In a shopper’s paradise like Seoul, it’s easy to get lost. Even as a native Korean, the sheer number of boutique stores squirelled away in underground train stations, alleyways and apartment blocks, is overwhelming.
Unsurprisingly, the question I’m most often asked by friends visiting the city is, ‘where do you shop?‘
Everywhere is probably the correct answer, but when I’m strapped for time, there are a few gems that I prioritise before everything else.
In no particular order, my favourite shops to stock my wardrobe are:
Images courtesy Vogue
What: A concept boutique for the sartorially adventurous. Think Man-Repeller level of boldness.
Why: Frankly, I wish I could live in Rare Market — it’s that pretty. Beside the stunning interior, Rare Market is inspiring Korean girls to look beyond the treaded paths of Chanel and Gucci by exploring other international designers such as Marques’ Almeida.
Images courtesy Rabbitti
What: Upscale women’s fashion store and label for lovers of faux-fur, silk and all things quintessentially feminine. Rabbitti is truly the Mozart of colour-blocking, and that’s a trend that will NEVER die in Seoul.
Why: With its sparse presentation, Rabbitti evokes the ambience of an art gallery. The garments are made to be admired like miniature masterpieces.
Image courtesy Happiness, etc
Where: Garosugil. One of the prettiest spots in Seoul. Also, overloaded with celebrities and models.
What: Low Classic is a Seoul-based label and store famous for its ‘modern-vintage’ aesthetic with hints of Chloe Sevigny.
Why: I always make a trip to Garosugil when I’m in Seoul, and Low Classic is the perfect way to top a cafe-crawl.
10 CORSO COMO
Images courtesy Corso Como
What: The Seoul off-shoot of the famous Milanese 10 Corso Como. 10 Corso Como is a holistic experience that conflates the various scents and sights of the gallery, boutique and cafe, melding food and fashion into one delightfully decadent concept.
Why: Because you don’t literally want to shop till you drop.
SHINSEGAE DEPARTMENT STORE
Where: Various locations throughout Seoul. My most frequented one is in Gangnam.
What: Founded in 1930, Shinsegae is Korea’s first department store.
Why: With its pristine interior, impeccable service and designers selection, Shinsegae is your usual luxe department store. The REAL reason I go is for the food court. A cornucopia of mouth-watering delights that will have you salivating on your Prada heels. The clincher? It has a Dean & Deluca’s. Sold.
I have plenty more stores to share with you, including ones that are more budget-friendly and others that are geared toward cosmetics, but I’ll save that for Part Two.
In the meantime, if you’ve ever been to Seoul, I’d love to hear where you like to shop! Share in the comments below and if you want more on Korean fashion, don’t forgot to follow me by subscribing to the Yeon & Bee email or liking the Facebook page.