10 Korean Fashion Brands Gaining Popularity in Japan and Worldwide
Korean fashion brands are much loved, and they’re making a big impact in their neighboring country, Japan. Here are 10 of the most popular brands, both in terms of exports and popularity.
1. Gentle Monster
Gentle Monster (젠틀몬스터) is an eyewear brand founded in 2011 in South Korea. Today, the brand has successfully established itself in the premium sunglasses space with its contemporary leanings and operates more than 300 stores in several countries around the world.
Amomento(아모멘토) continues to grow, with a strong presence in both its brand and distribution business. The company first launched ShopAmento, an imported editorial shop. Amomento is known for its avant-garde, structured silhouettes and minimalist vibe. Despite being a women’s brand, the company saw that it was being absorbed by male consumers and expanded to a men’s line in early 2021.
OSOI(오소이) is a bag and accessories brand launched in 2016. OSOI means “slow” and “not in a hurry,” and it represents a brand identity that wants to go at our own pace, even if it means going a little slower.
If you had to pick one brand that’s “hot” in the fashion world right now, especially in Korea, it’s definitely Matin Kim (마뗑킴). It started as a blog market in 2015 and is now available in various department stores.
Mardi Mercredi(마르디 메크르디), which means “Tuesday, Wednesday” in French, is a brand that offers sensual and effortless everyday wear in a French setting. Mardi Mercredi wants to be a young, hip brand that’s accessible. The brand was founded by a designer husband and his business-minded wife, a former MD of a luxury brand.
The name, which takes its cue from the names of the two sisters—Ji-Young and Bo-Young—embodies a sense of sisterhood and was inspired by their names. Young is a homophone, meaning it has two different meanings but the same pronunciation. Brightness is represented by the first Y, and blossom buds by the second. Each has commonalities but individual attractiveness, according to OPEN YY. The brand showcases clothes that are womenswear but have no boundaries between the sexes. It focuses on “agelessness,” the idea that you can’t tell your age. In 2023, the brand officially changed its name to Open YY.
ANDERSSON BELL(엔더슨벨) was founded in Seoul in 2014 by a creative director inspired by the contrasting Scandinavian culture of Korea. The brand set out to create something new by reinterpreting the Scandinavian vibe as seen through the eyes of Koreans.
The ‘Andersson’ in Anderson Bell is one of the most common Swedish surnames, and the ‘Bell’ symbolizes a traditional Korean temple.
Fusing these two cultural traits into one, Andersson Bell is no longer limited to the Scandinavian vibe, but also incorporates the contrasting cultures of Korea and Sweden, giving Andersson Bell its own sense of balance and uniqueness.
The brand produces a wide range of clothing including knitwear, sweatshirts, hoodies, short and long sleeves. Among them, knit vests and sweaters are very popular.
KIMHEKIM(김해김) featuring a minimalist color palette of trench coats, classic white shirts, and wide-legged denim pants, KIMHEKIM uniquely embodies “Korean chic” with hanbok-inspired materials and details.
Founded in 2018, it is a South Korean fashion brand. POST ARCHIVE FACTION (PAF; 포스트 아카이브 팩션), also known as ‘PAF’ or ‘파프’ for short. The name Post Archive Faction translates to a group that creates archives that will be preserved in the future. They prioritize experimentation and pragmatism, and have successfully led their brand.