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Trendsetters leave for northern Seoul

Posted June. 13, 2013 08:07,   


“Daerim Warehouse” in Seongsu-dong of Seoul’s Seongdong district is one of the hottest cultural places these days. The warehouse, which has been used as a warehouse, is one of the most favored places for a various cultural events, including fashion show, by brands. A source at Kolon Sport that will hold fashion show later this month said, “People no longer think fashion show in Gangnam is cool.”

The stereotype that Gangnam defines trends is being collapsed. Professionals in the fields of fashion, art and entertainment who made Cheongdam and Shinsa areas the centers of trends are leaving Gangnam. Expensive rent, which seems still attractive to large companies, has driven trendsetters out of Gangnam to northern Seoul, such as Seongsu, Hannam and Dongdaemun areas. Finding new value in old places is related to a movement in New York’s Manhattan in the early 2000s when Meat-packing District filled with old slaughter plants was turned into a center of trends.

Popular domestic brands, including Andy & Debb, Steve J & Yoni P and jane-song, settled in northern Seoul, and fashion shows used to be held at clubs or galleries in Gangnam are now slated in northern Seoul. Fashion people’s moving to northern Seoul shows that Gangnam no longer endorses their brand because they are the ones most sensitive to trends. Lee Dong-uk, a director at marketing firm Indicate, said, “Fashion brands always look for something new, and that’s why they want new places other than Gangnam.”

Yoon Won-jeong, an executive at Andy & Debb that moved its headquarters from Gangnam’s Apgujeon to northern Seoul’s Seongsu in 2003, said, “Having infrastructure for fashion business, Seongsu area is a reasonable place for fashion designers to expand. As our society has grown to respect diversity and practical values that puts more importance on individual values than on those of others, more fashion designers move to places that fits their brands.”

New York’s Soho was once a district of textile mills but later became a fashion center as many artists opened their shops there. However, when the area was occupied by tourists and large companies, young trendsetters moved to the "Meat-packing District." Similar phenomena are happening in Seoul.

Over the past two years, a designers’ pathway was formed in Hannam area, including Steve J & Yoni P, en pleine nuit and ryuikei. Dongdaemun, a fashion area for cheap clothes and fake brand products, is being changed into an incubator of new designers. Seong Min-cheol, a fashion designer and CEO of SMC that opened at Doota in 2008, said, “Until five years ago, people thought of Dongdaemun as a place for cheap or fake clothes. But now people who understand the value of designers’ products come here.”

An experiment is being undertaken in Doksan area in Seoul’s Geumcheon. A 40-year-old slaughter building was transformed into the headquarters of entertainment company Stardom. The building owner and singer Cho PD asked Lim Yeong-hwan, an architecture professor at Hongik University, to make a Meat-packing District in Seoul. The professor said, “When an old building with history meets something new, it can create a unique and attractive air while lowering construction costs. This can also spur change in old part of Seoul.”