Shopping in Seoul | Where and What to Shop
Business at work is finally over and hello long weekend! I'm going to hibernate today and then make the most out of the remainder of the holidays stress-free! Yippee. But before I head to my bed and just be lazy all day, let's talk about my favourite shopping areas in Seoul.
First on the list is, without a doubt, Hongdae. Fun fact: Hongdae isn't really the official name of the area. From what I discovered, it is supposed to be a short form of Hongik University and it's surrounding area which is known for its urban arts and indie music. We went there first thing after doing all the touristy stuff as we were on the hunt for boutiques that carried streetwear brands. But we discovered so much more than that!
On Penguin's list was Sculp, Roundup, and Shouty. Sadly, we couldn't find the two latter but we did find Sculp which carried some decent shoes. On my list was Ader Error, the flagship store, and Aland. We found both, but while I expected to shop at Ader, I found myself taking lots of photos instead. The store was like a little maze museum; I don't even know how to explain it. There's like fitting rooms on the ground floor but aren't actually one and when you enter each cubicle, you see art installations; then there's a bathroom-themed multi-coloured room with a toilet-paper-filled wall; and then there's this blue passage that lead to another store at the basement; I mean you get the picture I guess, I was distracted that I didn't even look so much at the few clothes hanging on the racks.
The store didn't have much to offer in terms of products and I found that a bit weird as it was the flagship store after all. But just to say that I did buy something at Ader, I picked up a really long belt in blue, which I plan to wear not as a belt really. I found out afterwards that they have a branch somewhere in Myeongdong which is supposedly where you can actually buy clothes. Word.
There's a street called Hongdae shopping street which I find is very similar to Tokyo's Harajuku Street, except that you don't know where's the starting point and ending point. There, we found the coolest stores with all the latest trends in fashion. One of the stores we saw had a DJ booth set up at the front of the store and there was a DJ working it, and I just found it really cool because that's something you don't see regularly. And then we cam across a store that had old school game machines, the ones that you find in arcades where you insert coins and play for like 5 minutes or something. And mind you, they work and you can actually play while shopping.
Of course no shopping in Seoul isn't complete without visiting an MCM store. If you know me personally, you'll know that MCM is my all-time favourite brand because I really believe in the quality and materials that they use for their products; I've tried and tested their leather goods and I can't say anything but good words. I wish they were paying me to say this but sadly, that's not the case. But regardless, it just makes perfect sense to buy MCM in Korea because this is where it is cheapest. And I had to pick up even just a teeny tiny leather good. We went to one branch in Gangnam but the image below was taken in Hongdae. Just so you know.
Now let's take you guys to Gangnam, the now famous district in Seoul because of, obviously the song by PSY. What can I say? In my opinion, if you're not going there with a purpose. luxury shopping that is, and you're only spending a couple of days in Seoul, I say better not. Gangnam is more like Tokyo's Omotesando except that it's a lot more quiet. Here you'll find huge stores of luxury brands like Celine, Givenchy, etc. The only reason we headed this way was to visit 10 Corso Como, which is the same store that we visited in Milan that carries high street brands and second hand and vintage luxury items. We also went to visit Kasina, where you can find some exclusive or limited edition sneakers from NikeLab; or products from brand Collaborations such as Adidas x Alexander Wang. This is where I got my Nike Air Max Plus Tn Silver Bullet and completely made the whole trip.
A few other stores we visited in Gangnam are Hide/And/Ride Store and Layer (Liful). After that, we headed straight to Itaewon area to check out this huge Comme des Garcons Store. I was hoping I'd be able to cop something from Palace Skateboards but sadly, I didn't find anything I fancied. Penguin on the other hand got his hands on a couple of Fucking Awesome (no kidding, this is the brand name) tees.
And then of course we head Myeongdong, the most well-known shopping district in Seoul because of the never ending line up of cosmetics and beauty stores in the area. But honestly, cosmetics wasn't part of my agenda of things to shop for in Seoul, hard to believe as it might be. But I did want to visit Myeongdong because it is also known for its street food.
The night we went there though, we stumbled upon Stylenanda's flagship store, also known as the Stylenanda Hotel, and I lost it. I mean, the whole building did look like a hotel straight out of a movie set for starters; and then every single floor is a surprise waiting to be opened; I mean, there's a "laundry" area, there's a rooftop "pool bar" where you can actually order food and drinks like a real hotel; I just died and went to the cutest hotel themed fashion boutique. I meant what I said on my instagram that in Seoul, they take concept stores very seriously. They really do.
In Stylenanda, I picked up the Vetements kind of inspired hoodie that I was wearing on my previous post. I couldn't let it go the moment I saw it so I just had to, and had to wear it the very next day.
Not pictured but I need to add to this list is Common Ground. That's where we found some local Korean streetwear kind of brands, one of them is called Another A, which I really liked so I bought a pair of joggers. That's also we where we found lots of stocks of the brand "Have a Good Time".
Lastly, not pictured as well but somewhere in Hongdae we discovered a very local store called Tomato Library, but it has ALL of the latest internet fashion trends you can ever ask for. I mean, seriously, from Champion to Gucci to Purpose Tour inspired pieces or bootlegs, you'll find it there; brand new, repurposed, vintage - they have it. And it's crazy because the store isn't even that big compare to let's say, a Forever 21 flagship store. But just believe me when I say they have it all.
So that pretty much sums up our shopping experience in Seoul. Hope you find this useful in any case that you're looking for ideas on where and what to shop in Seoul. If you have any questions, just shoot me a message/email, and I'll be happy to answer and share more.
In the meantime, I leave you with these images and talk to you again soon. Have a great weekend ahead!
Photos by Pierre Elma and Yours Truly