Greetings from the exciting realm of K-Fashion! It’s a global cultural phenomenon that goes beyond just fashionable clothing. K-Fashion offers a distinctive fusion of creativity, self-expression, and effortless cool, from Seoul’s busy streets to your favorite K-dramas. Where should one begin, though, with so many incredible brands? Don’t be afraid, darling of fashion! With the help of this guide, you can explore the fascinating world of K-style, discover the top 10 South Korean fashion brands, and create a wardrobe that sets trends of your own.
Revealing the K-Fashion Wave: Examining the Fashion Scene in South Korea
Picture a world where comfort and uniqueness are the norm and streetwear and haute clothes coexist harmoniously. That’s the spirit of K-Fashion, a vibrant sector propelled by the trends of social media and youthful, bold designers. It’s important to express oneself, push limits, and enjoy playing with fashion in addition to looking nice. But why is K-Fashion so unique?l?
- Establishing trends and thinking ahead: K-Fashion is a trend-setter, always experimenting with vivid hues, distinctive styles, and cutting-edge textiles.Consider striking accessories, large jackets, and unconventional layering.
- Both cost and quality:Fashionistas on a budget may afford many K-Fashion products because they find a balance between excellent quality and affordable rates.
- Diversity & Inclusivity: K-Fashion celebrates individuality and offers something for every gender, body type, and style preference. There is something for everyone, from edgy streetwear to feminine flowers.
10 Style Icons: Revealing the Brands You Must Know
Let’s now get to know the major figures influencing the K-fashion scene:
|Chlo: Vintage-inspired, romantic, and feminine
|Women of the millennial generation
|Blouses, flowing gowns, and bold earrings
|Error code ADER: Gender-neutral, edgy, and experimental
|Trendsetters and fans of streetwear
|Oversized hoodies, distinctive accessories, and graphic shirts
|AULAND: fashionable, adaptable, and combining several types
|Young adults who are interested in fashion
|Statement sneakers, stylish knitwear, and denim jackets
|Fashion Designer: Elegant, simple, and infused with a hint of Korean street style
|youthful ladies who work in offices
|stylish blazers, well-fitting pants, and adorable miniskirts
|KIRLSH: energetic, young, and centered on graphic prints
|Teens and lovers of K-Pop
|Printed tees, vibrant gowns, and distinctive bags
|MLB via MCM: Chic, athletic streetwear featuring a baseball motif
|Athleisure and luxury fashion enthusiasts
|Statement baseball jackets, bags with logos, and stylish sneakers
|Kind Monster: large, eye-catching, and bold eyewear
|Trend-setters looking for distinctive eyewear
|Cat-eye frames, oversized sunglasses, and fashionable optical glasses
|AULAND: Cozy and informal, with an emphasis on daily necessities
|Everyone who enjoys dressing stylishly but comfortably
|Comfortable sweaters, loose T-shirts, and adaptable jeans
|The system: Dark-themed, edgy, minimalist streetwear
|Adherents of grunge and gothic fashion
|Stylized t-shirts, bold chains, and black denim jackets
|Misha: stylish, feminine, with an emphasis on cozy work attire
|Working ladies looking for chic yet appropriate clothing
|voguish blouses, fitted gowns, and sophisticated pantsuits
Street Style Stars: Dissecting K-Pop and Dramatic Brands
Have you seen your favorite K-Pop star looking stylish? It’s probably a K-Fashion brand! Here’s a look at the companies that your favorite K-Drama and K-Pop characters love:
- Blackpink and Twice frequently wear stylish and athletic MLB clothing like MCM, STYLENANDA, and CHLOE.
- Members of BTS are often spotted sporting carefree yet fashionable looks from ADER error, SYSTEM, and ALAND.
- Well-known drama actors like as Park Seo-joon and Song Hye-kyo have a fondness for elegant and timeless styles from MISSHA and Gentle Monster.
