Home > Style > Fashion > PAF to Hyein Seo: Top Korean streetwear brands everyone’s crushing on
PAF to Hyein Seo: Top Korean streetwear brands everyone’s crushing on

Effortless, oversized and gender fluid-pieces — Korean streetwear has it all. Here is a list of top brands that ace K-fashion looks.

And, if you’re wondering how Korean street style took the fashion industry by storm, here’s how it evolved. In the 1990s, entertainment, culture and fashion from around the world became accessible in Korea as a result of globalisation. Streetwear, which was led by the Western market, became wildly popular owing to more and more Koreans taking inspiration from Western films, celebrities and fashion icons.

This demand was well-received by homegrown brands in the country which further lead to the Korean fashion industry hitting the perfect note. It was in 2000 that Seoul Fashion Week (now held biannually in South Korea) debuted and made its presence felt in the fashion world. In fact, in their latest show in March 2023, it was Korean streetwear that took centre stage.

Additionally, in recent years, with the popularity of K-drama and K-pop, more people have taken fashion inspiration from Korean celebs, giving them a unique identity. Undoubtedly, some of the best brands by Korean designers are letting the world fulfil their pop-star-fashion dreams.

How is Korean streetwear different?

Big logos, vibrant colours, layering, oversized silhouettes and unisex clothing are some of the prominent characteristics of the Korean streetwear style. What makes South Korean fashion stand out are the bold graphics and statement designs.

From ADERERROR (Shop now on HBX) to Post Archive Fashion (Shop now on Ssense), take your pick from the Korean streetwear brands listed below. Some of these have been worn by Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, J-Hope of BTS, Cha Eun-woo of ASTRO and other celebrities as well as popular K-pop fashion icons.

Here are some of the best Korean streetwear brands to keep a tab on

1 /7

A fresh take on everyday ensembles, ADERERROR is a one-stop online Korean streetwear store. Their collections include apparel, bags, shoes, jewellery and accessories. Since its establishment in 2014 by an anonymous collaborative team, this brand’s designs have been spotted on stars including J-Hope and RM of BTS, Hoshi of Seventeen and Cha Eun-woo of ASTRO. 

The new logo for ADERERROR is the real showstopper. Even the solid, baggy looks appear quite fashionable with it. The label has a variety of prints such as stripes and checks that are ideal for creating a statement every day. What makes this Korean brand worth the purchase is its high-quality clothing. With ADERERROR’s selection of sneakers, backpacks, headwear and much more, you can complete your K-fashion wardrobe easily.

(Image: Courtesy ADERERROR/ Instagram)

This brand is well-known for its asymmetrical cuts, sportswear influences and cutting-edge technical design expressions. Launched in 2018 by Dongjoon Lim and Sookyo Jeong, Post Archive Faction (PAF) brings an avant-garde approach to streetwear.

The collections have a dominant colour scheme of black, grey, tan and white. Each piece by PAF is conceptually designed and relies majorly on prototyping. You can shop high-quality basics from this fashion brand, including a range of T-shirts, pants, coats, jackets and hoodies.

(Image: Courtesy Post Archive Faction/ Instagram)

Founded in 2010 by Nadan Cho, Jonkyu Choi and Inwook Park as a menswear brand, Thisisneverthat is worn by women too, because of their basic designs suitable for both genders. Some of the favourite K-pop stars such as Sandara Park, Hoony and Yoon of Winner, Mingyu and Wonwoo of Seventeen, and Key and Onew of SHINee, have been spotted wearing this brand.

What gives this Korean streetwear brand its distinct identity is its typography and logo prints. The collection features old-school button-down shirts, rugged denims, plaid and raglan T-shirts, baseball jerseys, caps, trucker jackets and a lot more.

(Image: Courtesy Thisisneverthat/ Instagram)

4 /7

Hyein Seo, a South Korean designer, started her eponymous label in 2014. Catering to the likes of celebrities including Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna and NewJeans members, Hyein Seo showcases an evident blend of streetwear and luxury. The aesthetic of Hyein Seo has developed from what was formerly referred to as ‘street couture’ to incorporate more handcrafted embellishments and natural elements throughout the designs.

Check out the designer label’s intricate detailed outerwear, shirts and hoodies, tops, dresses, skirts, pants, swimwear, bags and accessories and add them to your wardrobe right now.

