A “Hanbok” might come to mind when people think of traditional Korean clothing. However, these days, traditional fashion is typically interwoven with more modern designs. These designs are a better reflection of Korean society and culture as we see it today. But it doesn’t end there. These fashion trends have spread like wildfire to the rest of the world, igniting the craze for all things Korean even further. Here are some reasons why Korean fashion has become all the rage.
Korean fashion cannot be pinned down to a specific thing; this is because of how varied the industry is. There are myriad different styles that you’ll find in different regions of Korea. Fashion in Korea is never uniform or boring. The heart of fashion in South Korea is often said to be Dongdaemun. The fashion market there houses fabric stores, sewing factories, and wholesale shops filled with countless new pieces every day. It is also the catalyst of many bigger fashion brands today. This system allows for the smooth production and purchasing of high fashion items at reasonable prices and at an even faster pace.
- Fresher designers
Designers tend to have a more globalised education before working in a certain fashion market. The same can be said for Korea. A significant number of brands are established each year, with new styles constantly popping up. Korean fashion is no stranger to bright colours and intricate details. These styles are created through a mix of their own individual styles as well as international influences. The term “K-fashion” was coined in relation to these styles. Because of the existence of places like Dongdaemun, K-brands that were already more accessible started to gain prominence.
The Korean culture wave (Hallyu) is undeniably one of the main reasons for Korean fashion’s meteoric popularity. With Korean media being so widespread, it is only natural that people will want to follow suit in how they dress. Social media also plays a massive part in popularising these trends. Nowadays, Korean fashion is an inextricable part of Hallyu.
Lastly, South Korea has a huge Internet reach and presence. According to a study, over 80% of people buy their items online – a worldwide record for such a thing. Korea makes fashion extremely accessible through ways of shopping apps as well. Unlike well-established designer brands, the new and upcoming designers of Korea do not have the luxury of distributing their clothes through physical stores and shopping centres. Their items being sold online also allows for more high-quality items at affordable prices. Hence, the internet is extremely crucial for the survival and growth of the industry.
Korean fashion, like most forms of media, has swept the world. People have started looking to them for inspiration on how to dress and buy. The reasons are many, but one thing is for sure, today, Korean is the world’s tastemaker.
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