With fashion, Korea is rubbing shoulders with other fashion hubs in the world. The Seoul Fashion week hosted twice a year draws many people from across the globe. Predictably, fashion startups are on the rise as Korean fashion gets more and more global recognition. Korean venture capitalists have noticed the increasing popularity and record amounts of funding are being raised for South Korea’s fashion startups.
Successful social media marketing has allowed these startups to compete with traditional players, thus paving the way for exciting new trends in the Korean fashion industry. Koreatechdesk.com explores 5 Korean fashion startups that have made a mark through sales, digital merchandising, retail experiences, and technology.
Like to ‘talk’ fashion, then check out Womantalk, a video commerce platform where fashion influencers can introduce and promote products and get a share from the sales. Initially a beauty company, Womanstalk moved to fashion/lifestyle and has over 2 million active monthly users and over 250,000 products displayed on their site. It benefits suppliers, influencers, and customers alike. Womanstalk has over 100 active influencers that sell and promote products by uploading high-quality content on their SNS. The company received over $100 million in funding from venture capital firms like Korea Investment Partners, Intervest, IMM, and others.
If you are looking for customized fashion advice, then take a look at ZigZag. Korean fashion startup ZigZag collects information from different online shopping malls on the latest fashion products. Also, it offers suggestions based on its algorithm and data gathered from consumer’s shopping patterns. A ranking list customized for each user is shared weekly. There is an option as well to add items on the wish list. The app has registered over 10 million downloads and raised over $10 million in funding. It plans to expand into other regions beyond Asia.
Rawrow is an online accessory shop famous for its practical designs. The Korean startup has carved a niche for their backpacks, glasses, and luggage items. They gained much popularity through their viral campaigns on Facebook. Rawrow registered over $9 million in sales in 2018 and are exporting their products to over 13 countries such as China, Singapore, Japan, and Germany. The company is going places!
4. W Concept
W Concept is now one of the top fashion retail sites in Korea. It is a digital marketplace that introduces mostly independent Korean fashion brands to a wider market. W Concept does not hold its inventory; instead, it builds partnerships with smaller, independently run brands without the resources to do large scale retail business. The company has expanded to markets in China, Canada, and the US.
5. Swatch On
To make fabric sourcing easy, Korean fashion startup Swatch On sells high-quality wholesale fabrics. The startup offers visual fabric guides and optimum customer service that makes the ordering process simple. It also serves as a global community for the new and upcoming fashion designers as well as makes fabrics accessible to the local Korean community.
One can choose from over 170,000 products from over 2,000 wholesale suppliers in Korea. One can also receive free fabric samples, and if a particular fabric is out of stock, they recommend the closest match possible. The company plans to introduce fabric suggestion tools using AI technology and competitive prices. One of their biggest clients is the United States, with half of the sales.