Ten Beautiful Korean Fashion Brands You Should Be Knowing
South Korea is among the Asian nations that sets the most trends in the fashion industry, both locally and globally. This can be partially explained by the increasing appeal of fashionable K-pop stars like G-Dragon, BTS, and Jennie, as well as the growth in the quantity of domestic high-end Korean fashion labels.
Twice a year, the esteemed Seoul Fashion Week features a range of well-known and emerging designers from both domestic and international markets displaying their most recent creations. Numerous highly renowned brands list well-known celebrities as their supporters, including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Bae Doona.
Here are a few well-known luxury Korean fashion labels that you may not be familiar with but should definitely check out.
Advanced Top 10 South Korean Fashion Brands
- Kind Monster
- Sang Bong Lie
- Seo Hyein
- Yuul Yi
- The Volen
The statement eyewear brand, which was founded in 2011 by Hankook Kim, is well-known not only in South Korea but also in other Asian, Middle Eastern, European, and American nations. Big celebrities including Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Tilda Swinton, Beyoncé, and Jun Ji-hyun (also known as Gianna Jun) are among those who have worn Gentle Monster.
The business is well-known for collaborating with a wide range of designers and artists. It has released goods in association with Alexander Wang, Kris Wu, and Jennie of Blackpink, among others. It collaborated with Huawei, a Chinese tech giant, in 2019 to develop smart glasses with various touch and voice commands.
The company is renowned for transforming its retail locations into cultural hubs. For example, in 2016 Gentle Monster transformed their flagship shop in New York City for a few months into an aquatic experience called Grand Blue. The piece, which was made in conjunction with glass sculptor Ivan Lee Mora and aquarium designer Justin Muir, was inspired by the French film Le Grand Bleu.
Kathleen Hanhee Kye’s brand debuted during Seoul Fashion Week in 2011, two years after she graduated with an MA in Fashion (Menswear) from Central Saint Martins in London. The Korean-American and her business have been at the top of their game in the fashion industry ever since, culminating in a presentation at the 2014 New York Fashion Week.
Kourtney Kardashian, Rihanna, and other Western celebrities have been spotted sporting KYE clothing, which is well-known for its bright, airy, and unisex designs. The company has aided in the career launches of models like Bae Yoon-young and Jung Hoyeon in Korea.
K-pop stars G-Dragon and CL, who are frequently photographed wearing Kye’s creations, are among her pals. Kye was a nominee for the LVMH Prize in 2014. She has also worked with Adidas, Shu Uemura, a Japanese cosmetics company, and Gentle Monster.
Untamable, the 2020 KYE Spring/Summer collection, is all about vivid colors, extravagant but sophisticated shapes, and an assortment of embellishments and textures. It also represents the designer’s intention to defy social conventions.
In 2016, Dami Kwon, the sister of K-pop artist G-Dragon, and her friend Jessica Jung launched this upscale fashion line. The 11 team members of Kwon and Jung’s concept store Rare Market, where the label started as an internal line, served as the inspiration for the moniker WE11DONE, which is pronounced “well done.” The streetwear brand is now well-known around the world and has made an impression at major occasions like Paris Fashion Week in 2020.
Leading international shops like Saks and Net-a-Porter carry WE11DONE designs. It just released its Spring/Summer 2021 collection, which has outfits for both genders. Among them are knit skirts and polo shirts made of gorgeous, sun-bleached colored materials that resemble towels.
The brand of the same name was established by Kim Min-ju in 2015, two years following her student H&M Design Award victory. Kim, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and the Samsung Art and Design Institute (SADI), created the costumes for the K-pop duo BTS for their Love Yourself global tour, namely for the songs DNA and I Need U. For their One of These Nights music video, Red Velvet band members, who are brand fans, donned MINIJUKIM.
When she triumphed on Netflix’s inaugural reality fashion series, Next in Fashion, in 2020, she created history. She received US$250,000 in prize money for her ten-piece collection inspired by Frida Kahlo, as well as the opportunity to launch MINJUKIM at Net-a-Porter. Inspired by Frida Kahlo’s home, La Casa Azul is the name of her Spring/Summer 2020 collection.
