by Stephen Garner

From beauty to fashion and music, South Korea has been at the forefront of setting global trends and Bloomingdale’s is honoring the cultural hub by launching “Window Into Seoul” for its next edition of The Carousel @ Bloomingdale’s. This marks the seventh edition of the retailer’s rotating pop-up shop driven by culturally relevant themes and curated by guest tastemakers.

To create an authentic experience, Bloomingdale’s tapped Minya Oh, the Koreaphile and cool-girl also known as “Miss Info”, to curate a selection of Seoul-inspired goods from highly coveted and emerging brands. Across her buzz-worthy picks, shoppers will discover over 25 Korean brands in the fashion, beauty, and home categories, along with products that embody the trends set forth by Seoul.

“It’s been a great experience collaborating with the Bloomingdale’s team to bring Window Into Seoul to life,” said Minya Oh, style director at Stadium Goods. “As a proud Korean-American, I wanted to celebrate Seoul and the impact it has made on pop culture. It’s curated to feel like you’re exploring a miniature version of the city and getting a taste of everything it has to offer.” 

To capture the essence of South Korea’s style capital, Oh placed a spotlight on eleven brands from W Concept, one of the largest fashion e-commerce and multi-brand retailers in Korea. Known for discovering independent international fashion, W Concept brings a selection of their unique labels and styles to The Carousel. Shoppers can find relaxed tailored pieces from Front Row (W Concept), gingham skirts by Your Name Here (W Concept), multi-pocket jackets from RocketxLunch (W Concept), Marron Edition (W Concept) houndstooth blazers and other ready-to-wear styles from emerging Korean designers. Also included in Minya’s selection are Front Row (W Concept) x Recto (W Concept) collaboration pieces, along with handbags from Mute Muse (W Concept) and Emp.T (W Concept). On the menswear side, Heich Blade (W Concept) gives cardigans the oversized treatment while 13MONTH (W Concept) introduces relaxed hoodies with extended sleeves.

Sportswear and statement outerwear jackets are two trends often seen on the streets of Seoul and prominently featured in The Carousel. EXO fans will be thrilled to find t-shirts and hoodies with graphics inspired by the group’s fifth studio album – Don’t Mess Up My Tempo. Athleisure discoveries for men and women continue with tracksuits, sweatshirts and waist packs from Adidas x Stella McCartney, Champion, Kappa, and Oakley. For outerwear, MSGM has double-breasted overcoats in soft pink pastels while Bacon embraces the puffer jacket in a cropped silhouette. Kids and infants can also get in on the fun with mommy & me matching puffer vests by Aqua and star-printed Nununu onesies.

The fashion story continues with powerhouse brands frequently seen on today‘s biggest K-pop stars including Andersson Bell and SJYP, two staples in Korea’s fashion scene. Shoppers will also uncover remixed street-style pieces with contrasting graphics and colors from System Studios, Projekt Produkt translucent sunglasses, and utilitarian-inspired menswear apparel from Eastlogue.

Beauty aficionados can explore a k-beauty playground at Window Into Seoul, with over 50 products that Minya curated from Amorepacific, one of the world’s largest cosmetics companies based in South Korea. Amorepacific portfolio has over 20 beauty brands and this season, it is offering its latest innovation as well as the most popular products to Bloomingdale’s consumers. Sulwhasoo, the company’s heritage brand that promotes a holistic approach to beauty, brings its iconic First Care Activating Serum as well as signature creams based on Asian medicinal herbs. IOPE, a lab-based functional skincare line, offers a variety of products that deliver high-efficacy plant energy to skin, from cleansers and essences, to serums and creams. Mamonde puts forward its expertise in studying and cultivating flowers to The Carousel, with its rose-based bestsellers – Rose Water Toner and Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser, among others. Quick beauty fixes are also readily available with Aritaum sheet masks and MODI nail stickers in playful prints.

Walking into the pop-up, one may encounter familiar faces in the form of Kakao Friends, a series of characters based on the emoticons from the Korean messaging app, KakaoTalk. Ryan the maneless lion, Apeach the mischievous fruit, Neo the feline fashionista and their squad of lovable friends can be seen on stationery, pillows, mood lights, phone accessories and more. Whether it’s a gift for a bestie or family member, shoppers are bound to find a Kakao Friend that brings an extra bit of joy to their lives. Other treasures one can uncover in the shop include Soohyang candles, Tone and Manner hand-made ceramic tableware, KPOP Foods savory sauces and exclusive snack boxes from Peach Mart, a takeaway shop from Momofuku.

“Seoul truly is front and center when it comes to setting the international trends that we see across all categories,” said Frank Berman, Bloomingdale’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “With this rotation of The Carousel, we’re celebrating the trailblazers coming out of this cosmopolitan city, giving up-and-coming designers a platform to showcase their work and delivering a wave of newness for our shoppers.”

Window Into Seoul is open now through November 4th at four Bloomingdale’s locations – 59th Street, SoHo, Century City, San Francisco – and online.

In addition to introducing shoppers to over 40 brands that are making their debut at the retailer, the pop-up will bring a new level of “retailtainment” through in-store events including Kakao Friends play-to-win claw machines, K-Pop dance workshops, a W Concept fashion showcase and more.