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Sinsa and Apgujeong shopping guide

Get the best from stores at the forefront of Seoul fashion–with our pick of the best shops in Gangnam’s trendsetting neighborhoods of Apgujeong and Sinsa

Written by
jin soo lee

There are two neighborhoods constantly buzzing amongst Seoul's trendsetters: Apgujeong and Sinsa. While at first glance you might think they're just there for the fancy restaurants and nice cafes, you'll later observe that no one leaves the district empty handed. All the trendsetters are shopping and they're shopping at these store right now. Don't miss out.

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Well, we’re not saying that select stores are always better than department stores. But if you’re looking for something unique, the Shinsegae Department store is probably not the best destination. 10 Corco Como, Åland and Beaker are always a safe bet, but the fashion gurus flock elsewhere. One of them is P.B.A.B (Please Bring A Bottle), perched in the alleys of Nonhyeon-dong. Former retail merchandiser at Koon and Platform Place for ten years, the CEO opened his own store almost two years ago.  Upon setting foot in in the store, you might notice that a lot of the brands are pretty obscure. But fret not, the CEO’s decade of experience practically guarantees the quality of his products. He lives by his standard of “getting something interesting and fun out there” as opposed to selecting items that’ll become instant sell-outs. For instance, the pajamas from “Sleepy Jones” were hanging on the racks long before Gong Hyo-jin made them popular on her TV show last year. I purchased a sweater here from Le Mont Saint-Michel, a France-based clothing brand known for its quality knitwear. Le Mont Saint-Michel, one of the brands that can only be found at P.B.A.B, tries to recreate the sentiment found in old documents or photographs in its clothing line.
Buly 1803
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  • Apgujeong-dong
Walking into Buly 1803’s Seoul flagship store upon arriving at its sapphire colored front, you’ll most likely to feel as if you’re entering another dimension—to the early 19th century Paris, to be exact. Revamping the historic brand founded by Jean-Vincent Bully who had made a name for himself among the French aristocracy for his authentic beauty formulas in the early 1800’s, Buly 1803 gained an almost cult like following since its first opening on rue Bonaparte in 2014. Now, in Seoul, the atmosphere of and details that went into this brand’s fresh location exudes exactly that: craftsmanship, refinement and a dash of classic Parisien sensibility. This means that Seoulites do not need to wait till the vacation to try Buly 1803’s alcohol and glycerine free, water-based fragrances and naturally sourced skin care products on rue Bonaparte in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. The professional staff will help you test any of their famed products and provide information whenever you need. Created using latest techniques, all of Buly 1803’s perfumes have the capacity to retain the essence of the scents without causing any irritation or dryness for the skin. With its lovely characters, the Lichen D’Ecosse created with wild moss and geranium extract certainly does live up to its title as the Signature perfume, while the woody and earthy Makassar exudes lasting charms with its charismatic herbal aromas. As for the facial and body care lines, the Pommade Concrete hand and foot cream st
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To date, this is the largest COS store to open domestically—both in terms of size and collection. Because of the large quantity of products, it’s easier for people to find their size. COS first came to Seoul when Lotte World Mall in Jamsil opened. Following that, they opened their second branch at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo and later at a department store in Pangyo, Bundang. Despite the growing number of stores, the number of places where you can buy COS hasn’t caught up with how much recognition the brand has been garnering.  The store itself is full of outfits for women, men and kids from its 1st to 3rd floors and on the 4th floor there is even a separate area for exhibitions. Currently, they are exhibiting works of art by artists from Seoul and graphic designer Na Kim was in charge of curating. As “Timeless” is the brand’s motto, the store’s interior design is simple and sleek as they used natural materials to make the space clean and comfortable. Every time they open a new shop, they reinterpret the building and design it so that it fits the brand’s style as opposed to constructing a new space. That’s why each and every COS store around the world has a unique atmosphere. The inside of the building is decorated in white and makes you feel like you are walking around in an art gallery. And that’s why shopping here is more than just shopping. Exhibition through Jan 26.
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Late last year, streetwear concept store Works Out opened in Apgujeong. You might have already noticed its unique steel exterior designed by Andrea Caputo Office, a Milan-based group of architects. The shop imports various streetwear brands, such as Carhartt, Obey, Brixton and more. Luxurious wooden panels decorate the three floors and even if you’re not a fan of street fashion, you’ll be in awe of the design. And of course, if you love streetwear, you won’t want to leave.
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