The success of Korea’s streetwear industry depends on the community, collaboration, and the love for street fashion. Korean street fashion brands have even made their way into luxury fashion. Therefore these brands are no longer just for the college students at Hongdae. It is now common to see a pair of sneakers and a hoodie on runways at Seoul Fashion Week and on Korean celebrities out in public. This street fashion revolution in Korea means that you can now choose comfort and convenience without having to compromise your style.
So what are the streetwear trends in Korea? Korean streetwear typically has high-impact logos on everything from clothing, bags, and even hats. In addition, these logos are sometimes replaced by rebellious, ironic, funny, or impactful messages. Therefore, the overall aim is to promote free expression and individualism.
Below is our list of the best Korean street fashion brands for 2021.
The top Korean street fashion brand is ADER. The streetwear brand was founded in 2014 and focused on using impactful colors and oversized clothing. In addition, they offer a variety of accessories like bags and beanies. However, they launch only two collections a year. Moreover, these collections are all produced in Korea. The average price is around 400,000 won. However, ADER does a very limited launch which makes them a collector’s item among streetwear enthusiasts. All of their collections are unisex but most of their customers are men. Furthermore, they have collaborated with brands such as Puma, Maison Kitsune, and G-Shock.
A Korean streetwear brand that you will never forget. thisisneverthat is aiming to be the Supreme of South Korea. They are known for their windbreakers and jackets. Therefore, their target is mostly male. However, they do offer women styles that are nearly indistinguishable from their menswear collection. Cho Nadan, Choi Jonkyu, and Park Inwook are the designers behind this brand which has been around since 2010.
They really came on the scene when BTS’s Jungkook wore one of the brand’s shirts in a music video back in 2016. In addition, Korean rappers such as Mad Clown, MC Meta, and Giriboy have all worn thisisneverthat which gave the brand a strong reputation in Korea’s underground scene. They are one of the hottest up and coming fashion brands in Korea. The hit Korean Drama Itaewon Class featured their designs. Furthermore, they have collaborated with global brands such as Reebok, Vans, Puma, and Starter Black Label.
99%is is from the famous streetwear Korean fashion designer Seoul Bajowoo. The brand was launched in 2011 and gained popularity right away from the support from Kpop fashion icons such as G-Dragon and CL. Bajowoo was influenced by EDM, Hip-Hop, and Rock music. The brand’s style has a punk/90s vibe mixed with a hint of goth. His most famous piece is his “Gobchang” pants which look like crumbled pants. It retails for over $1,300 a pair. What makes the brand so popular is Bajowoo himself who you can find wearing his famous surgical mask with a Joker smile printed on it. The brand is now sold globally at stores like SSENSE, Mr. Porter, Dover Street Market, and H.Lorenzo.
87MM Seoul was founded by 3 fashion models in Korea who were all born in 1987. They launched the brand in 2013. The brand is very urban with a lot of small details and colors with an 80s theme. The brand is very popular with Korean university students as it is located near Hongdae University. Some of their top-selling items include their candy-colored sweatshirts, oversized coats, and their sporty windbreakers. In addition, it has been worn by Korean celebrities like Park Bo-gum and Nam Joo-hyuk.
Koreans love sporty street fashion brands. They are worn by Kpop idols such as Daniel Kang, IU, and Zico. The top sporty street fashion brand in Korea is NERDY located near Hongdae University. It is a trendy Korean streetwear brand that focuses on individuality and the showcasing of one’s colors. Furthermore, you can’t miss the brand as NERDY is clearly printed on the clothes.
Hyein Seo was founded by a young Korean designer of the same name Hyein Seo in 2014. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and then presented at the VFiles Made Fashion show during New York Fashion Week. She soon won an award for being the Best Designer by the British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase for Emerging Talent. However, the brand didn’t get global exposure until music superstar Rihanna wear one of her pieces. Many of her pieces have anti-education slogans such as “Bad Education” and “School Kills”. In addition, most of her collection comprises of just two colors (white/black).
One of the top streetwear apparel brands in Korea is COVERNAT. The brand collaborated with Kakao Friends for their backpack collection. This was one of the more successful collaborations between a corporate brand and a streetwear brand. The brand has been around for a long time. They launched in 2008 and specialized mainly in denim pants. Their focus is on making sure the pieces are of high quality and comfortable. Best of all, the streetwear brand is very affordable which most pieces in the $40-$89 range. Therefore it is very affordable for millennials.
Charm’s was a huge hit 5 years ago when the brand’s designer Yohan Kang burst onto the Korean streetwear scene. Moreover, it was a huge hit among both female and male Kpop stars. For example, Sunny from SNSD was spotted wearing Charm’s in many of her fan appearances. Furthermore, the streetwear brand is known for having interesting slogans in Chinese and English characters. The brand these days is focusing more on comfort with their oversized jeans and coats. Therefore, it is a very popular brand in Korea among University students.
For those that like a bold and dramatic look, Korean streetwear brand pushBUTTON is for you. The brand was launched back in 2003 by Seung Gun Park. However, the brand really didn’t take off until 7 years later. Park was inspired by the 70s and the 90s. Therefore he fused the two decades together to create this unique look for his brand. Moreover, most of the pieces are unisex which blends the genders, eras, and styles. Therefore, it brings a lot of youthful energy with its use of vibrant colors and quirky prints.
Cres E Dim
Cres E Dim was launched back in 2009 by Korean fashion designer Hongbum Kim. The name means “getting gradually louder and softer”. Furthermore, this slogan goes into the brand’s identity. Back in 2014, he was selected as one of the top 10 fashion designers in Seoul. Moreover, he represented Korea in many fashion events around the world.