Now it has an enormous three-story flagship store in Hongdae (as well as a Lotte YoungPlaza location) and is the second most sought after Korean brand by Chinese tourists in Korea, according to Lotte Department Store.
Style Nanda, 335-21 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul; +82 2 333 9217
"Life is short, PartspARTs is long."
That's what PartspARTs designer Im Seonoc says about her brand, with an emphasis on the "art."
This is a reflection of her multidisciplinary background, which includes film, art and contemporary dance.
The garments are made solely from jersey through a technology-informed process designed to minimize waste.
The spring/summer collection is all chic and modern shift dresses and wide-legged trousers, made of sleek lines, unexpectedly sexy cuts and silky smooth textures.
The brand's items of the moment are a work-friendly tote bag and color-blocked blouse.
IMSEONOC Showroom, 208-40 Buam-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul; +82 3443 3937
MVIO makes business wear for men that like to dress up, and is a great stop for guys looking for a more creative off-the-rack business casual pieces.
Another Cheil Industries brand (a Samsung subsidiary), MVIO is led by creative director Han Sanghyuk, who features traditional cuts with an aggressively stylish android twist.
The spring/summer 2013 collection is built around theme of a "perfect man."
The Ken Doll-like perfection is a little off-putting, but the reasonable prices are nice -- pants start below ?100,000 ($90) and three-piece sets start from ?210,000 ($189).
MVIO, Lotte Department Store; 1 Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul; +82 2 772 3561
10. The Studio K
South Korean fashion editors and fashionistas adore designer Hyejin Hong's brand the Studio K, says Yang.
Often called "the Korean Marni," the brand's designs are minimalist and elegant, inspired by algorithms and technology, according to the designer.
It's difficult to step into what may look like a paper construction or a sartorial rendering of a skyscraper and not feel overshadowed, but the clothes are miraculously flattering.
The Studio K, 648-20 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul; +82 2 518 8984
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