Seoul: the land of fashion and youth!
South Korea is one of the emerging touristic and ancient countries where history is mixed with modernity and development. Its capital, Seoul, is characterized by its sophisticated architectures from skyscrapers and others, while maintaining its traditional culture and lifestyle.
Seoul is also considered one of the most popular touristic spots for those looking for change as well as the commercial and cultural hub of South Korea, where skyscrapers overlook the Buddhist temples.
In addition to being a touristic country, Seoul has attracted in recent years many fashion pioneers and has become a promising destination for fashion lovers, especially that it organizes each year a Fashion Week that is expected to compete with international fashion weeks since it hosts a number of luxury names such as Chanel, Dior, Giorgio Armani and others.
Join us in this issue to take a tour in Seoul and learn together about the capital of fashion and its most prominent touristic features:
The Fashion Hub
Before embarking in our journey, let’s discuss Seoul’s importance in the fashion industry especially that it has become a favorite destination for shopping addicts searching for prestigious and affordable goods. Everyone can now easily shop in South Korea some of the major international luxury brands.
For many decades, New York, Paris, Milan and London have dominated the world’s fashion industry, but in the recent years the spotlight has shifted to the Asian continent, mainly South Korea that has made a major impact on the fashion industry, both in the number of stores it hosts and the fashion week that takes place in it with the participation of talented Korean designers, along with major fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior, Prada and others.
Also, the soap operas that have invaded our screens and captivated our eyes with their stylishness, have made the country one of the most influential in the fashion industry and the closest to the heart of fashion designers and fashion lovers.
The fashion streets in Seoul are as worth as those in New York, Milano, Paris or even London. The citizens of this city are bold enough to welcome new and even bizarre designs.
The Korean Miracle
There is no doubt that many factors are contributing in making Seoul an important fashion station, including designers and big brands that see it as the “South Korean miracle” because of the big quantity of customers there looking for different tastes.
Seoul has become a fashion destination in Asia welcoming the world’s largest brands and leading designs. Large collections of luxury goods are nowadays realizing that South Korean trends are rapidly spreading throughout Asia. Hong Kong and Singapore were previously chosen as Asian branches for international names, but today Seoul has become the first choice. Even the Chinese are now visiting Seoul to take a look at the latest trends.
The world major brands are now considering the city one of the most important shopping centers. And in recent years, large fashion houses have increased their efforts in South Korea and focused on rich customers who seek to resemble pop stars.
Top Shops in Seoul
Seoul is filled with markets, the most famous is Dongdaemun, one of Korea’s largest shopping areas and one of the biggest markets in Asia too. Established in December 1970, it includes 26 specialized centers and stores for 30,000 and 50,000 manufacturers. All types of goods can be found here.
Another area that attracts fashion lovers is Myeongdong, which attracts daily two million visitors. Myeongdong is one of the most popular touristic destinations, not only because it includes shopping centers, but also because it has a large number of restaurants serving Korean and foreign cuisine, cafes, hairdressers, cinemas and hotels.
Lotte Department Store Main occupies an important position, being a large 12-storey tower featuring world-class brands.
Also, do not forget to visit the Times Square Mall, considered number one in South Korea and in Asia in general, because it comprises the world’s largest branded boutiques specialized in clothing, accessories, cosmetics and other goods and products.
Seoul the Land of Fun
As for Seoul’s most famous attractions, they reflect the rich culture of South Korea and inspire many designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, who got inspired from South Korea’s traditional outfit, to present his cruise collection for 2015 and 2016 at a show in Seoul. So the attractions are many but the most famous ones are:
If you are looking for fun and entertainment, your first destination should be Lotte World, one of the most famous, largest and beautiful amusement parks in the world, and one of the most popular touristic attractions in Seoul. It consists of an open theme park called Magic Island, and another closed one called adventure. Lotte world comprises as well an artificial island surrounded by a lake, and includes a popular museum, sports venues, movie theaters and many more.
