What else is there to do in Seoul besides staking out OOTD spots, snacking on tteokbokki for the umpteenth time, and catching up with your friends over a round of soju? Shopping, of course! Unofficially known as a shopper’s paradise, Seoul has many hidden gems of independent labels that carry one-of-a-kind clothing you won’t find anywhere else.
We’ve compiled a list of 20 indie boutiques that you absolutely have to check out for fresh styles fit for the ‘gram – read on to discover where they are and what they do!
1. Platform Place
Platform Place is a boutique that does it all, from fashion to furniture and home decor. Yet, their collection has been carefully curated to include a mixture of labels that are both of good craftsmanship and embody authenticity to the area in which the outlet is located. Platform Place also imports brands that are not officially distributed in Korea like Norse Projects, Club Petanque and Nanamika, so you can shop these indie brands all in one place.
2. A Land
Boasting a diverse range of up-and-coming designer brands, A Land is the place to be if you want to try out seasonal styles, but don’t want to invest in designer pieces. A Land has the largest number of branches of concept stores in Korea and while each branch carries a slightly different collection than the next, they all feature the works of young Korean designers, with the Myeongdong branch also carrying vintage clothing and accessories.
3. Chuu Supermarket
Most well-known for its -5kg series of bottoms, Chuu is a Korean fashion label that embodies the wish of many to stay forever young (at 25, to be exact!) Besides the cute and playful clothes in their collections which are huge crowd favourites both online and in-stores, Chuu Supermarket also stocks makeup and accessories, making it a go-to shopping (and photo-taking) paradise.
4. Around The Corner
Around The Corner is a breath of fresh air amidst a street of small boutiques as its open layout and co-located cafe concept differentiate it from the rest. This clothing and accessories collective situated in Garosu-gil is a hit amongst both Hallyu celebrities and everyday folk alike due to its unique yet very wearable street style. In addition to Korean labels, Around The Corner also stocks emerging international ones that go well with their homegrown fashion.
Address: 24 Apgujeong-ro 12-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm
Contact: Website | 02-545-5325
5. Pavement Store
The aesthetic of the apparel sold at Pavement Store is one of minimalism and grunge. The streetwear brand carries quirky accessories, such as Visa and Mastercard phone cases, in addition to the minimalist, basic clothing that is part of their regular repertoire of offerings. This independent brand would definitely appeal to you if you’re into soft, artistic looks.
Address: 13-3, 1st Floor Ja-yang Dong Gwangjingu, Seoul | 404-25, 1st Floor Seogyo-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 1pm to 9pm (Mon – Fri); 1pm to 8pm (Sat, Sun, & PH)
Contact: Website | 02-466-5906 (Kun-dae), 070-8822-5906 (Hong-dae) | [email protected]
From fun and playful looks in the O!Oi collection to casual and sporty apparel in the 5252 by O!Oi line, there’s something for everyone at the O!Oi flagship store. The brand was established in 2011 by designer Yeseul Jung to create unique designs and new concepts every season, which it has done to much success both on and offline.
Sculptor is an independent clothing brand that stocks sophisticated styles with clean silhouettes. Boasting mostly neutral tones, the pieces in their collections are easy to pair with one another or with contrasting pieces that you may already have in your wardrobe. The flagship store of Sculptor is designed with minimalism in mind, which contributes to a comfortable shopping experience.
Beaker’s flagship store fits right into the hipster neighbourhood of Hannam-dong with its clean, wood-accented decor and use of bright blue and yellow to create pops of colour. The store stocks prominent brands such as Carhartt and Band of Outsiders, as well as exclusive apparel made in collaboration with Korean fashion brands, all working within an eco-friendly design ethos.
Address: 241, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul | 408, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul | 2F, 15, Yeongjung-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul | 6F, 20, Pangyoyeok-ro 146beon-gil, Bundang-gil, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do
Opening hours: 11am to 8pm
Contact: Website | 070-4118-5216
9. Ader Error
Adept at mixing art with fashion, Ader Error’s flagship store is an embodiment of that expertise. It is a space that congregates art installations, retail space, and a showroom, along with an entire floor in the basement dedicated to selling soap! The design aesthetic of Ader Error is one that goes beyond traditional gender-specific categorisations, which creates unique, non-binary cuts and silhouettes.
