These days, teenagers are more sensitive to fashion trends than in the past.
In Korea, until just a few years ago, outdoor fashion was widely popular among both teenagers and adults. Many teenagers wore padded winter coats from a certain expensive brand. According to Samsung Fashion Lab, from 2014 to 2017, the size of the outdoor market has decreased from 7,160 trillion won to 4,500 trillion won.
The learning of fashion preferences/trend to street fashion may be the reason for the diminishing, which begs the question: what is street fashion? By definition, “street fashion” is a fashion trend that displays people’s personality but it still highly trendy and cool. The term can also be understood from a practical standpoint since its name comes from the fact that the runway for such fashion is literally the “street.” Furthermore, since many teenagers are very interested in fashion, they influence each other and their communication regarding the information about fashion is very quick.
It was easy to see the street fashion brands that are currently popular with teens and the trends that influence them after visiting Starfield Hanam, a big shopping mall in Hanam, Korea. Fashion brands for younger generations were mostly positioned on the first floor: street fashion brands such as Nerdy, Newera, Vans, Covernat, and multi-brand shops, which sell fashion products from many different brands, such as Wonder Place.
|[Wonder Place. Photo Credit: Shinyong Park]|
Wonder Place, the largest multi-brand street fashion shops at the shopping mall, was especially crowded. All fitting rooms were full, and there were so many people that it was hard to move around inside the store. Because it was a weekday, most of the customers were in their 20s. The advertisement models were young K-Pop idols, suggesting that Wonder Place’s target customers’ base is people in their teens and 20s.
While there were many designs that are easy to wear, there were also clothes that were highly unique, which celebrities enjoy wearing, and hip-hop style products depended on the brands. The price may vary among many street fashion brands, but Wonder Place’s sweatshirts were mostly between 30,000 and 100,000 won. In the mall, there were many low-price fashion brands, which teenagers are easy to buy, rather than expensive foreign street brands.
Eunmi Lee, the manager of the Nerdy store, explained that it looks like street fashion is popular among people in their teens and 20s because they use celebrities as advertisement models. She also mentioned that younger generations tend to follow the fashion styles of famous celebrities.
Moreover, Lee addressed the power of social media to accelerate the spread of such new fashion styles. She emphasized the role of K-Pop idols and celebrities leading the most recent street fashion trends.
|[Interview with Eunmi Lee, Photo Credit: So Jeong Shin]|
It seems that the globalization of K-Pop is affecting the fashion of young people around the world even more.
I also asked Chloe Shin, a freshman at Korea International School Jeju Campus, a few questions in order to know the opinions of teenagers.
Shin claimed that famous hip-hop musicians largely influence their fashion styles because hip-hop is famous among teenagers. Moreover, she, as Lee said, mentioned the power of social media and television programs, which feature many famous K-Pop idols and hip-hop musicians that makes teenagers want to imitate the fashion of their favorite celebrities they like.
|[Interview with Chloe Shin, Photo Credit: Alex Bae]|
For teenagers, celebrities influenced their fashion style more than any clothing brand by suggesting new fashion styles. Furthermore, teenagers, who frequently watch YouTube videos, are easily available to new fashions. According to the data analysis company Data-Planet, those in their teens used YouTube’s mobile application much more frequently compared to those from their 20s to 50s.
The increase in social media usage and the increase of the view rate of television programs about K-Pop and hip-hop is accelerating the spread of the new fashion styles among teenagers.
Sophomore (Grade 10)
Korea International School Jeju Campus
Shinyong Park email@example.com
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