(Image: Courtesy Hyein Seo)

5 /7

Launched in 2017, the brand is solely named after Kanghyuk Choi, one of the two designers along with Sanglak Shon who started it. KANGHYUK was worn by A$AP Rocky in the music video of “Tony Tone” in 2019. It was then that it gained more popularity.

The brand’s bold oversized pieces are consciously designed with a balance of boldness and simplicity. With special attention to comfort, KANGHYUK pieces are crafted in softer materials like cotton, microfiber and chamude, instead of nylon. Their outerwear often takes design cues from space suits and airbags. The streetwear line offers designs that can be worn by people of all genders.

(Image: Courtesy KANGHYUK)

6 /7

Dami Kwon, well-known South Korean pop musician G-Dragon’s sister, and Jessica Jung launched the Seoul-based brand We11done in 2015, a year after they debuted their concept store, Rare Market.

We11done offers large, vibrant-coloured clothing for both men and women. Expect heavy cotton jersey tees, typography hoodies, sleek dresses, tailored blazers, loose-fitted jackets and the like, created using quality materials. Think of this brand to get peppy streetwear looks.

(Image: Courtesy We11done)

7 /7

South Korean designer Jung Wook Jun is making a lot of noise with his label Juun.J owing to his vision and understanding of genderless apparel. Launched in 2007, his collections are showcased at runways such as Paris Fashion Week and Pitti Uomo. In order to support his conviction of blending fashion and art, the imaginative designer also works with artists, including Oleg Dou, Greg Simkins, Paolo Pedroni and Hajime Sorayama.

His designs revolve around unexpected volumes and forms and include monochromatic outfits and reinterpretations of vintage items. Juun.J offers themed collections every season — trench coats, oversized coats, puff jackets, blazers and jumpsuits — all reimagined, which strike a perfect balance between avant-garde and streetwear.

(Image: Courtesy Juun.J)

Hero & Featured Image: Courtesy ADERERROR

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What is Korean streetwear called?

Answer: Although Korean street fashion has no specific name, it is known to have three distinct styles — Hongdae street fashion, Ewha street fashion and retro street fashion. Hongdae streetwear is oversized and bulky, making it popular in skate culture. Ewha streetwear includes soft, casual and feminine pieces. And retro streetwear makes use of vintage styles such as fleece shirts, hoodies and denim jackets.

Question: How big is the Korean streetwear market?

Answer: In 2023, it is anticipated that the Korean fashion market would generate USD 32.64 billion in sales, reportedly. Some of the leading streetwear brands contributing to these are ADERERROR and Acmé De La Vie.

Question: What is Korean fashion style called?

Answer: K-fashion or K-style are two terms used to describe Korean fashion. As K-pop and K-dramas are becoming more well-known, Korean fashion is being widely appreciated in youth culture.

Question: What aesthetic is Korean fashion?

Answer: Oversized streetwear, preppy academia (chic school outfits mixed with sporty styles), retro styles, feminine outfits and modern formal ensembles are some of the key aesthetics of Korean fashion.

Question: How can you sport Korean fashion?

Answer: Some of the easy ways to sport Korean fashion include choosing neutral and pastel coloured outfits, wearing streetwear garments and shoes, layering with oversized outerwear and occasionally dressing up in coordinated ensembles.

Question: Why is Korean fashion so popular?

Answer: The Korean wave (Hallyu) is a major worldwide phenomenon leading to the popularity of K-dramas, K-pop and K-beauty. The popularity of Korean fashion has increased along with the rise in fans of Korean culture and style.

Question: What kind of aesthetic does BTS have?

Answer: The seven-member K-pop hit from South Korea known as Bangtan Sonyeondan, or ‘Beyond the Scene,’ has become an unstoppable force in the music business. And, they are also lauded for their show-stopping aesthetic in fashion. BTS' outfits are a reflection of their star status, featuring a diverse range of brands from American streetwear to French couture and Japanese artisan fashion. The styles span from trendy sweatshirts to tailored suits, from unrestrained glamour to casual cool.

Question: What fashion do K-pop idols sport?

Answer: K-pop fashion stars are renowned for blending luxury with streetwear and dressing, whether they are on stage or the red carpet.

PAF to Hyein Seo: Top Korean streetwear brands everyone’s crushing on

An interior design graduate, Dinal is a writer by passion and profession. She is an avid traveller and has worked with lifestyle brands and publications like Nykaa Fashion and Little Black Book. When she's not recommending the coolest things to do, she explores offbeat villages, writes poems, and goes stargazing! She is an enthusiast of all things handmade.


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