A pair of Chinese twins are shaking up Korea’s fashion scene
Twins Ada and Anna are known to many fashionistas in Seoul for their stand-out looks at local fashion events, but the sisters’ intuition for trends and styling extends beyond their coordinated outfits at SFW: they’ve recently burst into the local commercial fashion scene with their lifestyle shop, Duier.
Hailing from China, Ada and Anna, 36, launched the first Duier boutique in 2009, alongside business and investment hotshot Ivan Chan. Initially gaining traction on their home turf, the brand has since grown from one flagship store in Chengdu to 10 boutiques across the country and a showroom in Hong Kong. This year, the formidable three launched their Korean flagship Duier store in Garosu-gil.
“We have a good network here. We have been in touch with over 100 local designers, and over the past five years or so, we have carried over 50 Korean designers in our shops abroad,” says Chan, who calls the Korea store a bridge between the Korean and Chinese market. “Our main purpose is to educate Chinese customers in new trends and ways of styling clothes inspired by Korea. Although the interest in fashion in China is huge, there is still an information gap.”
It was the unique, playful and liberal styles of Korean designers that initially attracted them to this market, Chan says. “Korean designers have the support of the entertainment business, so they have to keep changing and adapting quickly. Essentially, they have to entertain the entertainment business. That is the driving force behind the Korean fashion industry,” he explains. Although Duier’s focus has been on Chinese clientele, the three hope that the opening of the Korean flagship store will help reach new audiences and further introduce Korean design talent to the rest of the world.
The store also coordinates a social media community, “Duieristas,” where customers can share their Duier-purchased looks and styles online. Many Chinese celebrities are said to be fans of the lifestyle store.
When asked about future opportunities in the industry, Chan explains, “We don’t plan on creating our own label. We focus on working on collaborations with established designers. Sometimes we buy runway pieces and work with the designers to create similarly affordable collections. When we collaborate with designers, we start right from the mood board. We are not trying to change the designs’ DNA but rather add a Duier touch to their designs.”
To mark their official Korea launch, Duier will host a party in their three-floor open-space boutique during the upcoming Seoul Fashion Week. More information can be found on the Duier Facebook, www.facebook.com/Duierista.
Written by Samia Liamani
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