With forward-thinking designs and a booming street-style scene, Korean fashion is a force to be reckoned with now more than ever. Fantastic designers are making their mark in Seoul and beyond, garnering the attention of celebrities and fashion figures around the world. Here, discover the nine Korean brands that are leading the pack and score our top selects from each.
Korean model Irene Kim in pushBUTTON
A Central Saint Martins and Parsons School of Design alum, Ji Oh launched her namesake line in 2014 and became a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist in 2016. She is a maverick in combining oversize and slender silhouettes for a unique take on proportions that are still wearable.
After spending seven years in Paris, Goen Jong moved back to Korea in 2012 to launch her line, Goen.J. Just two years later, her collections were stocked at Barneys New York and they're now available at a slew of retailers, from Net-A-Porter to Shopbop. Her romantic designs possess a structural element, giving feminine wares a fresh, modern feel.
Founded by former English teacher Hankook Kim, Gentle Monster offers sleek eyewear with oversize, artsy frames that are undeniably cool and stylish. It-girl fans include everyone from Miranda Kerr to Gigi Hadid.
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This brand's playful aesthetic—think volume and bold colors via button-downs and blazers—has become a hit among Korean celebrities as well as the style set.
What started as a secondhand shop is now one of the biggest fashion destinations in Korea, with a booming online store that ships worldwide and a three-story flagship in Seoul. Stylenanda's vast inventory of trendy pieces help define the epitome of Korean street style.
In 2013, couple Steve Jung and Yoni Pai of the label Steve J & Yoni P debuted SJYP—a cool-girl denim line best known for re-imagining vintage-inspired designs. The duo most recently launched a collection in partnership with Marvel.
Rebellious and bold, Hyein Seo's range includes streetwear (tees, jackets and coats) emblazoned with unapologetically edgy prints and quips, like "School kills." Rihanna famously donned a fur stole with the word "Fear" during Paris Fashion Week in 2014.
Designer Bonnie Lee takes footwear to the next level with eccentric flatforms and sandals featuring statement embellishments and unexpected fabrics.
One of the most anticipated shows of Seoul Fashion Week, Kye never fails to serve up of-the-moment pieces that are positioned to be on every stylish girl's wishlist. Founder Kathleen Kye's effortlessly cool yet statement-making pieces range from a metallic pleated lamé two-piece set to a buttoned velvet split-flared trouser.