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tailors in seoul korea?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HanSoo417, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    I'd love to go check out Segi tailor but it's more money than I'm willing to spend at the moment. Sage, do you have anything to speak of about Hahn's, near Noksapyeong station? From the sounds of things, they offer a pretty decent value for your won. I know I'm cheaping out here, but I want to spend under 600k won for a (at least semi-decent) suit - anything less (quality or value) and I'll just forego the idea and put off the MTM suit to another day. I know exactly what you're talking about re: "Cutlass Fish." It's one of the first things I've noticed since I came to Korea, yet despite this, I would consider Korean people to be dressed far, far better on average than Americans. Fashion-terrorists as they may be, I do give Korean men credit for actually looking like they put some thought into what they're wearing before they step out of the house. I'll check out Goshe, as it's closest to my apartment in Gangnam. Really all I need them to do is get the measurements from a shirt I already have, which I consider to be a perfect fit. Hopefully they can handle that much in English. [​IMG]
     
  2. sage_incognito

    sage_incognito Active Member

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    Brian, frankly I don't know about Hahn's tailor. I assume tailorshops in Itaewon are on average nice for quality, excellent for money. (quite reminding me of Hyundai cars in the 90's) Given the overall comments on Hahn's tailor, I guess it would be a safe bet if you try a suit under 600k won. I am not sure whether they will craft a style like strapatta (three-button suit with lapel rolled to second button), manica camicia (natural shoulder feeling like shirts), or la barca chest pocket though.

    I had two suits tailored in Washington tailor shop about 5 years ago when I had a vague idea about men's suit. They fit well and I am quite satisfied with them except the sleeve buttons are non-functional. (Something I regret for not having askedf for.)

    Goshe is good. take a look at some pictures posted by a Korean sartolialist. Their collar and fit options are far better than other shirt shops.

    http://blog.naver.com/gustosignore/40060906546 (don't try to read the Korean. LOL)

    In case you think communication might be problem, go to Savile Row nearby Sejong Art Center in Kwanghwamoon. The tailor said he used to work(or study) in London. The patterns are same as Goshe. There is nothing but address direction on its website with phone number. One more thing: For the same shirt, Savile row is on average 5-10K won cheaper than Goshe thanks to the slightly lower rent. (the tailor told me so.)

    http://www.savilerow.co.kr

    In case you're interested in Segi tailor's style, visit Segi tailor's blog. Here are some excerpts.
    http://blog.naver.com/f1racing/100055111079
    http://blog.naver.com/f1racing/100054548939

    They boast Lee Kun-hee, the legendary CEO of Samsung "empire" was also a frequent customer there quoting a newspaper article. (Also former president, Park, Chun, Roh, etc.) Some pictures feature a suit for a tall, lanky Swede. I assume they do speak English, for I don't think they can speak Swedish fluently. Nor do I think the Swedish guy chatted in Korean.

    Hope this will be of some help jettisoning the idea that Koreans are only making cheap knock-off stuff on a rundown street. (Itaewon and Hong-dae are my least favorite hangout place.)
     
  3. stvnr

    stvnr Active Member

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    Thank you for the tip, sage! I will check out Goshe since I live nearby and also Savile Row next time I'm in the Gwanghamun area. I pass through the area near Goshe quite often but never saw the shop.

    By the way, what's the Korean version of Styleforum? I can read and write Korean so I'd definitely be interested.
     
  4. Quede

    Quede Active Member

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    Seoul, South Korea
  5. dizzhizz

    dizzhizz Senior member

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    good stuff sage! i've always heard about this MTM shop over in the Kwanghwamun area but never knew of the store name til now. I'm actually in the market for a charcoal grey so it seems like this will be my next stop after I got my income tax refund later this month!

    are reservations required or can I just pop in and expect to be measured?

    thanks again!
     
  6. iamtheface78

    iamtheface78 New Member

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    Cheers for all the help, sage. I've been lurking trying to find a good tailor and Saville Row looks ace. How is their selection of material?

    Or, alternatively, know any good places to buy suit/shirt material that's not strictly a tailor? Cheers! Next paycheck will find a good home in a few new shirt investments...
     
  7. sage_incognito

    sage_incognito Active Member

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    Overall material quality of Savile Row is far better than the others in Itaewon. Hence the slightly higher price. I used to get my shirts tailored in Hamilton, but since I switched to Savile Row which is closer to my workplace, I no longer visit there.

