10 Female-Led Korean Brands You Need To Know
From celebrity-favorites Leey and why not us, to rising names nibgnus and JICHOI.
With K-pop and K-beauty taking the world by storm, we’ve been gaining more interest in the Korean fashion world. From fresh new labels to brands that are loved by stars like BLACKPINK and ITZY, we’ve gathered a list of female-led Korean brands you should know.
Featured names include Kiko Kostadinov alum JICHOI and Minju Kim, a breakout star of Netflix‘s Next in Fashion. Leey and Moon Choi are popular choices among style gurus like Jennie, while nibgnus and s/e/o deliver unconventional designs for statement-making outfits. Our list additionally spotlights why not us, a label known for its ’90s-inspired looks.
Scroll down to learn about some of the most exciting female-led fashion brands in Korea.
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Building upon her previous experiences at Kiko Kostadinov and creative collective Dadaism Club, designer Ji Hyung Choi is steadily expanding with garments and accessories designed for men and women. The creative showcases tech-inspired looks while incorporating inspirations from her home ground, Seoul.
Fans of Korean DJ and producer Peggy Gou will most likely be familiar with Kirin, a label the musician launched in 2019. Each collection is influenced by Gou’s background and taste in art and fashion. Highlight items from the brand include fuzzy logo fur hats and coats.
WHERE TO SHOP: Select retailers like HBX.
Leey has become a name to watch among Korea’s saturated market of Internet brands. The label, which has been worn by numerous musicians (Hwasa, Red Velvet’s Joy and ITZY, just to name a few), is loved for its wardrobe staples that are both versatile and unique. Building on its success, Leey also launched its menswear line last fall following a similar theme.
WHERE TO SHOP: Leey’s online shop.
Minju Kim became one of the biggest breakout names after winning Netflix’s Next in Fashion last year. With a background at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the designer has been rolling out voluminous skirts and dresses signature to her “dragon princess” aesthetic.
Based in New York with experience at big names like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Moon Choi specializes in deconstructed tailoring, as well as wearable accessories. The designer is known for her unconventional silhouettes, which can be layered atop one another for androgynous looks. Some of her most popular designs include the Collar Short Blazer, which quickly sold out after BLACKPINK’s Jennie wore the piece to her Gentle Monster pop-up last year.
WHERE TO SHOP: Moon Choi’s web store.
Led by Parsons graduate Eileen, nibgnus brings unexpected details to well-made basics. Standout designs include a hoodie and sweatpants set with flower-shaped cut-outs, which are also seen on jackets and leather shirts.
WHERE TO SHOP: nibgnus’ official web store.
A label that celebrates individuality with its timeless and natural styles, s/e/o delivers garments with standout tie-dye prints. Some of its other highlight pieces include fleece jackets, as well as loose-fitted knitwear.
Named after designer Sumin‘s personal nickname, tuming drops a selection of photo-ready garments boasting relaxed silhouettes with a neutral color palette. Some of the brand’s signature pieces include jeans, as well as patchworked knit sweaters.
WHERE TO SHOP: tuming’s website.
Directors Hong Daeun and Yoon In launched vintage shop 2000 Archives after collecting designer goods featuring the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and Helmut Lang. Years later, the duo went from selling vintage finds to creating their own collections under TWO-THOUSAND ARCHIVES MADE. The label directly reflects the designers’ tastes and love towards 2000s fashion with ruffled details, graphic prints and more.
WHERE TO SHOP: TWO-THOUSAND ARCHIVES MADE’s online shop.
why not us made its debut in 2017 and quickly gained popularity among K-pop stars through numerous seasons. Run by designer duo Daram Jeong and Yeonsoo Hong, the label takes inspiration mainly from vintage and retro styles of the ’80s and ’90s.
WHERE TO SHOP: why not us’ website.
- Gang Dongwoo/@gangdongwoo
- Jongsun Yoon/@j0ngsi
- Taeyoung Kim/@taeyoungkkim
- Hair Stylist
- Jina Yoo/Dobee14