[LOCAL TOUR] Rediscovering Personal Style, Shopping Tour in Hannam
What would it be like to spend a day in the world’s most awesome town? You can find a clue to the answer in this month’s LOCAL TOUR featuring fashion houses lining up the streets between Itaewon Station and Hangangjin Station and unique shops standing in the alleys between Hangangjin Station and Hannam Station.
Last year, global magazine < Time Out > announced its selection of the ‘40 coolest neighbourhoods in the world’ for 2020, and Hannam-dong in Seoul ranked 13th among many other well-known cities around the globe. The town has recently become famous as a place where popular K-pop stars including BTS and G-Dragon reside. With a variety of art galleries, theaters, and culture complexes in its vicinity, Hannam-dong has long been frequented by art and culture enthusiasts. Above all, the area has a number of great shops that inspire visitors with their one-of-a-kind branding strategies.

MO-NO-HA Hannam

❶ MO-NO-HA Hannam
Stepping inside a white-exterior building located in a quiet alley near the Hannam Five-way Intersection, you see more whitewashed walls and a large space. MO-NO-HA Hannam puts a subtle emphasis on its emptiness over fullness, and your eyes are naturally drawn to the marginal space like in an exhibition hall. The building used to be a knitting factory and is now a place where handicraft by artists from across the world and vintage furniture are displayed and sold. The name ‘mono-ha’ reflects the philosophy of the shop. ‘Mono’ in Japanese means an object, and ‘mono-ha’ is an art movement in which natural materials such as wood and stone are portrayed as central to art.

Second floor at MO-NO-HA Hannam

MO-NO-HA Hannam presents natural materials that have been turned into an enjoyable and practical piece of art by the artists who studied the properties of those materials for a long time. Full Moon Jars by ceramic artists Kim Dong-joon and Han Jeong-yong and pottery by artist Lee Jeong-mi are the signature pieces. A painting by artist Lee Ufan who led the Korean mono-ha movement in the late 1960s blends in with other works in the space. The second floor of the building introduces living items that are reasonably priced yet still associated with mono-ha aesthetics. You can also find some clothing designed and made by MO-NO-HA.
Address 36 Dokseodang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-1577-5307
Hours Tue-Sat 11:00-19:00, Closed on Sundays and Mondays

Handle With Care

❷ Handle With Care
TWL(Things We Love) in Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, is a place for homebodies who love to stay home. It is a brand specializing in daily necessities. Run by graphic designers, its products are easy to use and pretty to look at. TWL both designs products and introduces existing merchandise from home and abroad. ‘Handle With Care’ is the second shop by TWL following the Ihwa-dong showroom.
“Handle With Care proposes a way of smoothing out the texture of life with grown-ups’ objects, and selectively presents handicraft that can either be an art or a necessity, as well as tea and related products as a medium that adds scent to daily life.” The shop is a step forward from the making and selling of daily necessities. It is a space for those who have a relish for quality design products. At Handle With Care, sometimes a spotlight is shed on one craft artist or one project through an exhibition. Buncheong by ceramic artist Huh Sang-wook, silk(myeongju) work by textile designer Jung Hyun-jee, and mother-of-pearl(najeon) craft by master craftsman Kim Seon-gab and artist Nam Mi-hye were featured by Handle With Care exhibitions. Items on display can also be purchased. Culture complex Sounds Hannam, located right next to Handle With Care, is also worth a visit.
Address 43 Daesagwan-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-797-0151
Hours 12:00-19:00, Closed on Mondays

Vinyl and Plastic © Hyundai Card

❸ Vinyl and Plastic
There are a couple of buildings between Itaewon Station and Hannam Station that exude musical auras. Their names are Vinyl and Plastic, and Hyundai Card Music Library. Both places were built by Hyundai Card for the purpose of giving inspirations to people using the medium of music. Hyundai Card Music Library is a library where you can listen to vinyl records that are categorized according to the performance venue and genre, only if you are a Hyundai Card user. Vinyl and Plastic on the other hand is open to the public. Anyone can freely enjoy vinyl records, CDs, and cassette tapes in their physical form. You can see, touch, listen to, and of course buy them. The place also deals with sound equipment such as turntables, cassette players, and speaker systems. If you go up to the second floor, you will find a cafe and a separate audio room where you can experience diverse audio gears. For your reference, Vinyl and Plastic is where BTS filmed the famous Tiny Desk Concert episode of NPR(National Public Radio) of the United States. If you are an Army(BTS fandom) with a heart for music, it is a  place you don’t want to miss.
Address 248 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-2014-7800
Hours Tue-Sat 12:00-21:00, Sun 12:00-18:00, Closed on Mondays
코오롱스포츠 한남 © 코오롱스포츠

