Supreme, NOAH, UNDERCOVER: Korea’s Sudden Streetwear Boom

South Korea, a hub for streetwear! Who knew? Kidding, duh: South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, has long been a go-to street fashion city right up there with nearby hubs like Tokyo and Hong Kong.

So, it’s about time that South Korea got its own Supreme store, no?

But that ain’t all: not only is Supreme taking to Seoul (probably) but peers like NOAH and UNDERCOVER have also been drawn to South Korea.

One at a time: Supreme Korea is still just a rumor but where there’s smoke…

Allegations about the Dosan Park-adjacent space, which would be Supreme’s first South Korean outpost — and, really, Supreme’s first store in an Asian country besides Japan — first trickled out in late 2022 primarily thanks to ever-nosy Korean street fashion Instagram page @le.syndrome, which also snagged photos of the space that Supreme is purported to take over.

Whispers posit that Supreme Korea would open on August 19 at 37 Seongchon-ro 153 Gil 37 in the pricey Gangnam district but that there would be no Korean-language web store.

Sounds like it may be a potential monkey wrench throw but, then again, Supreme has never been quick to update its site. When Supreme simply changed its URL and moved its web store to Shopify in early 2023, for instance, it sent shockwaves through the Supreme community.

Also, with all of its kerfuffle in China, no surprise that Supreme is taking its time entering that country.

Anyways, Supreme Korea will supposedly launch with a Box Logo T-shirt printed with South Korea’s flag, the “Taegeukgi,” which would keep in line with other Supreme flagship openings.

Supreme has opened several stores over the past years in cities that range from Berlin to Los Angeles, presumably as part of an expansion plan intended to offset underwhelming revenue.

In the current cultural climate, Supreme is no longer on top of the streetwear heap, though it’s product is as good as ever. Perhaps these stores foretell a reversal of Supreme’s fortunes, a renewed interest in its (admittedly strong) seasonal collections.

That’d all be a pretty big deal if Supreme was the sole international expat but two other major streetwear names are also simultaneously heading to Korea.

NOAH is en route to Seoul proper while UNDERCOVER coincidentally just debuted a Korean-language version of its web store.

Pretty interesting timing but I suspect it’s all coincidental. When it rains, it pours.

NOAH’s proof is in the pudding or, rather, in the NOAH Korea website, which promises that a Seoul store is “coming soon.”

NOAH Korea will be Noah’s fifth proper store and third in Asia following its two Japanese boutiques.

Again, you can’t read much into the timing of these new stores, beyond taking them all as indisputable evidence of Korea’s eternal street culture relevance.

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