Seoul is a place where high-tech skyscrapers and world-class contemporary art meet Buddhist temples and historic museums, Seoul, South Korea is one of Asia’s most captivating cities — and surely one of its most fashionable. While here, shop at designer-laden boutiques, and don’t miss the many Korean beauty spas.
In the past few years Korean skincare (called K-Beauty) has taken the world by storm for its odd but results-yielding ingredients — such as snail slime, bee venom and starfish extract — that promise blemish-free skin. Stop by the flagship stores of luxury Korean skincare brands Sulwhasoo and AmorePacific to pick up your skin’s next best friend (think anti-aging creams and masks). Don’t miss other cult-favorite skincare and makeup stores, like the whimsical Stylenanda Pink Hotel, Dr Jart+ or A-Land.
Seoul’s style is dominated by sporty streetwear, unisex dressing and bold looks that stand out among the crowd. Women’s fashion is creative and unafraid: Designers like Pushbutton and The Volon embrace bright colors, while others, including Yuul Yie’s incredible shoes, highlight architectural silhouettes. While many designers are known for avant-garde looks, menswear label Wooyoungmi (the first men’s brand in South Korea headed by a woman) emphasizes relaxed luxury. Top off any look with a pair of Gentle Monster sunglasses.
Left: Wooyoungmi bomber jacket, $460 | Right: Pushbutton crepe coat, $710
Above: The Volon Cube chain bag, $1,150
Above: Yuul Yie Lissom slingback leather pumps, $390
Above: Gentle Monster Doublebread 02 sunglasses, $260
Art & Design
Seoulites’ penchant for streetwear makes them loyal fans of international designers like Maison Margiela, Vetements and Comme des Garçons, found in nearly every luxury store in the city. If you’re looking for local designers, head to the Cheongdam-dong neighborhood to peruse smaller boutiques, like Beaker and Boon the Shop. The city’s shopping mecca is undoubtedly Shinsegae Department Store in Myeong-dong, which has everything from luxury furnishings, designer boutiques, four hotels, several museums and traditional Korean restaurants. Art and design lovers must tour the Dongdaemun Design Park & Plaza designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Samoo. It’s an art installation in itself, with a futuristic, curved aluminum facade, where you will find contemporary galleries and a rooftop park. shinsegae.com