Seoul’s newest lifestyle destination has opened its doors to a massive response from fashion lovers and trendsetters alike. No wonder that The Hyundai Yeouido, the latest venture by the group behind Hyundai Department Store, has been the place most often visited and shared on social media by everyone in fashion recently, as the lineup doesn’t disappoint. Seoul’s largest department store is filled with brands that will delight visitors, from the most classic names in high fashion to up-and-coming local designers.
With fashion and lifestyle stores filling approximately 4 floors of the 7-floored building, there is sure to be much to see. The official floor guide designates Floor 1 to esteemed fashion houses like Prada, Balenciaga and Gucci, while Floor B2, nicknamed ‘Creative Ground’, is filled with newer, unique names aimed towards younger consumers. Floor 2 is occupied with niche international designers like Lemaire, Isabel Marant and 3.1 Philip Lim, as well as various accessory brands like Chrome Hearts, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo. Rounding out the overall selection is Floor 3, brimming with menswear and local niche brands.
Though the extensive selection can be a little intimidating at first glance, we’re here to help you out. Here are our top picks of fashion stores to take notice of on your trip to The Hyundai.
Swedish lifestyle brand Arket’s choice of location for their first store in Korea – and Asia – is sound, given the traffic at The Hyundai and the impressive tenant list, not to mention the fashion-forward mindset of the people in Seoul. If their parent company Hennes & Mauritz is widely regarded as being ‘too young’ and their sister brand COS is similarly thought of as being ‘too pristine’, Arket brings a selection of clothes and lifestyle items that meet right in the middle. True to its Scandinavian roots, Arket offers clean, neat silhouettes suitable for both everyday and office wear, all at a reasonable price point. Layers are a strong focal point of the typical Arket-style outfit – combining the different pieces can result in very different styling, which is a strong plus point of the brand.
Arket’s simultaneous opening of two stores in Korea – the second of which is located in Garosu-gil – has been all the fashion world has been talking of lately. Both stores house the eponymous Arket Cafe, where freshly-made coffee and a variety of pastries, from cookies to pound cakes and cinnamon rolls.
Besides that, Arket also offers a decent selection of lifestyle and home-decor items, like home fabrics, ceramics and prints. Though it may not be the strongest draw for visitors, many tiny treasures can be found between the racks, so be sure to take a look.
Esteemed select store Heights’s second physical store, Heights Exchange, offers a holistic shopping experience for any fashion-forward person. Well-known for stocking all manner of cool products and for housing the most trendy brands, their The Hyundai outlet delivers on expectations, creating an aesthetically-pleasing space that’s so well curated it cannot disappoint. Situated on Floor B2, the store employs a more open, kiosk-like look through the segregation of space by metal racks instead of real walls. Adding to the overall atmosphere is the row of vinyls along the walls, specially curated by Soulscape for the store. The vinyl section is extensive and larger than most, which is sure to be a draw for music-lovers and vinyl hobbyists alike.
Featuring well-known streetwear brands like Stussy, TheOpen Product and their own line of Heights merchandise, the selection is commendable as always. The variety of offerings ensures maximum satisfaction for any budding hipster.
Besides a wide selection of clothing pieces and headgear, Heights Exchange also offers other odds and ends like skateboards, books and scented products. Products by American sports brand New Balance are also sold here, as with the original Heights store.
Just as the acronym BGZT suggests, this experimental concept store is run by online second-hand marketplace Bungae Jangteo. Adding a sophisticated edge to the original platform’s mechanism, BGZT Lab creates a whole-new shopping experience where they offer limited-edition shoes from seasons past and legendary models that have since gone out of production. Some well-known collaboration products include sneakers from the Dior x Air Jordan line, as well as Bigbang member G-Dragon’s Peaceminusone collaborative Air Force model with Nike.
Though some of the products on sale here are pre-owned items, they are all in top condition, as ensured by the team behind the store. Most of the shoes on display are wrapped carefully in plastic to protect it against damage, and the prices of each pair can be found through scanning the QR code on the bottom of the soles.
Besides shoes, figurines such as BearBricks also line the walls of BGZT Lab. Many of these are also limited edition models or collaboration products, making this store worth a drop-by for collectors or hobbyists.