The once ghost town, Hannam-dong has recently gone undergone a major transformation. This tiny area is now one of the city’s most up-and-coming areas filling with fashion boutiques, cafes, restaurants and bars – and home to many local celebrities and execs.
Shopping in Hannam is no easy feat, though. It’s far from in your face and Google Maps doesn’t work too well in the old Korean back streets. However, this did not let us be defeated. We found eight standout boutiques that had us bragging about stumbling across the area and begging not to leave.
Handmade pieces inspired by nature and art
Who would have thought that a mere piece of jewellery meant loads of fine-tuning and hard work? We were delighted to encounter this brilliant little jewellery store. Derived from the components of “combined art” and “commerce” Acbine seeks natural beauty through the combination of nature and art. The handmade jewellery comes in a variety of gemstones, and precious metals such as gold, silver and bronze. Spoil yourselves silly with its range of necklaces, earrings, rings, brooches and bracelets; better still browse through the designer’s edition for something a little more exclusive.
Sweet and spicy scents for your living spaces
If you’ve read our previous piece about our shopping resolutions, you must know how much we love a scented candle. Just imagine our delight when we stumbled upon this scent machine brimming with candles, diffusers, paper and linen fresheners and scent kits! Cosmic Mansion offers flavours like fig and black bay, smokey orange and cannabis and mint – a concoction of aromas in an unassuming candle. The boutique even offers various workshops where you can create the perfect scent for your personality. We dare you to leave this store empty-handed. We sure didn’t!
Modish women’s fashion and accessories
One look at Fermata and you’ll hope right in. Never mind the extensive choices of chic (and so comfy!) trench coats, leather boat shoes, handbags and graphic greeting cards – the pretty interior of the store will reel you in. The racks of modish womenswear are well complimented with the clean white walls. Shoes and other fashion accessories are cleverly displayed with floras and other curious trinkets. You’ll surely grab a piece to take home – even if shopping wasn’t in the agenda.
One of the many things we discovered in Seoul is that the Seoulites are up-to-the-minute with the latest headwear style trends. Just wander through the streets of Hannam and you’ll see what we mean. Of course, we have to give credit to the variety of hat shops available – one of which is Mogool. The store offers almost everything style of hat under the sun – from sunhats, bell shapes, fedoras, Basque berets – all handmade right in their studio cum boutique. Ladies, they even make adorable printed rugs, wool headbands and socks if you are (gasp) not much of a hat person.
Elegantly packaged scented candles, diffusers and air perfume sprays
We were so impressed with this store; we thought twice about sharing the details. If you’re stumped on what to gift a friend, head straight to Oh Scent. As you’d expect from its name, Oh Scent boasts an amalgam of scents in the form of air perfume sprays for your room, candles, car fresheners, diffusers and even vintage snuffers. You may have encountered several boutique stores like this but what sets Oh Scent apart from the others is it elegant packaging. A mix of deep blue, gold accents and black – simple irresistible!!
A perfect balance of classic-contemporary, Second Move is a new move for men beyond the existing traditional menswear market. This menswear boutique has everything the stylish gentlemen need for all seasons. We were feasted to their winter collection – most of which includes outerwear like wool jackets, knitted sweater vests, duffle coats and varsity jackets. Of course, the boutique even features a range of shirts, bottom, shoes, bags and fashion accessories.
Designer leather handbags
This will make the mums squeal with joy. Partnered with more than 30 years of experienced artisans, SHANA 8th Avenue is one handbag label you just can’t miss. The range of totes, hobo bags, shoulder bags, satchels and clutches are perfect for all ages. Love experimental fashion? Select from their range of trendy hexagon shapes and vivid colours. Rather opt for the classics? You can’t go wrong with their best sellers.
Simple yet elegant jewellery
The goal of this boutique is simple. “To introduce fresh, new designs to its astute audience.” And it delivers just that. Shh Jewellery is a fun and stylish contemporary jewellery brand that seeks out a treasure trove of simple, elegant and wearable pieces from independent designers. We couldn’t but stand in awe at their gorgeous interior and display of their perfect gems. Such a simple idea yet so elegantly put together. You have a choice to wear the pieces by themselves or stacked – we preferred the latter as it immediately elevated our outfit.