Seoul’s Fashion Takeover

Seoul’s Fashion Takeover

Move over Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. Seoul is emerging as Asia’s new fashion showcase, with the world’s top luxury firms seeking to cash in on the regional trendsetting popularity of South Korean pop culture. Fast-growing Asia is a key market driving the global luxury industry, with purchases by Chinese consumers accounting for one-third of global sales, according to market researcher Bain & Co.

“Global luxury firms have begun to realize that what’s popular in South Korea soon becomes popular across Asia,” said Lie Sang-Bong, head of the Council of Fashion Designers of Korea. The real attraction for the brand names is the promotional reach into the rest of Asia and beyond provided by the so-called Hallyu, or the increasing popularity of Korean TV shows, pop music and culture.

Kate Ahn, Seoul representative of the British consumer research firm Stylus, said South Korea had effectively become a springboard for luxury brands to test consumer sentiment in the Asian market, adding that she had been bombarded with proposals from European and U.S. firms hoping to invest in Seoul cosmetics makers in recent years.

Agence France-Presse