Since Korea’s youth are a fashion conscious lot with an addiction to high-speed internet, it comes as no surprise that there are an unlimited number of style blogs ending in co.kr. It is often difficult, however, to find fashion sites based in this country that include English commentary. This is where Bananamilk comes in. A blog by AJ and Cory, aficionados on the fashion and nightlife scene in Seoul, Bananamilk is full of content covering store openings, brand launches and Seoul Fashion Week, as well as street style shots of your average city trendsetter. We wanted to learn more about the site and the ladies behind it, so we contacted AJ (below, left) and started prying. FYI guys, she’s not here to teach English. What!
When did you come to Korea and what do you do here?
AJ- I arrived about 10 months ago as a Brand Representative and Merchandiser for American Apparel. I had applied to transfer from my hometown of Richmond, Virginia where I had worked for the company for about 6 years.
Is that why you started a fashion blog?
AJ- I joined the Bananamilk team a bit later, after it had been started, but was an avid reader before I came here. I remember finding it because I was curious about aspects of Korea that most foreigner blogs do not cover. I wanted to know about the creative young generation of Seoul and what they were about, what influenced them, and whether the fashion industry here catered to them or if they catered to it.
Would you say that blogging about Korea has changed the way you experience it?
AJ- I suppose it has forced me to constantly take in information around me from other’s perspectives and not just my own. I find myself documenting things I wouldn’t have necessarily been interested in or looked into further in the event that one of our readers may find it interesting. It has also given me a decent validation for asking attractive people if I may take their photo ^^.
We love the street style shots on Bananamilk. Where would you say is the best area to go people watching for the newest trends?
AJ – I guess it depends on what trends you’re looking for. If you walk around Dongdaemun for an hour (and more than just the Doota building), you will be able to gauge what is going to be a popular style for the next few months in all of the boutiques. If you want to see how the “cool” kids will be wearing it, I say head for hongdae in the daylight hours or loiter outside of the American Apparel/Codes Combined/Aland intersection in Myeongdong where all the street style bloggers hang out. Bring your Nikon so you don’t stand out too much. And if “from the ground up” kind of fashion is not your aesthetic, head to Sinsa.
Do you have any tips for places to go to get the best outfits?
AJ- Oh man. I live in Hongdae so I am partial to a short commute and the whole vibe of this area. Good vintage shops are hard to come by so I will tell you one of my favorites. Page-one thrift store (near the park on the 3rd floor of the building directly across from the Lomography store) is great. Good selection for men and women, their shoes go above a size 7US and they give you a 3,000 won discount if you pay in cash!
What about higher-end clothing? Do you have a favourite Korean fashion designer?
AJ – I tend to gravitate towards designers who use inspiration as a means to exaggerate a collection rather than just direct it. That being said, I think the label PushButton does a great job of creating energetic collections with clear creative process. Also, they played 90s jams during their show this past fashion week. Sold.
You went to Seoul Fashion Week?
AJ – We did! I went as an observer and Cory went as a Buyer for her online shop Closet Creeper. We have made a few posts about the shows, sights, and celebrities. The top highlights for me were meeting Noma Han, the ghostly pleated chiffon pants at the Kiok show, and the PushButton show in it’s entirety. Oh! and getting to eat a Vegan cupcake from Alien’s Bake Shop that was in my swag bag at the Sono DRS show.
Yum! Thanks AJ.