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Itaewon – Seoul’s Melting Pot of Fashionable Shops and Boutiques
Itaewon is where the cultures of east and west collide. It remains Seoul’s largest multicultural district and is a virtual magnet for shoppers on the hunt for styles and sizes reminiscent to what they would find back home. Everything from athletic apparel, outdoor hiking gear, luggage, tailor-made suits, accessories, and baseball caps to a dizzying array of antiques and traditional souvenirs - you can find it all here. And for a relatively cheaper price too.
Street Shops & Sights
Itaewon doesn’t have any department stores to speak of so shoppers should comb the streets to find individual shops that are most appealing to them. Of particular interest are Itaewon Market and Victory Town. Itaewon Market is arguably the area’s best-kept secret boasting an impressive variety of brand name clothing at very reasonable prices. Those in need of larger sizes should check out the selection on the third floor of Victory Town. Some popular items that are in huge demand are sports jerseys and jackets, and tailor made suits. You’ll be able to track these down at numerous shops flanking the main road or at several tucked along the side streets.
* Victory Town
Tel: (02) 798-4040
Store Hours: 9am ~ 7pm
Address: 58 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
A large-scale store that carries a great variety of both styles and sizes. Whether it’s formal or informal wear, the huge selection will make it easier for you.
Tailored Leather Goods
* Friend Lee
Tel: (02) 796-8519
Store Hours: 9am ~ 7pm
Address: 72-35 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
The owner, Lee Jong Youn is very helpful and all items on display in his store are tailored and designed on location. Fittings and alterations are available and ensure complete customer satisfaction with every purchase.
* Italiana
Tel: (02) 794-0149
Store Hours: 9am ~ 7pm
Address: 64 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Entrepreneur Kim Ung Nam is very knowledgeable and has a keen for eye fashion. All leather items in her store are authentic and she happily handles any alterations or adjustments. Italiana boasts an impressive selection of leather jackets that are sure to suit every taste.
Search Underground For The Better Deals
As Itaewon doesn’t have any giant superstores, the sprawling district does feature several underground shopping centers that remain a Mecca for those on the hunt for athletic jerseys, jackets, hip-hop fashion or party wear.
Hidden Alleyway Favorites For Visitors
Be sure to browse through some of Itaewon’s many side streets. If shops along the main road don’t carry what you need, chances are some of the harder to reach shops will have what you’re looking for.
Fashionable Hats & Shoes
Toward the end of the main strip, in the direction of the military base, is a cozy little shop selling the latest in headwear. Exclusive lines ranging from Bailey-style hats to Fedoras and an impressive selection of Von Dutch caps cover the walls. The owner, Mr. Lee will be able to assist you with all inquiries regarding sizes and special orders.
* Spring Town Star Cap
Tel: (02) 797-7551
Store Hours: 9am ~ 7pm
Address: 59 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
* Crocs
Tel: (02) 797-5577
Store Hours: 9am ~ 7pm
Address: 176-2 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
For those with tastes of a slightly more conservative nature may want to check out Crocs. The stylish shoe store carries quite an exclusive line of its trademark footwear in all shapes and sizes.
Traditional Pottery
Those in search of traditional keepsakes will enjoy both the warm hospitality and beautiful selection at Eden Pottery. Everything from clay figurines and plaques to glazed ceramic cups and vases are on display. The shop owner, Kim Mi Son, is extremely friendly and will help you with any questions regarding historical significance or matters concerning shipping and delivery.
* Eden Pottery
Tel: (02) 793-0828
Store Hours: 9am ~ 7pm
Address: 168-17 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Tailored Shirts & Suits
An impressive shop handling all interest in tailor made shirts and suits is Coree Le Sm. The relatively large venue boats an impressive line of fabric in all patterns and colors. Shop owner, Kong Jae Kyung, has been operating his business for many years and has a long list of loyal clients who value both his expertise and service.
* Coree Le Sm
Tel: (02) 795-0876
Store Hours: 9am ~ 7pm
Address: 119-11 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Traditional Crafts & Antiques
* Royal Furniture Company
Tel: (02) 797-8637
Store Hours: 9am ~ 7pm
Address: 736-9 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
A little ways away from the commotion is a beautifully decorated little shop selling timeless traditional Korean furniture. The owners, Mr. Yoon and Mrs. Nam, are both very knowledgeable and extremely friendly. The shop handles delivery arrangements for both local and overseas shipments.
* Find out more on Itaewon!
→ Seoul Shopping Guide
→ Food: Gourmet Restaurants in Itaewon
→ Multi-Faceted & Multicultural Itaewon
Written and photographed by Gregory Curley
Date 03/07/2008