20 indie boutiques in Seoul you need to check out for big-label alternatives

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.

Address: 268, Itaewon-Ro, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, and six other outlets in Seoul
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm
Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram

2. A Land

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Korean fashion retailer @aland_store has really increased its beauty brand line-up in recent years! I counted some 30-odd brands in their #myeungdong store; not all of them with the entire product line-up of course, but still impressive. The brand focus is very much on clean beauty (which fits into the entire stylish, urban Aland aesthetic), up to and including @eden_whamisa and Whamisa's sister brand #oolu (or at least the Oolu fragrance line-up)! Other brands include @cosrx (with what looks like almost their entire product portfolio), @mizon_official, @bentoncosmetic, @9wishes_official, @skinmiso, @olivarrier, @boomdeahdah_official, @paparecipe_official, @heimish_cosmetic, @dear_klairs, @wishtrend, @georganic_official, @chicaychico_official, @b @dalba_global. I'm glad that Whamisa (one of my favourite Korean beauty brands and also the first #kbeauty brand that I ever tried!), seems to have finally found a suitable retail partner in its domestic market. #alandkorea #alandseoul #alandmyeungdong #cleanbeauty #organicbeauty #kbeauty #seoul

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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.

Address: 30, Myeongdong 6-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, and seven other outlets in Seoul
Opening hours: 10am to 11pm
Contact: Website | 02-3210-5889

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.

Address: 24, Myeongdong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, and five other outlets in Seoul
Opening hours: 11am to 11pm
Contact: Website | 070-4246-0993 | Instagram | Facebook

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

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#happynewyear – PAVEMENTSTORE SAMPLESALE – 페이브먼트스토어 건대점,홍대점에서 샘플세일을 진행합니다 – 날짜 1/3(금) 11:00 – 19:00 1/4(토) 11:00 – 19:00 1/5(일) 11:00 – 19:00 1/6(월) 11:00 – 19:00 – 장소 01.건대점 서울시 광진구 자양동 13-3번지 1층 02)466-5906 02.홍대점 서울시 마포구 서교동 404-25 1층 070)8822-5906 – 가격 OUTER 30,000 – 150,000 TOP 10,000 – 50,000 BOTTOM 10,000 – 50,000 ACC 5,000 – 30,000 – 스토어에서 판매되었던 모든 브랜드들의 샘플 및 미세하자 제품 이월제품들이 균일가로 판매되며 행사 기간중 구매하신 제품들은 교환 환불 이 불가하오니 참고 부탁드리겠습니다. – 행사 진행관계로 1/2(목)과 1/7(화)은 스토어 영업을 하지 않습니다. – 많은 관심 부탁드리겠습니다?? – #pavementstore #vivastudio #kirsh #current #dessert #pavement #parts

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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]

6. O!Oi

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.

Address: 1F 4th, 337-27, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 1pm to 10pm, closed on Public Holidays
Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | 070-8848-5253

7. Sculptor

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.

Address: 360-1 Hapjeong, Mapo-gu Seoul
Opening hours: 12:30pm to 8:30pm (Mon – Fri); 1pm to 9pm (Sat & Sun); closed on PH
Contact: Website | 02-3143-7273 | Facebook

8. Beaker

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

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– <2020 F/W Pitti Uomo/Milano> 간략하게 선보이는 2020 가을/ 겨울 컬렉션 CRSO Playful Elegance. 2020 가을, 겨울 컬렉션을 선두로 CRSO가 새롭게 선보이는 슬로건입니다. 기존 CRSO 고유의 우아함은 그대로 간직한 채 한 층 밝고 경쾌해졌습니다. 스웨이드, 캐시미어 등의 고급 소재를 바탕으로 오렌지, 카멜, 버건디, 딥 그린 컬러의 세련된 컬렉션을 선보입니다. 곳곳에 배치한 선명한 오렌지 컬러의 재킷, 비니, 머플러, 재킷은 컬렉션 전반에 활력을 불어넣어 줍니다. 무엇보다 퀼팅 나일론, 울, 스웨이드 등의 다양한 소재를 활용한 더플 코트의 군더더기 없이 날씬한 실루엣에 눈길이 갑니다. CRSO의 아이코닉 라인이라고 할 수 있는 버터 플라이/ 아이다 슈트와 재킷은 여전히 아름다운 모습으로 선보입니다. #20FWPITTIUOMO #PREVIEW #CRSO #sanfranciscomarket

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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.

Address: 7 Itaewon-ro 55na-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 11pm to 7pm, closed on Mondays and Sundays
Contact: Website | [email protected] | Instagram

13. Nerdy

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.

Address: 94-12 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm (Sun – Thu); 11am to 10pm (Fri & Sat)
Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram

14. Thisisneverthat

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.

Address: 32 Jandari-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm, daily
Contact: Website | [email protected]

15. LLUD

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.

Address: 3F, 22 Jahamun-ro 10 gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: 2pm to 7pm (Wed – Fri); 1pm to 7pm (Sat), closed on Sundays
Contact: Website | [email protected] | Instagram

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.

Address: 1F, 646-23, Sinsa, Gangnam, Seoul | 2F, 727-21, Hannam, Yongsan, Seoul
Opening hours: 11pm to 8pm, daily
Contact: Website | 02-3416-0312 (Sinsa), 02-792-0312 (Hannam) | Facebook | Instagram

18. SJYP

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)

19. Vintagebonnie

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

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⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ [WANDLER @boontheshop_cheongdam] 네덜란드 암스테르담 출신 디자이너 엘자 반들러가 이끄는 매력적인 브랜드 반들러의 SS20 시즌 컬렉션을 만나보세요. 다채로운 색상과 기하학적인 디자인를 활용해서 선보이는 이들의 아이템은 언제나 흥미롭습니다. 지금 분더샵 청담에서 확인해 보세요. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Established in 2017, WANDLER shows a distinctive aesthetic: elegant with unexpected dimensions and a dynamic use of colors. Embodying modern femininity, each bag is a reflection of the designer. Come and see more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #분더샵 #BoontheShop #반들러 #Wandler

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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.

Address: 21 Apgujeong-ro 60-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, and four other outlets in Seoul
Opening hours: 10:30am to 8pm, daily
Contact: Website | 02-2056-1234 | Instagram

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