Don’t forget to take a look at the popular museum in Lotte World if you want to know more about South Korea, its people and history.
N Seoul tower … Panoramic view of Seoul
If you are interested in seeing the entire city of Seoul, you should visit the famous N Seoul Tower, the second highest point in the capital and one of the tourism spots in the city.
Located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, the N Seoul Tower was first opened to the public in 1980. Whenever you reach the highest floor of the tower you will be able to enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the city of Seoul, and capture the most beautiful pictures of your visit.
You will also find on the top floor thousands of locks fixed on the tower’s wall. They are called the locks of love: couples are accustomed to fasten them so their love remains forever. Also on the second floor of the tower, you will find the wishing pond, where Koreans throw coins while making wishes.
Seoul Giant Resort
It is one of the most important and largest parks in the world. It is divided into several parts. Each part is independent, but all are within the park. The park includes one zoo for adults and one for children, a garden, hiking trails, Seoul Land (Amusement Park) and Seoul Museum of Modern Art. The park is located on a large area within the city and is considered a tourism spot there.
You can also visit the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which features works for Korean and international artists.
Gyeongbok … The oldest palaces
Architecture has always inspired many artists and designers who have achieved their works based on the construction history of the palaces that feature immortal arts and works. So do not miss visiting the Gyeongbok Palace, one of the oldest palaces in Seoul. It was the main royal palace and the home of kings and governors for several eras. It was built in 1395 and has lost some of its parts for reasons such as fire and colonialism, but it has been restored and opened to visitors and tourists.
And do not forget to visit the oldest surviving bridge in Seoul, built in 1411, the magnificent Geumcheongyo Bridge, which also gives you an idea about the Korean architecture.
The War Memorial of Korea (Museum): Commemoration of martyrs
Military uniforms occupy a prominent place in the fashion world, and military editions have dominated most fashion shows in recent years; that is why The War Memorial of Korea can be a source of inspiration for designers. It was established to commemorate the martyrs and victims of the Korean wars and it exhibits and preserves materials, equipments and heavy weapons used during the two wars.
You should also visit the two brothers’ statue that represents two brothers who met during the war and fought against each other. It is the most famous statue in the museum and the most expressive and inspirational one.
Traditional Korean Costume-Hanbok
Hanbok (South Korea) or Joseon-ot (North Korea) is the representation of the traditional Korean dress. It is characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines without pockets. Although the term literally means “Korean clothing”, hanbok usually refers specifically to clothing of the Joseon period and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear during traditional festivals and celebrations.
Houses and Korean Designers
South Korea is home to many fashion houses and designers famous around the globe:
Beyond closet: One of the most popular masculine fashion houses. Its founder, Ko Tae Yong, blends his passion for elegance with contemporary American design to recreate classical styles.
Dong-Jun Kang: Dong-Jun Kang studied at the Parson School of Design, from where a group of talents such as Marc Jacobs graduated. He founded his brand in 2008 and named it D by D.
General Idea: One of the biggest names exported from South Korea in recent years. The main designer of the house Bumsuk Choi studied in Tokyo before introducing his first Autumn/Winter collection at the New York Fashion Week in 2009.
Jardin de Chouette: Established in 2005 by Kim Jae-Hyun, the name quickly gained a broad audience base thanks to its female cuts. Kim was the first designer to exhibit at the Seoul Fashion Week, two collections for two different brands, Jardin de Chouette and Lucky Chouette, which were covered by the most prestigious magazines such as the French magazine Vogue and the Harper Bazaar.
Johnny Hates Jazz: A graduate from the University of London, he previously worked with Kindred spirit and Vivienne Westwood.
Steve J & Yoni P: Both designers graduated from the University of London in early 2007. They get inspired by the street-style fashion in the UK, and their designs are popular among Korean celebrities and pop stars.
Yong Kyun Shin: This designer gained great fame for making designs for the Icelandic singer Bjork.