Seoul is one of the youngest fashion capitals worldwide, excluding the fashion worlds of Milan, Paris, New York, and London. Korean influencers mainly drive the Korean fashion world. K-pop groups like EXO, BTS, Red Velvet, who wear luxury brands like Gucci, Balenciaga in their concerts also are fans of some emerging Korean fashion brands. Along with all the international brands, Korean celebrities also favor some of the indigenous Korean fashion brands like Nohant, Charms, and Stylenanda.
The young Korean generation is familiarizing themselves with the luxury and streetwear labels relevant in the international fashion world by following their favorite idols and celebs. Many homegrown fashion brands have succeeded globally, such as ADER Error, AMBUSH, and Gentle Monster. All have innovative retail concepts, and they are helping Korean fashion make its presence known worldwide.
With these, some smaller labels focusing on the international market are gaining popularity amongst Korean youth. These labels are gaining credibility with influencers sporting native brands.
Emerging Korean Fashion Labels
Here are some labels that are becoming popular in the Korean fashion world and making their presence known through participation in the Seoul Fashion Week.
It was originally launched as a hat brand in 2015 by Kim Yong Pyo. VIBRATE has capitalized on the Korean people’s fondness for puffer jackets in the latest 2019 FW collection. Youth’s fascination drives this trend with the K-pop stars who wear puffer jackets all the time, be it their music video or everyday life. The older generation also finds comfort in these jackets, making them popular all around. VIBRATE also makes iconic caps so that you can express your unceasing passion and genderless clothing. The latest collection includes clothing that takes inspiration from the beautiful Mother Nature, frogs sailing through the world!
And by October, they will be launching VIBRATE COSMETICS.
A brand founded by Kanghyuk Choi and Sanglak Shon in 2016 is based on the concept of utilization of materials in their purest form. The range balances between materiality and concept, and both the designers have a personal fascination with human-made materials. Most of their collection includes garments made of industrial polyamide and nylon car airbags. These bags are manually processed to make into the desired garments with a fabric effect.
Their collaboration with Reebok, KANGHYUK x REEBOK “Advanced Concepts”, is quite popular in South Korea. It includes uniquely different shoes – SRS Sole Fury, Premier Modern, Zig Kinetica Advanced, and Fluro Rebellion.
Launched by Hyun-min Han in 2013, this brand can be described as a representation of ‘luxurious defamiliarization.’ They handcraft the clothes using experimental materials and take inspiration from the ‘60s sensibility. The brand has its own way of making clothes, starting from how they sew the garments. They believe in creating fashion freely while making the least amount of damage to our home planet Earth.
Lee Kyo Ho founded MOHO in 2017 with the brand concept of following an ambiguous way of thinking. The brand creates a new way of thinking by breaking a conventional way of thinking. Their latest collection features garments crossing the boundaries of function, form, and fabric manipulation. There are jackets with faux leather jackets with plaster embossing in the fake alligator skin, bombers with cable tie fabrics, and many more.
A brand from designers Shin Kyuyong and Park Jisun, BLINDNESS expresses the appearance created by contemporary and youth culture. With every collection, they have created a new concept and mood. The inspiration for the latest FW 2020 collection, ‘conscious with environmental pollution’, is about not turning a blind eye to the pollution all around us. Focusing on marine pollution, the collection includes military-style genderless jackets like the one’s the navy wear while guarding the sea.
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