Conveniently nestled in the heart of the city, resides one of Seoul’s most famous districts, Gangnam. A steady mix of traditional culture and upscale lifestyle, Gangnam hosts a number of tree-lined streets filled with the hippest cafes, boutiques and bars.
We took up the challenge to scour through Garosugil – one of the three main shopping districts in Gangnam. What we discovered was a medley of street-style-meets-chic multi-concept men’s and women’s fashion boutiques, an adorable kids’ fashion shop as well as a couple of quirky furniture shops. Oh, and be sure to sneak a couple of shots of their stunning storefronts. You will be handsomely rewarded in the form of Instagram likes. Presenting an elite assemblage of boutiques with this guide to shopping in Gangnam.
Quirky multi-label shop
If your idea of Korean street fashion leans towards loud colours and over-accessorizing, a visit to Anthology will change your mind. Anthology is the result of chic meets Korean street style. We’re talking muted colour and pastel palettes, and elegant jewellery paired with the usual suspects like layers, oversized tops and knee high socks. Apart from women’s fashion staples, Anthology also carries a widespread of quirky-cool homewares and furniture, shoes, fashion and tech accessories, and bath and beauty products – think adorable soft toy animal taxidermies, fun ice cream shaped candles and a vegetable garden in a mug. You’ll have to see it to believe it.
Kids fashion for all seasons
Time and time again, we’re pleasantly surprised at how Korean kids are so fashionably dressed – more than us at times, to be honest. Atre Petit Et Beau is one of those kids fashion boutique that makes us wish we could turn the clock around –just to be seen in their adorable clothes. From basics, swimwear and outwear, right down to the shoes and accessories for little boys and girls, Atre Petit Et Beau delivers. We particularly adore their leather jackets, denim and this starry sweater (pictured below).
An unusual take on everyday home accessories and stationery
If you’re all for minimalistic, clean lines, we suggest you sit this one out. But if you’re a gull for vivid colours and eccentric versions of everyday items, step right in. Avec 9 offers over 50 brands worth of furniture, home deco, kitchen accessories, soft furnishings and stationery. The brilliance of this multi-label furniture emporium is that the designers make the best out of everyday products. Take the pluck truck as an example. Who would have thought that a mere extension wire would look so cool on your desk?
Men’s fashion with fun prints and patterns
Founded by designer Tae Yong Ko, Beyond Closet is a menswear label that reinterprets classic pieces for men. The collections are very practical but also evoke a form of sophistication. But what stands out is the variety of styles. From preppy to playful, nerd-chic to grunge – Beyond Closet is sure to offer you something you’ll love. One things for sure – you will never guess what Beyond Closet has in store. Take their 2016 S/S collection as an example. The “Nomantic” collection celebrates fun prints and patterns – a complete turnover from their back to school collection last year.
Recycled, artisanal footwear from Italy
One can never have too many shoes… but you might just go overboard at Collect Inspiration (we won’t judge!). This multi-label shoe boutique is sprawling with shoes for him, her and the little ones. Showcasing two primary brands – Anniel and Springa – Collect Inspiration presents the best of both worlds. Anniel is an Italian shoe brand that is inspired by the traditions of ballet whereas the sneakers from Springa are made from recycled materials. Pick a sparkly pair ballet flats or a pair of artisanal high-cut sneakers – or go for both. The shoes are available for all age groups.
Futuristic and edgy shades
This eyewear brand takes the simple concept of a pair of shades to a whole new level. Gentle Monster is the epitome of exceptional craftsmanship and innovation. The shades are made from animal bones, vintage leathers adorned with a mixture of colours, prints and patterns. Their futuristic designs tie in with their concept stores. The interior of their Gangnam outlet is an intersection of space with an emotional context of home and recovery. Not sure what it means? Well, you’ll have to visit the store yourself! One thing’s for sure – any pair of shades from Gentle Monster is guaranteed to elevate your look.
One-stop destination for the most attention-grabbing homewares
We’re beginning to wonder if there’s an unofficial rule to include a peculiar piece of homeware or furniture into Korean homes. We came across yet another quirky multi-label shop by the name of Hpix – featuring over 100 contemporary European designs and craft brands like artek, Kinfolk, The Living Factory, Goodlinens, Qubus and P.F Candles. Similar to Avec 9, Hpix also offers the most interesting assortment of everyday commodities – of course, mixed with a European flair. Do stop by this place to satisfy your kids with wooden toys, kids’ bedroom décor, and tableware.
Classic and grunge-inspired looks
Kimmy J is a godsend for all aspiring fashionistas. Its creative director, Heejin Kim took the fashion industry by storm and quickly climbed the ladder with her inspirational and desirable designs. The edgy womenswear label juxtaposes street wear with classic items. The collections vary between night and day – black tones in leather, fur and wool for the A/W collection and a canvas full of whites, muted grays and khaki greens for the S/S collection. A fashion label that celebrates a mix of clean silhouettes, sophistication and grunge? Yes, please.
Multi-concept men’s fashion
We’ve christened Louis Club as the go-to Men’s clothing store for the discerning gentleman. While what else can you say about a men’s boutique store, café and barbershop rolled into one? This emporium features every style in a fashionista’s black book. We were spoilt for choice at their collection of leather goods, accessories, shoes, snapbacks, tech products, bags – and those knitted sweaters a simple to die for! We discovered brands like Gram, Antony Morato, Kokeereet, and Paolo Pecora.