With Seoul Fashion Week aiding the establishment of South Korea’s biggest metropolis as an emerging fashion capital, the fashion industry has been involved in a love affair with all things Korean as of late. Not only are the country’s creative exports like K-Pop of growing interest globally, but also its many cult labels.
Streetwear, in particular, is one of the most popular fashion sectors to emerge from the area. There are hundreds of new brands coming out of South Korea right now, but five cult labels in particular are doing extremely well abroad due to their popularity among celebrities, models, and influencers. Discover – and shop – them for yourself in Savoir Flair’s gallery, below.
Ji Oh’s extraordinary silhouettes are what caught our notice during the Fall/Winter 2017 shows at New York Fashion Week. This South Korean expat has set up shop in NYC, where everyone from streetwise fashionistas to uptown socialites have been obsessing over her eponymous label. Look to Ji Oh for classics with a twist, like button-up shirts in exaggerated cuts with mesh paneling.
Hyein Seo, a South Korean native and graduate of Central Saint Martins in London, showed a graduate collection in 2014 that was an instant crowd favorite. It’s no wonder that cutting-edge fashion lovers like Rihanna have flocked to her label. Pithy phrases like “School kills” and hip, oversized tracksuits are a label staple. Hyein Seo recently had the chance to partner with Nordstrom for an exclusive pop-up shop, giving her increased exposure around the world.
13 Month is a South Korean label offering logo-ized streetwear that is surprisingly affordable (think: rose-embroidered denim jackets and low-cost alternatives to the Gucci snake in lovely robe form). The label’s skill is in creating wearable products that showcase popular trends in subtle but alluring ways.
Ader Error, a street-style collective and South Korea’s spiritual sibling to Vetements, actually spawned at the same time in 2014, but the price tag is considerably more affordable. In fact, some of its head-to-toe looks will run you less than AED 1,000/SAR 1,021. Ader Error’s use of plush materials gives its streetwear a polished and luxurious look, which means the label is a huge hit with influencers and off-duty models at the moment.
A quick look at Gentle Monster’s insanely inventive eyewear will give you all the reasons you need to understand why this South Korean label is so successful amongst celebrities. You can’t scroll through Instagram without running into a photo of Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, or Jessica Alba donning a pair of Gentle Monster’s shades. In fact, it landed a collaboration with Opening Ceremony in 2016, while Nordstrom debuted a state-of-the-art pop-up space for Gentle Monster in the U.S. earlier this year.