A few years back, I traveled to Tokyo for three short days. I immediately fell in love with the culture as a whole. I then went on a search for different Asian cities that gave me the same spark and inspiration that I felt back in Tokyo. I have encountered many amazing places and cultures, but it was not until Seoul, Korea, that my fashion career changed forever. Here in Seoul, I have done the best shopping of my entire life. With much excitement I share with you my shopping day in Garosu-gil, the “Soho of Seoul”
Similar to the Japanese, Koreans never leave the house underdressed. Especially around shopping areas, everyone is ready for photos to be taken of them. In spirit of the culture, I jumped right on in. Pictured above is my shopping day outfit. My jacket was purchased directly from a wholesaler back in Chelsea, NYC.
The buildings themselves were gorgeous. The vibe was trendy, modern, and laid back. Just like Soho, there was a nice mixture of brand names, boutiques, and cosmetics. It was not until halfway through my trip that the reality struck me of the pure quality of such affordable goods. The materials used were more than natural, the manufacturing effort was better than anything I have seen at large bridge market names, and most apparel found in boutiques were made in Korea by Korean Companies. I am embarrassed to say I did not plan ahead. I had to purchase another suitcase on my trip. I rolled up my cheetah print sleeves and got to work.
Coats range from 50,000 to 80,000 won. Estimated $45-$75 USD!
Most stores had a mixture of wool outwear and basic garments to go underneath. Most items were color coordinated, and store interiors were spotless. Although pictures were highly frowned upon, I knew it was easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Pictured above is one of my favorite store interiors. With coats at such reasonable prices, it made having multiple different lengths, styles, and colors very possible. All the Koreans stores I entered had one size only.
Each boutique had a variety of accessories as well. One of my favorite discoveries here in Seoul, was how cheap fur prices were. Back in the USA, it is hard to find any kind of decent quality fur at an affordable price. In this city, things were much different. Most gloves, mittens, earmuffs, and accessories ranged between $20-$30 USD. Types of fur noted were usually mink and fox, both very expensive back in the US! Fur is also a very popular trend in Seoul fashion. Many jackets had a fox lining, and many women wore a mink key chain on their purse.
This bomber was one of my favorites. I loved how the two different color dyed mink fur completed the look! Windows in Garosu-gil were beautify decorated and neat. It gave me further inspiration for clothing that I will wear later in NYC! At this specific store, I purchased a new leather back, a tradition of mine when I travel somewhere new.
And that’s a wrap! I cannot wait to wear all my new pieces back in my city. Seoul, you officially broke my inspiration rut. I have more ideas than ever before.