Whenever Fashion Week is mentioned, it seems like all that we ever acknowledge are the big fours. But take it from the hottest city in South Korea—Seoul—that is taking the fashion world by storm.
Hallyu fashion has a reputation of never serving up anything short of edgy, fun and eclectic. You’ll need to know these labels to up your street cred.
Hyein Seo launched her brand in 2014 after graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. The brand screams youth and rebellion with its oversized yet sexy styles that have been worn by trendsetters including singer Rihanna and G-Dragon.
Known for beautiful tailoring, pleated details, a muted color palette, and menswear inspired pieces, Maison Marais showcases designs that are at once fashion-forward and easy to wear.
8seconds offers everyday wear with a fresh, modern twist. From knit cardigans to cropped tops and floral numbers, the brand makes casual dressing a breeze.
Moon Choi, a Parsons School of Design graduate based in New York, has worked with 3.1 Phillip Lim and was selected as a finalist of CFDA + 2016 Design Graduates. Her eponymous label is synonymous with unusual silhouettes and deconstructed tailoring that marries masculine cuts and feminine subtleties.
Counting the likes of K-pop idols Hwasa and Red Velvet‘s Joy as loyal fans, Leey offers wardrobe staples like jeans, blazers and tank tops imbued with streetwear sensibilities and an edgy vibe.
Seoul-based Andersson Bell melds “Korean urban street-inspired style with a minimalist Scandinavian attitude,” striking a perfect balance between contrasting elements. Equal parts modern and timeless, expect classics like tartans, jeans and knits with an eclectic, fashion-forward twist.
Designer Sunyuul Yie started Yuul Yie in 2010, offering sculptural shoes and bags that look like works of art. Feminine, offbeat and unique, it’s no wonder that the label is increasingly spotted on style stars and featured in footwear roundups.
Related article: Under-The-Radar Korean Beauty Brands To Buy Now
London-based Rok Hwang won the LVHM Special Prize in 2018, and debuted at Paris Fashion Week the following year. Prior to launching his own label, Hwang worked under the tutelage of Phoebe Philo who was then head of house at Céline, followed by stints with Louis Vuitton and Chloé. The label boasts classic wardrobe staples reassembled in clever, new ways and an aesthetic that may very well fill the gap left by Phoebe Philo’s departure from ‘old Céline’.
Launched by Kim Chan in 2013, CHANCECHANCE deftly blends streetwear, punk and a hint of dandy—think: matching trouser and jacket/ vest sets, acid-washed baggy jeans, vintage-looking bomber jackets, printed shirts and glossy trench coats.
Building upon her previous experiences at Kiko Kostadinov and creative collective Dadaism Club, emerging designer Ji Hyung Choi creates contemporary streetwear that plays on unexpected details, underscoring her technical sensibilities.
In 2014, lifelong friends Dami Kwon (G-Dragon’s sister) and Jessica Jung founded Rare Market, a concept store that unearths under the radar Korean labels and cult overseas gems. The duo went on to launch WE11DONE (pronounced “welldone”), known for its distinct and elevated pieces that weave references from the aughts, reimagined for today. Expect cool-girl styles in inventive silhouettes that convey an understated sophistication.
Okay, you’d probably have heard of Minju Kim by now—but if you haven’t, she’s one designer you need to have on your radar. The winner of Netflix‘s first reality fashion show, Next in Fashion, is known for her playful, avant-garde pieces that combine bold silhouettes with feminine details such as bows and ruffles.
Akin to “the way a tea bag infuses its rich flavors into water”, Tibaeg is permeated with bold colours, graphic prints, and delicate details that express “tender emotions” in their collections and spark joy.
Wnderkammer offers simple, minimalistic styles that are effortless as they are unforgettable. A casual yet charismatic cool permeates designer Hye Young Shin’s pieces—think: puff-sleeved dresses with cutouts, easy suits in muted hues, and seemingly basic separates with unexpected details.
The concept of Beyond Closet is true to its brand name – to offer a selection of pieces that extends beyond just clothes that hang in the wardrobe. This varsity inspired label celebrates individuality and style, offering trendy pieces that is a mix of high school preppiness and funky streetwear. From check shirts to graphic knits and sweaters, Beyond Closet is all about creating comfortable and easy styling pieces.
Brother-sister duo Chung Chung Lee and Nana Lee—children of renowned designer parents behind the legendary Korean fashion house Lie Sangbong—founded LIE in 2011. The brand was born out of a shared vision to create pieces for the modern woman that echo the elegance and sculptural details of their parents’ label at a more accessible price point.
If bold and grunge chic is your aesthetic, then Charm’s is the place to go. The brand fuels on fun and loud silhouettes and is also best known for it’s urban streetwear style that gained the likes of Kpop royalty. In collaborative measure, Charm’s together with Key from boy band Shinee and Irene Kim came to produce a 90s inspired sportswear capsule that’s absolutely a must to check out.
Related article: 16 Japanese And Korean Instagram Accounts For Your Street Style Fix
Cres E. Dim
Launched in 2009 and known for its witty craft, Cres E. Dim excels in deconstructed cuts and overlapping layers. Seemingly contrasting, its sculptural pieces are often tied in with loose hems in addition to unconventional takes on classic pieces such as stilettos with statement patches and deconstructed A-line skirts.
Goen Jong was born in South Korea but spent many years in France, which seems apparent in the designs for her eponymous brand. Her pieces are feminine and fun yet refined and polish with products ranging from dresses to outerwear, making them staples of a standout wardrobe.
If you feel like you’ve heard of this brand, it’s because you probably have. KYE is relatively known in the US with their showcases in New York Fashion Week. These KYE pieces are bold and simultaneously wearable. For fashion lovers that love to look well put together without sacrificing comfort, This label is all about it. If celebrities like Rihanna and Kylie Jenner love the brand, you know it’s badass!
RocketxLunch is the epitome of effortless chic, standing out as one of the brands to not have their logo integrated into the design. The label aims to make it’s name solely base on its style and is undoubtedly doing a fine job at it. Featuring a wide selection of clothing from layered tees to leather jackets, these products are trendy pieces crafted with quirky, irreverent touch that will stay relevant all year round.
Known for their fresh take on denim, SJYP is the brainchild of husband and wife, Steve Jung and Yoni Pai. Wrap Skirts, Frayed Jeans and patchwork denim jackets are all given avant-garde twists. The best part? You probably won’t be bumping into people wearing the exact same outfit as you.