K-pop has rooted itself firmly in pop culture, and riding its coattails are the fashion labels that dress the highly choreographed and youthful stars of the genre. Korean streetwear brands are particularly successful at combining the signature elements of streetwear, such as its boxy, oversized cuts and tailored sweat pants, with prints and colors that resonate with Korean youth culture.
Here are some of the most notable Korean streetwear brands to keep on your radar.
Ader Error looks to the past for inspiration, seeking out silhouettes and accessories that evoke nostalgia. In the process of recreating each item, Ader Error focuses on improving its construction while making minor alterations to its designs to update them for the modern customer. Their approach to street fashion has garnered them international recognition, which has led to them securing collaborations with global brands like Puma.
Ader Error collabs with the Parisian brand, Maison Kitsune: Make no error with the latest collaboration collection from Maison Kitsune and Ader Error
Thisisneverthat has got the right idea — it looks to social media, skate culture, music and art for inspiration, while being conscious of not relying too heavily on European or Japanese fashion sensibilities. Above all, the Korean brand makes a conscious effort to produce, shoot and launch entire collections from their studio in Seoul.
A look at their FW19 collection: Korean label Thisisneverthat unveils their ‘Prep-School Gangsters’-themed FW19 collection
Hyein Seo launched her eponymous brand upon graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. Her pieces, which toe the line between high fashion and streetwear, often feature unique detailing and construction. It’s not hard to see why the label counts style icons Rihanna and Aleali May among its many fans.
Founded by three Korean models, all born in 1987, 87mm Seoul is a streetwear brand that offers wardrobe essentials that take the cue from preppy collegiate influences meets street fashion sensibilities. With the motto “No Concept, But Good Sense”, 87mm’s goal isn’t to follow trends but to create trusty pieces that are also timeless.
Shop 87mm Seoul: 87mm Seoul
Mahagrid is known for its apparel — slouchy flannels and sportswear essentials — that feature graphic printed designs that are influenced by campus life. The youthful brand is too cool for school and great for work-from-home situations.
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If retro vintage is your aesthetic, 13month needs to be on your watchlist. Their unisex collections combine street stylings with throwback retro sensibilities and gender-neutral cuts. By doing so, they aim to “create something that does not exist”. If you’re looking for a different take on wardrobe essentials and are willing to experiment with unique cuts, be sure to check out 13month.
Shop 13month: 13month
You may recognize their “Baby Face” collection of tees, but Acme De La Vie makes so much more than just adorable foodie t-shirts. Popularized by k-pop idols and Hallyu celebrities, Acme De La Vie is a streetwear brand that applies cheeky graphics to oversized street apparel. Their extensive collection includes tees, jackets, joggers and more.
Shop Acme De La Vie: Acme De La Vie
Exclusively for the ladies, Mischief (MSCHF) is a Korean streetwear brand that offers a range of streetwear apparel, accessories and homeware – everything you need to make your home a reflection of your fashion sense. Though their crop top tees and jackets are intended for women, some items like their hoodies and sweaters offer boxier cuts that work just as well for men. Mischief keeps its design simple, only tinkering with unique cuts and diverse color palettes and materials choices.
Shop Mischief: MSCHF