The success of Korea’s streetwear industry depends on community, collaboration, and love for street fashion. Korean street fashion brands have even made their way into Korean designer brands. Therefore these brands are no longer just for 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 you can now choose comfort and convenience without compromising your style.
In recent years, there’s been a surge in the popularity of Korean streetwear. Oversized clothing, bright colors, and bold patterns often characterize this style. While it may seem like a trend that’s only popular with millennials, the truth is that people of all ages are embracing this fashion trend.
One reason for the popularity of Korean streetwear is the influence of K-pop. Many of the biggest names in K-pop are known for their unique style, and fans want to dress like their favorite idols. Another factor is the growing interest in Korean culture in general. As more people learn about Korea and its rich history, they become interested in its fashion and trends.
So what are the streetwear trends in Korea? Korean streetwear typically has high-impact logos on everything from clothing to 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 2023.
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 minimal launch, making them a collector’s item among streetwear enthusiasts. All of their collections are unisex, but most customers are men. Furthermore, they have collaborated with brands such as Puma, Maison Kitsune, and G-Shock.
Instagram Followers: 801,000
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 males. However, they offer women styles 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 came on the scene when BTS’s Jungkook wore one of the brand’s shirts in a music video 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.
Instagram Followers: 322,000
Koreans love sporty street fashion brands. They are worn by Kpop idols such as Daniel Kang, IU, and Zico. Therefore, Korea’s top sporty street fashion brand is NERDY, located near Hongdae University. It is a trendy Korean streetwear brand that focuses on individuality and showcasing one’s colors. Furthermore, you can’t miss the brand as NERDY is printed on the clothes.
Instagram Followers: 231,000
99%is is from the famous streetwear Korean fashion designer Seoul Bajowoo. The brand was launched in 2011 and gained popularity immediately from the support of Kpop fashion icons such as G-Dragon and CL. EDM, Hip-Hop, and Rock music influenced Bajowoo. The brand’s style has a punk/90s vibe and 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.
Instagram Followers: 217,000
Hyein Seo was founded by a young Korean designer named 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 in the British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase for Emerging Talent. However, the brand didn’t get global exposure until music superstar Rihanna wore 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 just two colors (white/black).
Instagram Followers: 217,000
Three fashion models in Korea founded 87MM Seoul, all born in 1987. They launched the brand in 2013. The brand is very urban, with many 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 candy-colored sweatshirts, oversized coats, and sporty windbreakers. In addition, it has been worn by Korean celebrities like Park Bo-gum and Nam Joo-hyuk.
Instagram Followers: 191,000
One of the top streetwear apparel brands in Korea is COVERNAT. The brand collaborated with Kakao Friends for its backpack collection. This was one of the more successful collaborations between corporate and streetwear brands. In addition, the brand has been around for a long time. It launched in 2008 and specializes mainly in denim pants. Their focus is on ensuring the pieces are of high quality and comfortable. Best of all, the streetwear brand is very affordable, with most pieces in the $40-$89 range. Therefore it is very affordable for millennials.
Instagram Followers: 150,000
Charm’s was a huge hit five years ago when the brand’s designer Yohan Kang burst onto the Korean streetwear scene. Moreover, it was a huge hit among female and male Kpop stars. For example, Sunny from SNSD was spotted wearing Charm’s in many fan appearances. Furthermore, the streetwear brand has interesting slogans in Chinese and English characters. These days, the brand focuses more on comfort with its oversized jeans and coats. Therefore, it is a very popular brand in Korea among University students.
Instagram Followers: 99,800
For those who like a bold and dramatic look, the Korean streetwear brand pushBUTTON is for you. The brand was launched back in 2003 by Seung Gun Park. However, the brand didn’t take off until seven years later. The 70s and the 90s inspired Park. Therefore he fused the two decades to create this unique look for his brand. Moreover, most pieces are unisex and blend the genders, eras, and styles. Therefore, its vibrant colors and quirky prints bring a lot of youthful energy.
Instagram Followers: 93,100
Cres E Dim
Cres E Dim was launched 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. In 2014, he was selected as one of Seoul’s top 10 fashion designers. Moreover, he represented Korea in many fashion events around the world.
Instagram Followers: 70,800