Seongsu: Land of Pop-Up Stores


Imagine a Disneyland Mainstreet but for shopaholics, where every other building is a vintage or pop-up store. That’s what Seongsu-dong is like. Located right next to Seoul Forest, Seongsu is a hot spot for everyone who enjoys spending their free time browsing aesthetic stores and boutiques. What makes the shopping experience in Seongsu different from just going to Hongdae is that Seongsu is made up of slightly higher ended brands and quality. Popular for their pop-up stores, shopping in Seongsu is a different experience every time. The pop-ups are rotated out every month which makes the street look different every time you go. 


The popups that I went to in Seongsu were on another level. Before you even enter the store, just from looking at it from the outside, you are already immersed in the experience. Last week, fellow intern Josh and I took the 40 minute subway ride from Hongdae to Seongsu to explore the area. We only walked through two popups during our short time there but the experience was insane. The first one was for the brand ADER error. From the outside, the store looks like a plain, red-brick wall with darker, tinted windows – nothing that exciting. However, once you are inside, the design and use of the space is incredible. Practically a showroom, the two-story popup shop had water displays, floating astronauts, and broken mirrors pieced back together all around the store. The clothing for this streetwear brand were also displayed like they were their own exhibition, almost making me not want to touch anything because it looked too high end for us to be inside.


The second pop up we stumbled upon was for a purse/handbag brand: StandOil. The first floor was a scene of a classic American backyard: grass lawn with a couch sitting on top covered in spray-painted designs. There was a bright Barbie pink stairwell that led to the second floor where the bags were displayed. My favorite part of the popup was the way the bags were coming out of the wall, hung on a zipline, almost like a conveyor belt. Not only were the bags unique staple pieces and good quality leather, the way they were displayed in the rooms made me want to buy one, even if I didn’t even need a new bag.

Seongsu is a place for shopping enthusiasts to spend some quality time alone or with friends. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy shopping too much, the amount of cafes and restaurants alone would be a good reason to explore the area!

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