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South Korean fashion

Seoul fashion boutique co-founded by G-Dragon’s sister is place to be for K-pop stars and Korean celebrities

With Seoul Fashion Week well under way, we check out the South Korean fashion boutique co-founded by G-Dragon’s sister Dami Kwon that is fast becoming a favourite spot for K-pop stars and local fashionistas: Rare Market

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 8:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 March, 2018, 8:39pm

Since its launch four years ago, Rare Market has quickly established itself as one of the most popular multi-brand fashion boutiques in South Korea.

With an eclectic selection of up-and-coming brands and a roster of K-pop stars and local celebrities as clientele, the store is a favourite shopping destination for local fashion enthusiasts and visiting tourists alike.

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Located in Apgujeong, an upscale Seoul neighbourhood, the shop is run by co-founders Jessica Jung and Dami Kwon, who say their friendship and mutual love of fashion developed into a business.

“Dami and I both worked in the fashion industry,” Jung says. “We were long-time friends and decided to start a business together to launch new brands in Korea.”

“[Love of fashion] is natural for me,” Kwon says. “My mother liked to make her own dresses; my brother, G-Dragon, is also a fashion enthusiast. I think it’s just in our DNA.”

Jung and Kwon’s shop is named for their shared goal of developing a “rare” market for new and unusual brands in South Korea. Fashion insiders have been big supporters of their buying style and store concept, Jung says, but in terms of choosing brands or curating each season, “we just do what we like”.

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As for styling, the pair recommends that customers mix and match the different brands in store each season. The store currently features a mix of streetwear and avant-garde brands such as Marine Serre, Wendy & Jim, Paco Rabanne, Y Project, Lapima sunglasses and Nicholas Kirkwood.

The duo launched their own brand, We11 Done, just over a year ago. The street-style label is based on the idea of “what I wore yesterday”, Jung says.

“We don’t follow trends … The design is based on our personal experiences and each season’s experiences are different.”

Rare Market as a shop is also constantly in flux, with the store decor and concept changing roughly every year. “All the interiors and exteriors are part of the visual merchandising and process that makes us unique as a Korean retailer,” Kwon says.

Here are a few key brands available at Rare Market and what Kwon has to say about them.

Ground Zero

“Ground Zero is a creative contemporary brand made by the designer duo brothers Eri and Philip Chu. This simple T-shirt shows the sarcasm and humour of the brand.”

We11 Done

“This is something we want to wear every day in a non-boring way. This skirt is good to mix and match with sweatshirts and hoodies.”

Awake

“Natalia Alaverdian’s unique eye for fashion has developed through a multidisciplinary career encompassing styling, art direction and photography.”

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Martine Rose

“Martine Rose is one of the most talented designers of today.”