    Hamilton shirts shrink quite after washing, but those by Savile Row do no or maybe a little bit (at least not so noticeable). I am not sure whether that's because I pay more attention to washing. Anyway, I am satisfied with them. I am not crazy about super quality shirts, for I regard them as disposable goods after one or two year-long use.

    You can visit the store during ordinary work hours from Monday to Friday. Material quality is good, at least better than Itaewon. In case you want superb quality try Italian or English material costing around 90-150k won.

    As for cloth material, Kwangjang market in Jongno and Dongdaemun market are famous. Both are for retail sales and I am not sure whether they will sell off some cloth for personal tailoring. For Kwangjang market, visit http://jkm.or.kr/home/home/sijang/ (No English.) for suit cloth visit http://jkm.or.kr/home/home/sijang/bbs.php?id=m6 (No English)

    Dongdaemun market also deals in some cloth material as well. http://www.dongdaemunsc.co.kr/index.html (Here again, no English) The homepage says cloth material is available on 3rd and 4th floor.

    But it might be for sure quite a challenge. A foreigner goes to Kwangjang market for some yards of fine cloth while sieving through tons of old, cheap, and fake ones, and negotiates in Korean for a good deal. Then he takes that material to a tailor in Sogong-dong, whom he probably never met before. Again that foreigner requests he'd like to have a decent suit tailored using that material for a good price. Also negotiation is handled in Korean. Um... I wouldn't do that myself even in Korean. A brave soul (Korean) tried that once and got some replies. If you can read Korean, read this: http://gall.dcinside.com/list.php?id...store&no=13081

    With the devalued Korean won and economic recession, expats in Korea have a great chance of buying excellent clothes at a cheap price. A couple of days ago, Galleria in Apkujeong-dong is said to have sold Turnbull & Asser shirts for 80k won. (55 US dollars). Some members of that Forum bought Sutor Mantellassi shoes at 250k-300 Won (less than 200-230 US dollars) - boasting that must be the cheapeast Mantellassi shoes in the universe.
     
  8. iamtheface78

    iamtheface78 New Member

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    Thanks sage...sounds a bit scary as my Korean is limited at best.... so I'll probably just stick with Saville Row...
     
  9. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Damn, are you serious? Mantellasis for 300k won in Galleria?

    I really wish I knew enough Korean to find out about this stuff.
     
  10. kimchikowboy

    kimchikowboy Senior member

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    Great thread. I've been looking for Mantaellasis in Korea, and now I know where to go (though I expect the largest sizes are US 10, which is too small). I was at Shinsegae Department store near Namdaemun last weekend and they had Duchamp ties for 55,000 won, if anyone is interested.
     
  11. Quede

    Quede Active Member

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    Seoul, South Korea
    Unfortunately world's cheapest SutorMantellasi shoes are sold out.
    These were in "ITALIUM"(Clasico Italia's Shop) of Lotte Department Main Store F5(sogong-dong).
    Besides this store have many italian brands such as cantarelli, vigano, Luigi Borrelli...
    Also some pretty VALENTINI SARTORIA pants are sale to 100,000~150,000 won.
     
  12. sage_incognito

    sage_incognito Active Member

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    Here are some info you might be interested in concerning shoes:

    1. Licensed importer:

    - Kumkang, a Korean shoemaker brand, is a licensed importer of Moreschi, Church's, Brunomagli, Loewe, Trussardi. They are available only at Shinsegae Department store (B1 floor) in Myung-dong and Kumkang Main Store at Myung-dong.

    - Shinsegae Department Store B1 Floor is better known among Korean fashionistas as "Shin-bon Dungeon," for it's i) basement, and ii) a number of "tempting monsters (expensive and attractive shoes)" are lurking to pounce on you. You will easily understand if you ever played a Roll Playing Game such as Lineage or YS, or other Japanese Video Games. (Items won, gold lost after fighting a monster) Shin-bon is a short name for "Shinsegae Bonjeom (HQ Store of Shinsegae)

    2. Tips and others

    - Size problem: my shoes size is UK 10G-10.5F (US 11 Wide - 11.5 Normal), quite a big foot for Korean. Imported shoes are only available up to 8.5 or 9. We half-jokingly say the "Dungeon" is only for "Hobbits" with small feet, while tall guys are automatically guarded against from those monsters.