코오롱스포츠 한남 © 코오롱스포츠

Kolon Sport Hannam © Kolon Sport

Kolon Sport Hannam © Kolon Sport

❹ Kolon Sport Hannam
There is a flagship store of a fashion brand that holds exhibitions. From outside, it is a simple gray building you are likely to walk by if you do not pay extra attention. Last year, the flagship store of outdoor brand Kolon Sports opened in Hannam-dong quietly. The store consists of two floors, with the underground level selling Kolon’s products and ground level holding exhibitions. The entire floor is dedicated to exhibitions, and Kolon collaborates with Glint, an exhibition planning company operating a multi culture complex called Piknic. Currently, < Whether Weather >, a third show since the launch, is under way. Berlin-based artist group Plastic Fantastique set up installation artworks that examine the relationship between man and nature in the form of weather. The exhibition has you walk inside the large vinyl tube filling up the first floor space. The plants and lighting outside the tube create a sensation that you are actually taking a walk inside a forest.
Address 260 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-749-0656
Hours Everyday 11:00-20:00
포스트 포에틱스 © 포스트 포에틱스

포스트 포에틱스 © 포스트 포에틱스

Post Poetics © Post Poetics

❺ Post Poetics
It’s a place that is almost always included in the recommendation for an inspiring location or a favorite spot by those known to have a certain level of aesthetics. Post Poetics is a bookstore specializing in books in the fields of art, architecture, design, photography, and fashion by large and small publishers around the world. It also offers book curation for select shops, other bookstores, and culture complexes.
The bookstore does not have an expansive space, but the space is entirely filled with fascinating book collections. First opened in 2006 in Sangsu-dong, Post Poetics relocated to the current Hannam-dong location in 2009. Back then, it looked more like a hideout set up on the third floor of a building. The ‘Post Poetics’ drawing on the exterior wall of the building was done by Japanese contemporary artist Kawai Misaki to use as the store sign. You can purchase tote bags having the same drawing design if you want Post Poetics goods. You can also buy a book at Post Poetics and open it while enjoying coffee at Anthracite Coffee in the same building. D&Department Seoul, which was founded by Japanese designer Kenmei Nagaoka to showcase ‘long life’ designs and products with ‘local character,’ is also in the same building.
Address 240 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-322-7023
Hours Mon-Fri 13:00-20:00, Sat & Sun, 12:00-18:00, Closed on the last monday of every month


La Fermata


La Fermata

❻ La Fermata
If you go up the hill behind the Cheil Worldwide building, you will find an outstanding house among ordinary residential buildings. With an appearance of a European cottage, it is a showroom and multi shop of fashion brand La Fermata run by designer Choi Hye-jin. She remodeled her own house to turn it into a shop. The rough surface of walls and unfamiliar-looking door knobs point at the owner’s unique aesthetics. The designer filled this beautiful space with shoes and swimsuits from Spain, denim pants and cardigans from France, and other various fashion items handpicked by herself, in addition to La Fermata’s dresses and jackets made mostly of linen.

La Fermata

La Fermata has living items as well. In a small cave-like space near the entrance to the house, Choi displays French glass brand Lasouflerie’s products. If you find La Fermata style charming, you will probably have an urge to fill your house with everything from this shop. Exhibitions and classes are held occasionally in the basement and on the 1.5th floor of the shop.
Address 30 Itaewon-ro 36-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-793-7078
Hours Tue-Fri 12:00-20:00, Sat 12:00-19:00, Closed on Sundays and Mondays

June 2021 Editor:Kim Hyewon
Photographer:Hae Ran Cooperation: Lee Donghyuk(Illust)

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