The online fashion platform market in Korea has always been particularly hot – given the convenience that is the norm of life here, it has become so common for Korean people to order things – anything – online and receive it the very next day. What more for this nation of people who have style and love to show it off? Though there are a few heavyweights in the industry, like Musinsa, W Concept and Zigzag, all of which play their own roles and serve their own separate target markets, there is a constant rise of new players in the market that draw us in with their own charm and unique characteristics. Case in point: 29cm and Hago, two platforms which have recently gained traction amongst consumers and who enjoy steady, regular traffic on their apps. What sets them apart, though?
Though 29cm is a platform for fashion items first and foremost, it seems to have found its niche in lifestyle and other items instead. From furniture, philosophical art magazines and even cookware, 29cm has become a new favorite place for those who love interior design to discover new, interesting items of quality to bring home with them.
I have even purchased tickets for an art exhibition off 29cm before, as they were doing an early-bird event on the platform; I managed to get a good deal, but found it funny how the exhibition used 29cm as their partnering platform given their supposed focus on fashion.
This is not to say that 29cm has completely dropped off the map in terms of fashion, though – they have a wide range of popular clothing brands available there. Sadly, they seem to have a lack of exclusive labels signed to them, meaning that customers will also be able to access these designers through other platforms. It is useful to keep around to take advantage of popup deals or to search for existing stock of popular items that are sold out elsewhere, so I do keep it around and browse on it from time to time.
Another niche fashion platform, Hago was probably one of the first platforms to help brands crowdfund for products. They hosted deals where customers would have to preorder a product in advance, but would be able to get them at a discounted price in exchange for the long wait. This allowed brands to sell more merchandise without having to have a large sum of capital up front to spend on production fees, and helped guarantee sales, keeping stock manageable as well. This was a really ingenious system that helped out a lot of new brands as they were starting out, and this system then spread to other platforms as well.
Hago does have its fair share of exclusive brands, but most of them are only just starting out and do not have many products or much else to their name. It’s a good way to discover new brands and designers, however, and help them gain popularity.