    - Voucher Technique: We call "Sang-pum-kwon Shingong" (Voucher special technique). Here's an example.

    1) Wait until Kumkang announces for sale. Let's say all the shoes (incluing imported ones) are on 30% sale.
    2) Church's Consul was sold at 750k won: Now, it's 525k won.
    3) You go to a cobbler's or nearby coupons store. Buy six 100,000 won Kumkang vouchers. Discount rate is usually 26%. You acutually paid 444,000 won for 600,000 won value vouchers. (74,000 x 6)
    4) Go to the Dungeon. Grab the above-mentioned shoes.
    5) Pay with the vouchers. Your change should be 75k won IN CASH. (Note: store sellers will try to give you change in vouchers. Consumer protection law stipulates that you're entitled to cash change if you spend more than 60% of the value of the vouchers.) This is a really hard challenge. You even may need to argue in Korean, though. Try to "shit on the floor" (Korean slang: be an asshole customer)
    6) If you successfully get the change in cash, your mission is accomplished: Monster killed, Gold spent, Item Won, and Charm Parameter Increased.

    The actual money spent for the 750k-won Church's is only 369k won. 370k-something won is now less than 300 US dollars. You can buy any brands of shoes mentioned above.

    I don't think a foreigner can do that: sellers will be simply scared away, pretending they can't understand English. Japanese would be crazy to hear Church's are available in Seoul at the 30% of what they would otherwise have to pay in Tokyo. (Yen up, Won down).

    * You cannot employ such a feat for buy Crockett & Jones, for it's directly imported by Shinsegae. Shinsegae vouchers are steep. You should pay almost 94% of its actual face value. As a result, some Koreans tend to believe Church's are cheaper shoes than C&J. (?!)

    * Another Korean shoemaker brand, Esquire, is even cheaper. Their voucher is sold at 55% of the face value. They're importing Guy Laroche Shoes.

    3. Other venues you should pay attention to:

    - Italium at Lotte Department Store (Sogong-dong): They are selling a variety of nice clothes and shoes. Sutor Mantellassi, tagged 950k won, was sold 50% off. Again the price nosedived for another 50%. Some of my acquaintances bought Sutor Mantellassi at (Gulp!) 238k won.

    - Lovelost at Galleria (Apkujeong-dong): They are selling some nice shoes, including Crockett and Jones. A few weeks ago they sold the entire Crockett and Jones line at 398k won. (50% discount).

    Make sure to watch which department store are going on sale. Then you will find bonanza. I bought a Kiton tie at 170k won (120 US dollars) at Galleria.
     
  13. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Some of those deals are absolutely incredible.

    Anyway I'm reporting back to say that I received my first MTM shirt from Goshe. I selected a 70k won fabric, and I'm very pleased with the result. The measurements came out perfect, and they acommodated all of my particular demands, including the width of the sleeves, the legnth of the shirt, the length of the collar, etc.

    I ordered three more shirts through them - two in 140k won Italian fabrics, and one in a table-cloth like grey/white stripe that I already regret (but at least it was much cheaper).
     
  14. rlp271

    rlp271 Member

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    Gyeongi-do, Gwangju City, South Korea
    I hate to hijack the post, but I am new, so I can't PM the appropriate people. Please bear with me. On the topic of suits: if you want any extras (working button holes, the like) it may be difficult to get them at the cheaper places. Even at a place like Paris Tailor. It's not that they charge you extra, it's just that the tailor may not read the requests.

    Now for the hijacking part, I am wondering if there are any bespoke shoe makers in Seoul. I asked on another forum, but never got a reply. I figured with someone like Sage, they may be able to tell me if there are any, and if they are of any quality. I do speak Korean fairly well, so I can go just about anywhere. It helps that I'm Korean, even if I was adopted.
     
  15. sage_incognito

    sage_incognito Active Member

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    As of February 2009, I can surely say there is no "bespoke" shoes shops in Korea. You can have some cheap shoes (what they call "custom-made shoes") at shoes salons on chil-pae-gil (nearby Yeomcheon bridge next to Seoul Station), but those are in terrible quality perfect for rainy days as combat shoes. You simply choose styles among the ready made shoes, and big shoes will be made for you - Machine made (molded), cemented rubber soles, horrible leather quality, no aesthetics at all.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is one MTM shoes shop in Seoul, and that's Il Circo. It's in fact a shoes section at San Francisco Market, a collection shop in apkujeong-dong.

