The affluent area of Seoul’s playground for the rich and famous, made known worldwide by Singer PSY who put ‘Gangnam’ style on the world map as the region of Seoul fabled for its luxury living
List of trendy shops from Gangnam to Hannam
Gangnam side: Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong
STEP INTO GANGNAM FOR A PREVIEW OF THE FUTURE OF CONSUMERISM
The affluent area of Seoul’s playground for the rich and famous, made known worldwide by Singer PSY who put ‘Gangnam’ style on the world map as the region of Seoul fabled for its luxury living, sleek glass architecture, and every street, a catwalk of Asia’s most glamorous and dandy.
Boon the Shop
A multi-shop, created by Shinsegae group and creative director Milan Vukmirovic, this has the widest selection of fashion, beauty and living products in Seoul; Boon the Shop philosophy is to cater to ‘upping one’s lifestyle’. Here you can find all your favourite brands such as Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela, French design brand LEXON, and toy shop brand Kinkirobot. boontheshop.com
Sulwhasoo flagship store
Opened in 2016, the iconic building of Sulwhasoo enables customers to fully experience all the product lines offered by the luxurious Korean cosmetic brand. The flagship store showcases the long brand heritage throughout the entire building and offers exclusive line products. The first standalone flagship store also offers two types of spa experiences; ‘Sulwhasoo Spa’ in the basement caters to premium anti-aging services, while on the fourth floor, the more contemporary sister, Sulwhasoo Balance Spa, allows customers to design their own spa program according to their skin conditions.
Shop in Foret
After going through extensive renovations of her first-floor multi-curated Shop in Foret, Lee Kyung Min selected premium home decor items and contemporary art works from her trips to Europe. Ladies visitors in need of pampering can stop by her other floors, whether for hair, nails, facials or personal makeup sessions with Korea’s foremost expert in this field. shopinforet.com
Jung Saem Mool
An inspirational flagship store and art space, Jung Saem Mool’s own cosmetic line is on display in the colourful building off Garosu-gil main road. Free Americano (hot/cold) coffee are served at the bar of the basement art gallery, while makeup tips can be had at the first floor. All the makeup products and some exclusives are on sale on the upper floors. jsmbeauty.com
Village 11 Factory
Located in trendy Garosu-gil, on a prominent corner, decked in white and shades of pink, the strange entrance invites you to discover the magic laboratory of a mad cosmetic genius. The beauty emporium Village 11 Factory opened in January 2017. Upon passing the pink steamer and feathers display, the first floor looks like a chemist lab of sorts, while the second floor has specially designed themed settings; free foot spa, vintage style hair salon and a full corner dedicated to Agatha Paris makeup brand. village11factory.com
Tucked away from the main road in Cheongdam-dong, long-time friends and duo-owners Dami Kwon (G-Dragon’s sister) and stylist Jessica Jung opened Rare Market. It is a treasure chest full of extraordinary and unusual products with a broad range of cult designer’s items and artworks including a water bar (featuring water selections imported from all over the world). instagram.com/raremarket_official/
With two shops, one located on Rodeo road in Cheongdam-dong and the other one in Itaewon, Beaker is the concept store run by Cheil Industries. Here visitors can find their in-house brands; Liful, Band of Outsiders, MSGM and Carhartt, along with brands from style hotspots hailing from major fashion capitals. The huge high ceilings building features a café, a bookstore, and a stationary shop. Recently, Beaker started to introduce products created through collaboration with Korean fashion brands that can only be found at their stores. ssfshop.com/beaker/main
Glad Live Gangnam
Glad Live is a curated lifestyle hotel that puts an emphasis on creative urban design and caters to high-end contemporary sensibility. The hotel houses 210 rooms and suites from spacious superior doubles with queen size beds to the spectacular Glad Pool Suites that offer the ultimate in party space with an in-the-room bathing pool just a few feet from the 4-person capacity super-king-sized bed and a state-of-the-art 80-inch LED TV and sound system. gladlive-hotels.com
Central Seoul: Hannam-dong / Itaewon
The neighbourhoods near the Mosque in Itaewon is developing fast, and with comparable views to what you’d find on the high rises of Gangnam with lower rents, it’s no wonders that this new area attracted artists and independent studios in such a short time.
Mmm Record offers an amazing view that stretches from the Han River to the N Seoul Tower, that would most likely make the city’s top 10 rooftops list. Here, you can dig for records or vintage record players, music tapes, or enjoy one of the best Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches in Seoul.
When scent-related products took South Korea by storm in 2015, it became one of the biggest trends and numerous shops mushroomed all over the city. Cosmic Mansion is THE place to head to if you’re looking for soaps, scented candles or fragrant room sprays. All the candles are eco-friendly and 100% renewable plant-based. Room sprays are one of their most popular products and are light and fresh with your choice of Fig & Bay, Classic and Rosy fragrances. Apart from the scented items, there are other cosmic-themed accessories, such as notebooks and smartphone cases. cosmicmansion.co.kr
MMMG is the place to source gifts, stationery items, cute notebooks and funky bags for the hard to please. Get your caffeine dose at the adjacent Anthracite café, where hipsters come to read fashion magazines or use it as their temporary office. The huge wood tables are often occupied by groups who debate the latest trends. mmmg.net
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© This article was first published in Aug-Sept 2017 edition of World Travel Magazine.
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