The global popularization of Korean culture, often referred to as the “hallyu” wave, may have started with K-pop, K-dramas and foods like kimchi, but now that’s extending to Seoul-based clothing brands that have been spreading the country’s fashion sensibilities to a global audience.
From edgy (and affordable) street style to upscale luxury brands gracing Fashion Week runways and magazine editorial pages—and everything in between—Korean fashion brands have commanded international attention. Even the mecca of fashion events, New York Fashion Week, includes a “Concept Korea” runway where brands like KYE have seen success, signing multiple business deals with New York showrooms, per The Korea Herald.
Not to mention, fashion-forward celebrities like Rihanna have been spotted wearing brands like Gentle Monster. Plus, major global retailers like Shopbop, which has been featuring Korean designers since 2016, and NET-A-PORTER, which debuted their extensive “Korean Collective” last fall, are stocking Korean fashion brands online. “There is something unique coming from this youthful culture which is appealing to the global customer–whether it’s the interesting styling, the streetwear trend or the mix of high and low which are all so prevalent on the streets of Seoul,” NET-A-PORTER’s Global Buying Direct Elizabeth von der Goltz, said in a a statement.