Businesses cash in on Fashion WeekMadeinkoreablog
Every year since 2000, Seoul Fashion Week has drawn local and overseas fashion gurus, buyers and the larger public together in a festival to showcase the country’s talented designers and upcoming fashion trends.
The biannual event — held every March and October — not only offers sneak previews of Korea’s latest fashion designs for the seasons ahead, but also attracts wide attention from the public as well as international buyers.
Alongside local designers and independent labels looking to show off their collections at the event, big businesses are also eyeing the event as an alluring opportunity to promote their brands and effectively reach out to potential customers.
This year’s Hera Seoul Fashion Week, held at Dongdaemun Design Plaza from Oct. 16-22, saw participation from 59 designer brands, seven of which were corporate design labels that hosted fashion shows during the weeklong event.
Hinting at the growing corporate appeal of Seoul’s flagship fashion event, its name was officially changed to include “Hera” this year, after organizers scored their first-ever corporate sponsorship from the leading cosmetics brand under South Korea’s beauty giant AmorePacific.
Alongside Hera, corporate fashion brands including Kolon FnC’s Lucky Chouette and Supercomma B, Shinwon Group’s VanHart di Albazar and Metrocity showcased their 2016 spring-summer collections throughout the fashion week.
Kolon FnC’s two fashion brands reportedly decided to join SFW for the first time this year, eyeing new business opportunities and vast marketing potential.
“SFW draws a lot of foreign buyers as well as visitors in their teens and 20s. Given this, the event gives us opportunities to break into new markets while also helping to promote our brand to young people,” a Kolon FnC spokesperson told The Korea Herald.
“When Supercomma B held its first show in March, the firm saw an increased number of visitors to its websites as well as heightened sales of items worn by the celebrity guests who attended the show,” he said.
Lucky Chouette, which attracted a telling number of international bloggers and buyers to its show held last Saturday, has been receiving calls of interest from a number of international buyers after its first show last Saturday, according to the Kolon official.
At the same time, Metrocity hosted one of the biggest shows at SFW on Tuesday which brought together an audience of more than 1,200 people. Some 60 items featured during the show will be sold in countries including Korea, Japan, Italy and the United States.
“As an Italian-born global brand, Metrocity has been showcasing its collection to overseas buyers and media by taking part in SFW for the past three seasons,” said a Metrocity spokesperson.
A buyer who had expressed interest in Metrocity’s 2015 spring-summer womenswear collection featured at the event in October 2014 played a key role in helping the brand enter Florence-based luxury fashion retailer Luisa Via Roma, according to the official.
Unconventional corporate players also joined the fashion event this week, including Hyundai Homeshopping, which put together a special collection featuring the winter season items scheduled to go on sale through its channels at the end of this year.
“We decided to participate once again this year, as Seoul Fashion Week is a great opportunity to promote not only our company but our partnering brands,” said a Hyundai Homeshopping official.
As SFW’s most unusual participant, Korea’s largest food delivery brand Baedal Minjok debuted its new fashion brand Baemin, launched in partnership with designer Kye Han-hee of KYE on Sunday.
Meanwhile, this year’s SFW attracted not only thousands of spectators but also invited an enlarged pool of major international buyers and media, including SAK’s Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Le Bon Marche and Gallery Lafayette, as well as Vogue Germany, Vogue Italia, W Magazine, Fantastic Man and others, according to organizers.