, Hongdae and Dongdaemun. Do a quick search online, and almost ten out of ten travel guides will lead you to one of these three places, if not all three.
But do these places truly represent the Korean street fashion that has completely swept followers from Asian and Western countries off their feet? Or more importantly, are these places frequented by the locals? If so, which are the shops that they frequent?
When it comes to Korean streetwear, there are a few large chains that have local customers return to — every season — to update their wardrobes.
Here, a list of favourite local brand stores that are not only affordable but also promise high-quality products.
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Aland has been around since 2005, and it brings together diverse brands to provide more variety for customers. There are multiple branches across the city, with the one in Myeongdong being one of the largest. The style of clothes ranges from street style to dressy. You can also find beauty products, spectacle frames, tote bags and other accessories. International shipping is available online here
#2 Ader Error
The four-year-old brand prides itself on simple, minimalistic and contemporary designs. The brand is also known for its signature oversized clothing and unisex collections (find logo tees, vintage-cut blazers and trenchcoats) that challenge gender stereotypes in fashion. Think masculine silhouettes and structural pieces. International shipping is available here
Indibrand started off as a textile company in 1997 and now promises high-quality products at affordable prices. This is the place to go to if you’re into basic items, clean styles, and neutral tones and colours. It stocks summer-loving choices like leather slides and wrap dresses; work-appropriate options like blazers and straight-cut pants. You can find their brick-and-mortar stores in popular tourist areas like Myeongdong and Hongdae. International shipping is available here
Stylenanda was founded in 2004 and started off as an online store. It has since expanded internationally including Singapore (though local e-tailer Zalora features new collections from the brand daily here, it isn’t complete). The style: Casual, street, fun. Also: Check out the cafes at Stylenanda in Myeongdong and Hongdae, which are very popular Instagram hotspots. International shipping is available here
The South Korean equivalent of fast fashion brands like Zara and Forever 21. The six-year-old brand often collaborates with celebrities such as G-dragon in 2016 and other large brands like Nongshim’s shrimp cracker (to celebrate its 46th anniversary!). International shipping is available here
#6 Wonder Place
In Wonder Place, you can find a large variety of casual streetwear; denim jeans for those who embrace an active lifestyle, and skirts and dresses for a feminine appeal. And if you’re on board the athleisure trend, you can also find sportswear brands like Fila and Kappa in the stores. Stocks are not available online; see here for store details
Known for its -5kg jeans that promise to make you look 5kg slimmer than you really are, Chuu has its eyes on those who would love to dress with a youthful appeal. Its flagship store is in Hongdae, just opposite of Stylenanda. International shipping is available here; free shipping to Asia for orders over USD$100
It started off as a small company in a 13-metre-squared office but has since grown to a significant following with over 2.5 million visitors per month, according to Mixxmix’s website. Celebrities like IU has donned clothings from Mixxmix, adding on to the credibility of the brand. You can also find out how to dress up like a celeb, as Mixxmix has a corner called the ‘celebs pick’ on its page. Free international shipping is available here for orders over USD$200
So there! Some of the crowd favourites featuring fashion chain stores that I have found to be popular with the locals and tourists alike.
Although these are local fashion brands frequented by Koreans, don’t forget to check the clothing labels to see if the clothes are made in Korea (or at least designed in Korea), if you are buying them in the stores. Because why would you if they aren’t authentic?
Main image: @indiebrand_official’s Instagram
Share with us your favourite Korean fashion label in the comments below!
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