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10 South Korean Fashion Labels You Need To Know

Fashion
Photo by Sun Hye Shin

Coming Stateside, soon!

Although we, like everyone else, are obsessed with K-beauty to K-pop, what excites us the most about South Korean culture is its burgeoning fashion scene. Take a stroll through its capital city, Seoul, and you’ll find yourself instantly captivated by the killer street style and people-watching opportunities.

While many of us in the States are drawn to Seoul’s exciting streetwear scene, there’s a lot more to Korean fashion than just that. From the feminine to the refined, and the quirky to sporty, there's lots to be inspired by in South Korea’s fashion scene. And now, a new showroom project headed up by KOCCA, the Korean Creative Content Agency, will be bringing some of South Korea’s freshest talents Stateside this fall.

Just don’t assume that any of these labels are newcomers. All of these brands are seasoned in the industry, and already have quite a presence in the Asian and European markets, even if they're just now bringing their wares to the U.S. Get ahead of the curve and get to know these 10 labels—all destined to become your cult-favorites—before everyone else, below.

Photographer: Sun Hye Shin
Stylist: Suk Won Kim
Hair: Seung Won Kim
Makeup: Jo Yeon Won
Models: Yu Jin, Hye Young Seon, Soo Min Cha, and Tobi

Photo by Sun Hye Shin

LIE
If you’re looking for streetwear for the fashion girl, look no further than LIE, a label that’s destined to become the next buzzy fashion brand making the street style rounds.

Designer Chung Chung Lie is no stranger to the fashion game. The son of a fashion designer, it’s clear in his designs that fashion is in his blood. He’s no stranger to the New York scene, either. Just last season, he showcased his Fall 2018 collection during NYFW’s Concept Korea show.

While his use of texture, patterns, and color, is what makes LIE stand out from the rest, the designer also always incorporates some sort of message into his collections. For Fall 2018, it’s global warming awareness.

Inspired by the North Pole, the collection represents the juxtaposition of the beauty of it all—“the aura of the skies, the blue from the oceans, and the silhouettes and textures of the Inuit tribe”—and the obvious dangers this beauty is facing. After seeing a photo of a starving polar bear, Lie was inspired to bring attention to the melting glaciers and icebergs in the region. You’ll find “It’s not justICE” ("justICE"... "just ice," get it?) slapped onto tees and other items in the collection, bringing attention to the threat the region—and our planet—is facing.

And while each of his collections has some political element to it, it’s never too in-your-face. “I don’t want to push, I want to remind people,” he says.

While always feminine, his pieces certainly aren’t for the faint of heart—even the most classic or basic silhouettes have some sort of twist to them, whether it’s a flared trouser with a panel of ruffles or a faux fur-sleeved top. Yet somehow, it all feels extremely wearable—he makes even a faux shearling and PVC jacket or a patchwork sweatshirt-blouse hybrid seem approachable.

She considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth"

Dani Okon, NYLON's associate creative director of video, sat down with her great-aunt, May Okon, to talk about their shared experiences—despite vastly different time frames—living as queer women in New York City. Prior to retirement, May was a journalist for the New York Daily News, having first entered the male-dominated workforce when "the boys were all at war." And, of course, she absolutely killed it. Her only regret? "Retiring at 55," she tells Dani, joking, "Who the hell knew I was gonna live to 100?"

Upon retiring, she moved out to the Hamptons with her partner and bought a home. If she had to do it all over, May says "there are a lot of things I wouldn't do," but she still considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth." Get to know May in the video, above.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Marlene Colburn and Naima Green
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by: Alexandra Hsie
Camera: Gretta Wilson + Katie Sadler
Edited by: Madeline Stedman

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Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

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In the video above, get a sense of why Smith created a genderless store, and see how important it is for people like Jones to have a space where they don't feel criticized for dressing like they want.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
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Edited by Gretta Wilson

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