A Quickfire Guide to the Best Shopping in Seoul

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Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek
© Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek

Korean food maestro Linda Lee talks us through the shopping stops to hit up on a pit-stop in Seoul

It’s Seoul Fashion Week and between the shows there is a lot of shopping to schedule in. In South Korea’s capital – the home of K-dramas, K-pop, KFC (sweet, sticky Korean fried chicken), kimchi and sheet masks – there is a platter of consumables available to the visiting shopaholic. And though there is plenty to do in Seoul – between the 37 mountains, thousands of hiking trails, ice festivals, cherry blossom forests, traditional bathouses, disco bowling, temples and the BK Plastic Surgery Museum – it’s the shopping we’re dead set on. 

Here, the ultra-chic Linda Lee, the wonder woman who has kindly brought no fewer than three Korean eateries to London – Fitzrovia’s upscale Koba, the ubiquitious On The Bab and Soho’s tiny Mee Market, offering a marriage of homewares and wholesome quick eats – offers her advice on the capital’s must-visit stores. 

1. Teo Yang

Interior designer Teo Yang has already made his name in Europe with a collaboration with heritage hotel-outfitter, Savoir Beds. His unique lifestyle brand offers a pleasing mixture of traditional and modern Korean design all served in an elegant Hanok – a traditional Korean house.

97-8 Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03056

2. Fermata

“This fashion and lifestyle space brings back memories of studying in Paris. Unique designs with different materials and a carefully selected range, which is a big change from high street shopping. I love their combination of European touch and Korean sense of delicacy.”

30, Itaewon-ro 36-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

3. SSG Cheongdam

Head to this high-end supermarket offering some of the finest goods as well as organic home and body brands. The one-stop shop is located in the heart of a chi-chi Seoul. “The modern interior is irresistible. I also enjoy sitting and eating fashionable food in the middle of the shop before I go and buy some Korean staples (gochujang, dwenjang, soy...) made in house.”

442 Dosan-daero, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

4. Market M*

Opening a new residence in April, the cafe, book shop and restaurant is expanding across a new six-storey bulding. “It’s my hidden gem place,” says Lee. “With everything from stationery to furniture – the simple but clean design gives me so much inspiration.”

13-1, Namsan-dong 2-ga, Joong-gu, Seoul, South Korea

5. Pairs Shop

This denim and sportswear and logo Tee gem is Lee’s go-to for tuning into SoKo’s youth culture. “It tends to be faster, vibrant and more energetic. The shop has vintage goods as well that make me nostalgic for teenage life.”

101, Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

6. Boon the Shop Seoul

“I always feel that I just visited all my favourite department stores all over the world at one stop. There are some ranges that can only be found here and cannot be seen anywhere else in Europe.”

17, Apgujeong-ro 60-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

7. Queen Mama market

Located near countless lo-fi eateries, this plant-filled flea market style concept store sells everything from turtle sponges and cutlery to lightbulbs and fishing nets. Clothing comes and gos, but when it’s in stock it’s from local Korean designers or Gene Kei, a label run by Jinyoung Kang (one half of the store’s designer duo founders who works alongside Hanni Yoon). Plus, there’s excellent coffee on the roof. 

50, Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea