Ask anyone what the fashion capital of Asia is and the answer will most likely be Tokyo. Many trendsetters, fashionistas and style experts would probably agree, but I think the Asian fashion world should stand up and take notice of a potentially fierce competitor for the title of Asian fashion capital: Seoul. Nancy MacDonnell, from the financial times, says that South Korea represents a US$28bn fashion industry, and is one of the fastest growing markets for western brands. Not only are they opening up to foreign influences, but they are soaring ahead in their own right, with their own fashion week, their own celebrity designers, and a huge amount of talent in the industry. I think big brand labels from the UK and US should not overlook Seoul as a market to really push into.
With Seoul’s proximity to both Beijing and Tokyo, it is undoubtedly becoming a focal point of transportation and business in northern Asia. As the country’s economy has become more stable since the 1990’s, new museums, art galleries, restaurants and bars have blossomed, fuelling a growth of creativity and vibrancy. The doors are opening wide for business and entertainment to enter the country and it would seem an excellent place to expand into.
The style and fashion sense in Seoul is probably not as outlandish as Tokyo or as formal as Hong Kong, but it has a playful, feminine quality, which definitely appeals to me. And Korean woman are knowledgeable shoppers, finding out the latest trends and looks from magazines, the Internet and TV. They are confident, smart, and value-driven, and along with the typically Asian preoccupation with beauty, perfection and glamour, they are helping Seoul to become one of the leading fashion capitals in Asia.
We love Seoul!