    (http://blog.naver.com/gustosignore/40061179273)

    They're selling Alfred Sargent and Stefano Bemer. Price of Stefano Bemers will start with (gulp) 1500k or 2000k won. The highest is around 4000k won. MTM shoes are available subject to extra 15% surcharge of displayed models. You can choose the leather, design, and last suited to your feet. The phone number is 02-542-3156. I'm not sure whether or not the clerk will understand English. Anyway, MTM Stefano Bemer is really tempting, isn't it? Good luck.
     
  16. rlp271

    rlp271 Member

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    Ok, last question: I'm planning on living here for only another two years or so, but if I do buy nicer shoes, Church's, or even lower end shoes like Gucci (fashion I know, but you can still find some classic styles) or Prada where should I go when the heels wear down? I know that there are cobblers EVERYWHERE, but from my experience, they just put that plasticy rubber stuff on that lasts like three weeks. Also, with a shoe like Church's they are many times a quarter heel rather than fully rubber like say Allen Edmonds. I don't know how the average Korean cobbler would deal with that, nor do I want to see. So, what do you do with your shoes when they require a reheel?
     
  17. aleeboy

    aleeboy Senior member

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    Ok, last question: I'm planning on living here for only another two years or so, but if I do buy nicer shoes, Church's, or even lower end shoes like Gucci (fashion I know, but you can still find some classic styles) or Prada where should I go when the heels wear down? I know that there are cobblers EVERYWHERE, but from my experience, they just put that plasticy rubber stuff on that lasts like three weeks. Also, with a shoe like Church's they are many times a quarter heel rather than fully rubber like say Allen Edmonds. I don't know how the average Korean cobbler would deal with that, nor do I want to see. So, what do you do with your shoes when they require a reheel?

    If you buy it here, take it back to the department store/boutique you bought it from and they will take care of it. I haven't bought any nice shoes whilst here, so I take it to a place in Myung Dong called Myung Dong Sa 명동사. They do a lot of repairs on luxury shoes, bags and accessories. They did a great job stitching my soles together on a pair of expensive wingtips.
     
  18. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    I'm pretty disappointed I didn't read sage's posts earlier, they are awesome!
    I will keep his special ninja technique in mind and frequent Shinsegae in my rounds now, since I'm big on trad shoes lately.

    On topic, I am using Hahn's Tailor in Itaewon for a suit right now, I went for the first fitting today. I just wanted to play around and see what I can get out of them as a first time thing, since the won is play money lately.

    I have had suits made in Itaewon before and have not liked them, but then again I didn't really know the first thing about suits when I did that, so I guess I'm like a born again MTM virgin this time....
    I started off just wanting a favorite pair of Jil Sander trousers knocked off in different colors, and I got my first pair back and was really pleased with the cut and construction. I wasn't really big on the fabric after they were made up but chalked that up as being my own mistake, I am not good at picking fabrics when they're on the roll. Satisfaction with cut/make + dissatisfaction with fabric led me to making a second round on the trousers in grey after looking more closely at fabrics, and then decided to get a jacket made to match. Total for the suit: 500,000W, about $325-330 lately.

    What I'm getting; a standard grey super 120's wool, Korean made textile. I had the Jil Sander trousers knocked off once more, they're side tab with double buttons, beltless, low-rise, single pleat, very trim and tapered, slightly long inseam with double or triple breaking. (the tradbeasts will hate it, but I'm only 27 and have an Asian body type, so I gotta do what I want)

    The jacket I'm having made to match: 2.5" lapels, low button stance (first button about 3/4" above my navel), slim arms and high armholes, double vents, very light shoulder padding, two straight flap pockets, slightly rounded bottoms, jacket on the slightly longer side, fully functioning cuffs, full floating canvas, pickstitched everything. I'm wanting something that looks reminiscent of Raf F/W09-10 here but with my own personal details (neverminding the fact that Raf never fits me off the rack anyway), so I am pretty anxious to see what I actually get out of it all. I will post pictures when it's all said and done later this week.

    I have the first pair of trousers I might photo for you guys, they were 150,000W, about $100, so though I think I got duped into buying a poly blend, they'll be ok for cheap work trousers and will wear hard.
     
  19. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    aforementioned Jil Sander/Raf Simons knockoff trousers: [​IMG] [​IMG] the other full suit will follow soon (suit?)
     
  20. bonobono_k

    bonobono_k Senior member

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