Now we are going to take a look at the largest fashion hub in Korea, Seoul′s iconic Dongdaemun Fashion Town,... which is visited by millions of tourists and local shoppers every year.
Park Ji-won has this week′s Industry Insight.
You can′t talk about Korea′s fashion industry without mentioning the Dongdaemun fashion market.
Dongdaemun Fashion Town is the largest clothing market in Korea,... and about one-third of all Korea′s clothing distributors are based near the region.
From textiles and clothing subsidiary materials... to sewing factories and wholesale and retail shops,... if it has to do with clothing and fashion, you′ll find it here.
A designer′s idea can be made into a final product... in just a day.
Let′s take a look.
This is Dongdaemun Fashion Town, the location of more than 30 fashion malls and tens of thousands of small clothing shops.
"It′s really amazing all the district, and all the fashion is really nice."
"I sometimes see items with unique designs that I cannot find at brand name or department stores."
Retail shops are open from midnight or 2 a.m. and wholesale shops open from 8 p.m. to the next morning, meaning the market operates 24 hours-a-day.
What′s peculiar to the district is that it′s like a complete fashion ecosystem, where everything about fashion is clustered together.
Thousands of fabric and clothing subsidiary shops, and more than 20-thousand small sewing factories are all nearby.
Designers can turn their ideas into clothes in just a day by making a sample, and once the design is confirmed, mass production can start after another day or two.
With Dongdaemun′s fast yet sophisticated designs gaining global recognition, many orders now come from abroad.
"Now we get many orders for samples from China, as Chinese buyers visit Dongdaemun often."
The Dongdaemun district makes more money from exports than domestic sales, especially in the wholesale market.
"Roughly 60 percent of the town′s annual revenue comes from exports. International buyers are mostly from China, Taiwan and Japan."
The fashion town also serves as a testbed for many up-and-coming designers.
"This is a hip fashion mecca where you can make and sell clothes. The region helps with my market research and market sourcing."
Some designers have successfully grown from single shops into fashion empires.
This modern brand began from a shop in Dongdaemun,... but has expanded to include dozens of shops in China.
"Codes Combine started as a shop in Dongdaemun in 2002. Now we have many products in many categories, particularly menswear, underwear and a kids′ clothing line."
Fashion Group Hyungji,... which has the number-one market share in women′s clothes as a domestic company,.. also started as a humble shop in Dongdaemun market in the early 1980s.
"The founder of the group still emphasizes the so-called Dongdaemun spirit,... which is characterized by designs that ar