Kim’s gowns are known for fusing daring designs with delicate details like frills, all while exuding a general feeling of excitement. Certain patterns, like the Mandarin collar, are influenced by conventional Asian fashions.
This high-end brand’s name is derived from the German term “wunderkammer,” which translates to “a cabinet of curious things.” Designer Hye Young Shin founded Wnderkammer in 2010, and it features an extensive assortment of garments that are distinguished by their classic attractiveness.
The designs are contemporary, subtle, straightforward, and instantly wearable; they fit the brand’s definition of “understated charisma” for its line. Ballet dancers are among the performers that inspire her. The womenswear line is renowned for employing eco-friendly and natural materials in its designs, such as cotton, silk, and lyocell.
Its most recent collection draws inspiration from the architectural and industrial designs of Florence Knoll, Joe Colombo, and Le Corbusier, with roots in the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. The ideas of sustainability, reasonability, and beauty serve as the foundation for the designs.
Prominent actresses Doona and Park Jung-ah are among the celebs who have been photographed wearing Wnderkammer pieces.
After spending seven years in France, where she graduated from the esteemed Studio Berçot in Paris with a degree in fashion design, designer Goen Jong launched the fashion company in 2012. As a lingerie designer, she is a master at balancing delicate and structural designs, as well as combining architectural form with sophisticated romanticism.
Clothes by GOEN.J were available in retail establishments like Harvey Nichols Hong Kong not long after its debut. The label established itself in the US and Europe in 2014 when its products were featured in Milan’s Riccardo Grassi Showroom and all Barneys New York locations. Since then, stores including Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Bergdorf Goodman, and Moda Operandi have hosted it. The 12th Samsung Fashion & Design Fund was awarded to Jong in 2017 in recognition of her ability to reimagine well-known clothing into contemporary, feminine designs.
GOEN.J outfit worn by actress Michelle Pfeiffer for her 2017 The Edit cover story. In 2016 GOEN.J 16SS white pleated wrap dress was also noticed on South Korean actress Han Ye-Ri.
Sang Bong Lie
In the cosmos of Korean fashion, Lie Sang Bong has resembled a galaxy for around thirty years. Among others, he has dressed Olympic gold medallist Yuna Kim, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Juliette Binoche, and Priscilla Wong.
In 1985, he established his own company, which has now grown to become a globally recognized luxury apparel brand. Lie’s main sources of inspiration are the rich creative and literary traditions of Korea, with a concentration on the Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, and calligraphy, known as Seoye. He claims that the brand’s “trademark” is his Hangul attire, which he is quite proud of. Lie’s designs also frequently use themes drawn from architectural styles like Bauhaus and Cubism. In addition to traditional techniques like embroidery, several pieces in his collections undergo high-edge technical processing like laser cutting and digital printing.
One of the first such partnerships between a fashion designer and a mobile phone manufacturer, Lie created the limited edition Cyon Shine phone for LG Electronics in 2007. In 2008, he also created the Korean national team’s A1 Grand Prix jerseys. The fact that he has held positions as Seoul’s cultural ambassador and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of Korea (CFDK) indicates his unique status in prominent Korean culture.
His firm spent 12 years showcasing its upscale apparel in Paris before making its New York Fashion Week debut with its Fall/Winter collection in 2014. His 2018 Spring/Summer collection has a striking combination of pink, blue, black, and white, accented with leather, dots, and patterns. Along with honoring early 20th-century Chinese artist Qi Baishi, the collection included ensembles inspired by his artwork, such as the long organza blouse and black-and-white jacket.
The cheap fashion wear company LIE was launched in 2011 as a breakaway line by Chung Chung Lee and Nana Lee, Lie’s daughters, who are carrying on their father’s tradition.
8. Seo Hyein
During her time at the esteemed Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Hyein Seo showcased her bachelor collection at the VFiles Made Fashion presentation during New York Fashion Week. In 2014, Seo launched her own record label after graduating.
