Seoul Fashion Week has begun, with the next five days in the South Korean fashion city set to be dedicated to the world of K-fashion and the brands that are leading the way in this field. Spanning until September 9, the fashion week will host a total of 30 fashion shows – 21 being domestic brands while eight are new design brands – alongside an array of simultaneous events and immersive experiences.
It is clear from the outset that sights have been set on drawing in a wider international audience, as the demand for K-fashion continues to increase on a global scale. Evidence of this can already be seen in the choice to make K-pop group NewJeans the global public relations ambassadors for the event, leaning on the stars’ international popularity that has largely been triggered by their viral music on social media.
Additionally, the Seoul Metropolitan Government was also intentional in holding the fashion week a month earlier than it had previously taken place. In a release, it was noted that such a decision lay in the desire to increase the participation of overseas buyers and placing the event one step ahead of the world’s major fashion cities.
This is largely due to the fact that alongside runway shows, the fashion week also hosts its own trade show, where 94 brands will be exhibited for the reported 127 overseas buyers that will descend on the occasion. Among those attending, according to Seoul Fashion Week, are the likes of France’s Printemps, 3 NY from the US, Liberty London and Japanese department store Isetan.
Fashion week to become an ‘entry platform’
Commenting on the event, Kim Tae-gyun, head of Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Economy Policy Department, said: “With the global popularity of K-pop expanding into interest in K-fashion, now is the best time for our fashion designers and brands to take a leap forward in the global market, and Seoul Fashion Week will become an entry platform for fashion to expand into the world and a local point of investment.”
To further the organisation’s efforts, and unlike other fashion week’s, Seoul also puts an emphasis on off-schedule occasions that look to expand the world of its fashion industry for attendees. One example of this is a new collaboration with Hyundai Department Store, where nine special runway shows that combine fashion and art will be held by Korean brands. On the last day of fashion week, the general public will then be able to enter the space and purchase products from the brands participating in the trade show.
Next to this, Seoul Fashion Week has also launched a new pavilion at the Lotte World Tower, the second to be opened by the organisation following its unveiling at Tokyo Ginza Duty Free Shop earlier this year. The concept builds on a signed business deal with the government and Lotte Duty Free, through which the duo have agreed to grow the overseas expansion of promising fashion and beauty brands from the domestic market. For the Seoul location, four brands are exhibited in the retail space – BLR, Ulkin, Ajobyajo and Holy Number 7 – with one additional brand set to join in October.