Fashion buyers, both at home and abroad, who want to see and buy the latest fashions should go to the Dongdaemun Showroom in Seoul.
|Fashion show on a crosswalk||Seoul 365 Fashion Show|
Paris, the heart of global culture, has held the lead spot in the fashion industry for the past century through its artistic merit and creativity. Milan, in particular, consistently offers the most widely recognized fashions in the world, and the city has a unique modern quality that attracts the attention of international celebrities. Today, the globalization of K-fashion is transforming many corners of Seoul into fashion show runways.
Open fashion shows at all types of venues, including tourist destinations, cultural sites, open-air theaters, and train stations, are being held in Seoul on a daily basis, allowing citizens to enjoy them, and the fashions they present, as part of their daily lives.
|2nd Condé Nast International Luxury Conference||Suzy Menkes receives Seoul Honorary Citizen Certificate|
Seoul has definitely caught the eye of the global fashion industry. Suzy Menkes, fashion guru and online editor of the international edition of Vogue, which has 38 million readers around the world, is so interested in Seoul that she visited twice in 2015. She is proof of Seoul’s potential to become a hub of the Asian fashion market and a future leader of the world’s luxury fashion industry, and decided to host the 2nd Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Seoul.
|Dongdaemun Showroom||Buyers at the showroom|
The Dongdaemun Showroom, which recently opened in Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), will serve as the venue for the exhibition and sale of the fashion products of more than 100 popular new designers, and provide a joint business platform for the designers to enter overseas markets. The first public showroom installed and operated by a local autonomy in Korea, it covers an area of 1,440 square meters in the Yigansumun Exhibition Hall within the DDP, which boasts excellent accessibility to the wholesale fashion market in the nearby Dongdaemun area. Exhibition halls and consultation lounges have been installed on the first floor and first basement level. The showroom is operated as a B2B fashion distribution business, where samples are exhibited for buyers, and contracts and orders are made following consultations.
The Dongdaemun Showroom has already established itself as a major center of the fashion industry in Europe and the U.S. Fashion items, such as shoes, bags, and hats, as well as clothes and accessories, for each season are exhibited in a single space through a collaborative effort, and the showroom offers full support for domestic and international buyers in terms of consultations and finalization of orders. As international buyers sign purchase agreements only after examining the products, the showroom is expected to contribute to the expansion of promising new brands into the market and help competitive brands increase their revenues.
Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) launched the “Chaoroom” brand to represent all of the brands of the Dongdaemun Showroom. As low brand recognition is a major obstacle to market expansion, the creators of the products showcased at the Dongdaemun Showroom have decided to adopt the Chaoroom brand as a means of effectively targeting the Chinese market and attracting big buyers. There are tens and thousands of fashion brands in Seoul, but the city government’s main objective is to reverse the decline of the Dongdaemun commercial fashion district, caused by the expansion of global SPA (specialty-store/retailer of private-label apparel) brands and rapid growth of the online market. In particular, Seoul intends to implement various support programs, based on the opinions of fashion industry insiders and experts, in order to provide assistance to new designers who hope to advance into global markets and help prepare entrepreneurs looking to launch new businesses overseas.
|Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon delivers a speech||Dongdaemun Showroom’s “Chaoroom”|
Every year, samples of seasonal fashions will be gathered from a pool of some 200 fashion brands of small- and medium-sized enterprises, designers, and aspiring entrepreneurs located in Seoul and exhibited in the showroom. In addition, a specialized operator will provide not only space and equipment but also advice on product planning, production, consulting, distribution, sales, and expansion into overseas markets.
The operator will offer consultations on various fashion concepts according to different seasons and themes and give advice regarding product planning and commercialization plans, as requested by buyers. It will also collaborate with the Dongdaemun Future Foundation to provide pattern and sample production space and equipment to new and aspiring entrepreneurial designers who are struggling under the financial burden of producing samples, and build a network with leading sewing factories so as to facilitate effective and timely production. Furthermore, the Seoul Business Agency and Korea Textile Trade Association will enter into a business agreement with the aim of eliminating any fabric supply problems for Chaoroom designers and providing them with information on the latest materials and results of trends analyses. In addition, specialized consulting services will be offered to new designers regarding all aspects of the fashion business, including the protection of designer’s rights, distribution, and trade business affairs.
Through the establishment of the Chaoroom brand, Seoul is working to increase the brand recognition and confidence of new designers. It is also striving to attract big buyers by rolling out various programs designed to increase designers’ contact with such buyers. The city plans to invite domestic and foreign fashion companies to host one-on-one consulting sessions and specialized contract consultations and dispatch representatives to attend and promote K-fashion at fashion fairs abroad. In particular, Seoul is pursuing a plan that specifically targets the Chinese market and aims to establish Chaoroom as a franchise in the Chinese market. In particular, the city hopes to establish a joint venture with a leading Chinese company and open three stores in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Qingdao before the end of this year. In the longer term, after successfully cultivating the Chinese market, it intends to build upon its success and further expand into other global markets, namely Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
|Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon engages in dialog with overseas buyers.||Seoul’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)|
The showroom’s designers will strive to promote their products in the domestic retail market (department stores and shopping malls that directly serve consumers) under the Chaoroom brand. Retail and wholesale stores will also be opened in the Chinese market.
SMG plans to promote the development of small- and- medium-sized fashion brands as well as new and aspiring entrepreneurial designers who have creative ideas and great capabilities but lack the funds and knowhow to enter global markets, and provide them with a sales channel through the Chaoroom brand, guaranteed by Seoul City itself. This support will allow the Dongdaemun Showroom to continue growing as the most representative fashion brand and sales platform in Dongdaemun, revitalize the K-fashion industry, and help generate new jobs for youths.
Today, the fashion industry is focused not only on selling clothes, but on selling lifestyles and dreams as well. Fashion is the ceaseless pursuit of creativity with the goal of achieving meaningful change, and has become a vital part of modern society and culture. Going forward, we expect that Seoul, as major fashion hub, will create a new world beyond the world of fashion, a field that connects the past, present, and future through communication.