In recent years we’ve seen Korean fashion, culture and music dominate the world stage. Whether its the addictive beats of K-Pop (thanks to a little song called ‘Gangnam Style’), Samsung’s cutting edge technology or the proliferation of Korean cuisine and restaurants, it seems Korean culture is everywhere. In fashion and menswear, we’ve seen a similar trend. Korean fashion brands – in particular, menswear brands – are increasingly being recognized for their unique aesthetic, innovative cuttings and tailoring. Korean designers are now sought after by major brands and we’ve seen how department stores are devoting entire sections dedicated to Korean menswear brands. Here we’ve put together a list of the top Korean menswear brands you need to know.
Perhaps the earliest Korean designer to make a name on the global menswear scene, Wooyoungmi first showed its collection at Paris Mens Fashion Week back in 2002. The Seoul-based label is known for its detail-oriented approach to menswear which often has a futuristic edge. Central to the brand’s aesthetics is its unconventional use of fabrics often inspired by womenswear – an approach which comes from the brand’s lead designers, sisters Woo Youngmi and Woo Janghee, who are female designers designing menswear (a rarity in today’s fashion scene).
See Wooyoungmi’s latest collection below.
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Avant-garde, quirky and innovative are three words that instantly come to mind when you see designs from Juun. J. Debuting his namesake collection in Paris Mens Fashion Week in back in 2007, Juun. J is probably best known for his use of neoprene and play on proportions as displayed on this jacket and this shirt from SSENSE. Largely inspired by youth and street culture, Juun. J calls his brand ‘street tailoring’ as he brings a dose of luxury to everyday wardrobe staples. Korean music acts like G Dragon, 2PM and Big Bang are often seen wearing Juun. J’s eye-catching designs.
View Juun. J’s latest collection below.
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Beyond Closet may not be well known outside of Korea, but it’s only a matter of time before an international audience appreciates it. Beyond Closet is the epitome of men’s fashion in Korea right now: bright colours and preppy charm with a focus on accessories. It may be an unusual attribute to mention, but the brand’s clothing is often very practical too, with lots of pockets in which to keep all your keys, wallet, sunglasses and more. Expect Beyond Closet to be featured in many more men’s fashion blogs and menswear publications.
Video of Beyond Closet’s collection below.
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Mode Creation Munich, more commonly known as MCM, is technically a European brand (it has roots in Germany and Switzerland), but it has blossomed under the direction of its South Korean CEO Kim Sung-joo. Under Ms Kim’s vision, MCM has since become the Korean ‘It’ brand. Whilst the brand does all forms of clothing, it is better known for its leather apparel, in particular its iconic backpack featuring its unique monogram. Like many luxury brands, MCM focuses detail and quality; it’s bags are meticulously crafted and each bear a signature brass plate unique to the piece.
Video of MCM’s latest collection campaign below.
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General Idea was established more than 10 years ago but it was only featured in New York Men’s Fashion Week in 2009. The brand is commonly associated with sportswear since many of its collections have loose tailoring, breathable fabric and comfortable designs. Unlike other brands featured in this list, General Idea is not a luxury men’s fashion brand. In fact, the brand is highly affordable – for example, this jacket featured in its latest runway collection is about USD 300. The brand’s utilitarian appeal and reasonable pricing should see it appear in many retailers soon.
View General Idea’s latest collection below.
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