Because of the counterculture elements in her designs and the way they speak to young people who are moving from adolescence to adulthood, Seo is one of the most well-known South Korean designers abroad.
Rihanna attended the Comme des Garçons Fall/Winter 2014 runway show during Paris Fashion Week while sporting a black-and-white fur stole from her Fear collection, the year she officially established her company. When the singer performed at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards, she instantly changed into a jacket by Hyein Seo from the same collection.
Seo cites pop culture’s “bad girls” as sources of inspiration. Named after the Park Chan-wook film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, one of her collections, Lady Vengeance Fall/Winter 2016, has long coats and jackets with the film’s themes—”rage,” “provoke,” “sinner,” and “punishment”—printed on them. Then there is the Final Boss Fall/Winter 2017 collection, which featured designs inspired by Wong Kar Wai’s film 2046 and the Cheongsam (or qipao) outfit of the video game character Chun Li from the Street Fighter series.
Her distinctive designs—like the vinyl biker leggings and cut-out spandex shirts, or the garter belt bag that can contain cigarettes—have given her the reputation as a “tough girl.” G-Dragon, Bella Hadid, Kendrick Lamar, and other celebrities are fans of the unisex brand, which sells clothes including miniskirts, crop tops, oversized sweatshirts, and baggy jeans.
White Noise Spring/Summer 2019 and Save Yourself Fall/Winter 2019, two of her most recent collections, are geared toward the smarts of Seoul’s modern youth. The monochromatic Fall/Winter 2020 collection features technical styles that include cropped windbreakers, extended parkas, hooded pilot bomber jackets, and more.
9. Yuul Yi
The footwear brand was founded in 2010 by designer Sunyuul Yie under the name Ma Vie En Rose, which she later changed to Yuul Yie. The handcrafted shoe line is well-known for its unusual heels and sculpture-like shoe patterns.
Actually, Yuul Yie stands out from the others because of her shoes. The heels are constructed in an assortment of geometric forms and patterns that draw inspiration from cubes, stones, corals, and the Arabic alphabet. Consider the Trophy 70mm leather sandals, which have a mid-high block heel that resembles a ball perched on a cuboid. Consider the Lemon “Doreen slingback” shoes, which include a pearl on the tip of the stiletto. The brand’s unique Y-shaped trapezoid hefty heel is the most well-known type.
Its lines feature intricately detailed items ranging from mules to pumps. The shoes are created in Seoul, even though the leather is imported from Italy. Yuul Yie shoes are available at a number of upscale stores in the US, UK, Italy, and France, including Harvey Nichols, Nordstrom, and Luisaviaroma.
Yie, who attended Esmod Seoul to study women’s fashion, also debuted YY by Yuul Yie, her second label, in 2015. Although Yuul Yie still serves the upscale, premium shoe industry, YY produces goods at a lower price point. Yie has recently branched out into purses and jewelry.
10. The Volen
The luxury handbag company Eujung Jang, often known by her initials E.J., was founded in 2013 and debuted its first collection in Paris. E.J., who received her degree in music, had experience in the architectural business at her family’s interior design company prior to starting the brand. Her ideas and creation of handbags with structural forms and eye-catching colors were based on this instruction.
The term “Le volonté de tous,” or “the will of all,” is derived from the words of 18th-century Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and it serves as the basis for the brand name. The bags come in metallic, pastel, and vivid primary color options that are influenced by the modern artwork of artists like Cecily Brown.
Aspects of Korean culture and tradition have also influenced The Volon. The Hanbok outfit served as the inspiration for the “Cindy Flower” purse. However, the “Gabi” from its Spring/Summer 2020 Resort collection draws inspiration from the traditional Korean fortunate bag structured like a shell.
The Volon finds a home in upscale stores like Farfetch and Net-a-Porter. Influencers like Gilda Ambrosio, Leandra Medine, and Miroslava Duma, to mention a few, have also given it shout-outs.