5 cool design and concept stores in Seoul

Design darlings

5 cool design and concept stores in Seoul
Seoul's a hotbed for cool concepts — here are 5 places that take retail design to the next level

1. Stylenanda Pink Hotel


First impressions: The Korean version of Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel hopes you enjoy your stay
Design story: The store is themed around a '50s-inspired hotel, with six floors of retail, art and cafe. Situated in Myeongdong, its interiors don't entirely look out of place when you're shopping for a new lippe. Whether you're sussing out finds from a laundromat or trying not to make awkward eye contact from across the table in what could have been a swimming pool, don't forget to have some fun, too.
Name drop: Stylenanda's clothes and makeup from 3CE

37-8 Myeongdong 8-gil, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul.

2. Queen Mama Market

Queen Mama Market

First impressions: A mammoth of lushness, a cocoon of surprises
Design story: This seven-storey building is a sanctuary for all things home and decor. You can pick up anything from serving plates to dishwashing liquid and scented candles, or simply take a moment to admire their conceptualised store display, which favours woodern crates and draped light fixtures. What's a concept store without an in-house cafe? Theirs is located 0n the top floor
Name drop: Local label Gene Kei sits among plants such as cacti, poppies and pine trees

50 Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

3. DAS 107 by Kasina

DAS 107

First impressions: If Secret Service has a vault just for kicks, this will be it
Design story: Local interior designers Urbantainer saw the humble containters as the main driving force in design, using materials such as ascon for its floors, and custom-made zinc furniture for a 007-esque vibe. Local retailer Kasina has placed it strategically in the youthful Hongdae neighbourhood as well
Name drop: It's all adidas, baby

361-16 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.

4. Boontheshop

Peter Marino

First impressions: A gallery-like space that showcases items that almost look inaccessible
Design story: Peter Marino's the luxury world's go-to guy when it comes to designing flagships or revamps across the globe, and Boontheshop is no exception. A palette of concrete and raw metals gives this concept store a stylish space to unwind to, and invest on some serious retail therapy
Name drop: Alexander McQueen, Sacai and Maison Margiela are just some of their clients

21 Apgujeong-ro 60-gil, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 

5. Hyundai Card Cooking Library

Hyundai cooking class

First impressions: A space you'd want to come home to
Design story: London design studio Blacksheep is responsible for this all-in-one destination, which includes a deli, cafe, library and kitchen, bridging together aspects of travel, music, design and cooking. Our hideout choice is within the luxurious, solid enf-grain oak of the library, which stocks more than 10,000 cookery books. 

18 Seolleung-ro 152-gil, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 

Check out other cool Korean stuff here.

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Text: Adibah Isa

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