Yesterday, we took a look at the challenges Korea’s fashion industry face. Today, let’s zoom in on how those in the industries are finding new ways to build on the unique qualities of K-fashion and overcome adversities. Here’s Hwang Ji-Hye with the last of our two-part special. This district in southern Seoul bustling with young Koreans is now one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. A major reason for that is the street fashion shops lining the sidewalks of Garosu-Gil. “Korean clothes is cheaper than Japan and more fashionable.” “It provide us with a reasonable price. With that reason, I think it’s good for us to go shopping around .” “And this so-called street fashion of Korea that incorporates Seoul’s overall pop culture driven by Korean celebrities and entertainment content is what many point to as the hotbed of Korean fashion.” Jung Ku-ho, director of the ongoing Seoul Fashion Week, said.
Korean fashion has carved out a niche for itself. “Foreign fashion weeks focus on high-end brands, but Korea’s fashion week features clothes with more street and pop culture elements. And that’s what foreign buyers and the press are interested in, too.” The rising brand value of the capital city of Seoul… is also drawing major fashion houses, which have begun to recognize its rise in the world of Asian fashion. Chanel brought its cruise fashion show to Seoul for the first time last year… and French lifestyle brand Maison Kitsune paid tribute to Korea in its 2015 fall/winter collection. Jung also says… fashion is part of the culture boom driving the larger Korean Wave. “What clothes Seoulites wear and what they eat and the culture of the city, in general, seem to be garnering interest from around the world these days.” Jung, who’s a successful designer himself, adds that to survive in the already saturated industry,… local designers need to take advantage of Korea’s Internet infrastructure. “Focusing only on the local market is no longer working. Designers should think of the global market as a city and find ways to promote their brands and communicate with their customers.
These days, they can do it using social media.” He adds… this is also a way for them to cut costs in the current economic downturn. Hwang Ji-Hye, Arirang News.