Address: 413-1, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea 04041
Opening hours: 1pm to 9pm, daily
Contact: Website | 02-3143-2221
10. San Francisco Market
San Francisco Market is a menswear-only brand, established in 2005 in Seoul (contrary to its namesake) by designer Han Tae-min. The apparel stocked at San Francisco Market is of good craftsmanship and boasts evergreen Italian designs, making it a hit amongst locals and tourists alike when shopping for key investment pieces.
Address: 647-18 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 11am to 8:30pm (Mon – Sat); 11am to 7:30pm (Sun)
Contact: Website | 02-542-3156
11. Shop A Momento
Known for its minimalist aesthetic and flowy garments, Shop A Momento is where you should go for quirky clothes, comfortable clothes, professional clothes, and everything in between. It is a collective that carries both its in-house brand as well as clothing from external independent labels, giving you a wide variety to choose from.
Address: 4F 1 Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 1pm to 8pm, closed on Mondays and Sundays
Contact: Website | 02-6929-1384
12. Latelee Studio
If you’re someone who loves to accessorise with bags, you’ll love Latelee Studio for their quirky bag designs such as the flower pot bucket bag and ice cream wallet. Latelee Studio is helmed by designer Lee, along with a team of Seoul-based master artisans who work with Lee to produce the goods.
Another sportswear brand on this list is Nerdy, which does athletic and casual wear in bright colours. Nerdy also has sweaters with fun prints such as rainbow stripes and the brand mascot that would look good paired with a pair of high-waisted jeans and white sneakers. This quirky aesthetic is also translated into its accessories collection, where multicoloured designs take centre stage.
Often compared to American cult brand Supreme, Thisisneverthat is an independent streetwear brand with a wide range of apparels – from outerwear to hats and socks. Due to its popularity in Korea after nearly a decade of existence, many items are constantly sold out on its online store, so you might want to pay their physical store a visit to try your luck at snagging those items.
LLUD carries multiple independent clothing lines catering to both youths and young adults alike. The colour palettes range from pastel shades to darker tones in a variety of styles, which ensures that anyone and everyone can find something that suits their fancy. LLUD also carries accessories with quirky designs such as canvas airpod cases and paper clip earrings.
Address: B1F 45-25, Namsan-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul | 29ho, Doosan Tower B1, 275, Jangchungdan-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 11am to 8pm (Mon – Fri); 12pm to 8pm (Saturday), closed on Sundays
Contact: Website | 70-7756-4543
16. Un Bon Collector
Are you more a fan of bold, creative apparels and abstract art? Un Bon Collector has just what you need. The name “Un Bon Collector” means “A Good Collector” and the duo behind the store has tried to impart the philosophy of seeing objects as collectable art to its customers. The store supports independent designers and artists, thus you’ll be able to find unique items that aren’t found anywhere else.
17. Grove Store
The clothes at Grove Store give off a tranquil vibe with choices that range from soft pastel colours to the classic black and white ensemble. Grove definitely puts comfort at the forefront in the designing process, giving us all clothes that can be worn to work and yet look comfortable enough to sleep in.
SJYP stocks clothing that’s just a little different – think mismatched collars, giant cutouts, and the like. They have also switched things up and jumped on the trend of clear plastic clothing with their Colour Pop collection for this year’s Spring and Summer line, which look surprisingly more wearable than you would think.
Address: 1st Floor, 534-24 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul | 51-14, Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm, daily
Contact: Website | 02-7730-4567 (Sinsa), 02-779-6175 (Myeongdong)
Vintagebonnie is where you should go for the cutest clothes, accessories, as well as homeware! True to its name, Vintagebonnie stocks apparels that look are vintage in style (think lace, floral designs and polka dots), yet completely wearable in modern times. Special mention should be given to their homeware line because these quirky vintage items are simply too adorable to resist.
Address: 21-17, Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 12pm to 9pm (Tue – Sun), closed on Mondays
Contact: Website | 070-8866-7700
20. Boon The Shop
Boon The Shop is a collective that carries items from both independent designers as well as international labels like Marc Jacobs and Rimowa. The store is housed in a futuristic building with minimalistic interior decor, designed by American architect Peter Marino. The interior is divided into themed sections, which greatly streamlines the shopping experience at Boon The Shop.
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