Seoul is becoming the fashion hub of Asia. The city brings in visitors from across the globe. Seoul hosts its popular Seoul Fashion week twice a year. Fashion has always been a part of Korean culture, and it is now bigger than ever. It plays a huge role in Korea’s economic and social landscape, with businesses ranging from retail boutiques to renowned department stores in cities all across Korea. Now, online Korean Fashion startups are on the rise as more people look to shop from home.

Korean fashion continues to get global recognition thanks to online Korean fashion sites. Korea’s startup fashion scene is trending among Korean venture capitalists as well. Record amounts of funding are being raised in Korea for many Korean fashion startups thanks to online shopping and Instagram.

Even before COVID, online Korean Fashion startups were on the rise due to online shopping and social media, which connects startups and companies with their customers and also helps trends go viral. Many Korean online fashion startups already have a successful social media strategy that allows them to compete with traditional players who lack a digital footprint. The advantage for Korean startups in the fashion industry is their ability to act instantly on feedback for maximum customer satisfaction. Those interested in tech fashion startups in Korea should also check out that article.

Who will be the Next Musinsa?

The online Korean fashion platform Musinsa has become a huge success among the young generation in Korea. It went from a trendy Korean fashion startup to a Korean Unicorn startup. Exciting things are happening in Korean fashion, and technology is paving the way for innovation in the retail space. Many fashion startups are looking to become the next Musinsa. As more and more consumers in Korea move online, there will be a rise in demand. Therefore, this creates an excellent opportunity for Korean fashion startups to improve sales, digital merchandising, retail experiences, and the ability to connect with their consumers.

Top Fashion Startups in Korea



Trenbe is an eCommerce platform that offers luxury goods at affordable prices. They offer the largest portfolio of luxury goods using their big data technology robot, Tren-bot. Tren-bot can crawl all data from luxury brand sites to scan for the best deals possible. Trenbe has raised over $235 million in funding from LB Investment, Murex Partners, IMM Investment, Korea Investment Partners, and more.


ABLY Coming in at #1 is Korean eCommerce Fashion startup ABLY. It provides personalized recommendations on fashion items and goods based on Big Data. ABLY operates programs for the Sellers and the Partners. Sellers don’t pay any form of a platform fee. The revenue is recurring from the Partners with the logistic and customer support service fee. ABLY’s revenue has been growing since 2018. In addition, the volume of operation loss is getting wider because of their aggressive expansion.

ABLY was endorsed by the South Korean government as a potential future unicorn startup in Korea. The ABLY app is the first shopping app in Korea that aggregates influencer shops in Social Media. The app has over 10,000 sellers and 15 million users and has a post-money valuation of $750 million. They raised $55 million during their series C round from KDB Bank, LB Investment, Signite Partners, Kolon Investment, and Neoplux.

“To lead the next-generation online commerce innovation, we are preparing to expand the category that encompasses a variety of products such as home decor and handmade products beyond women’s fashion,” said the CEO of ABLY, Kang Seok-hoon.


Korean Fashion Startup BALAANKorean fashion startup BALAAN is a platform that allows you to get the latest luxury goods in just three days at a lower price than overseas. The reason they can do this is that BALAAN has made contracts with many local European boutique stores. Now, they offer items from close to 1,000 fashion houses and can offer items for 30% cheaper than European competitors.

In addition, they offer a wide range of luxury items for both men and women. Therefore, they sell everything from clothes to accessories to jewelry. Balaan has raised over $82 million for its series C round.


Korean Fashion Startup BrandiKorean fashion startup BRANDI collects many Korean fashion items from social media, shopping malls, and brands. They have a web and mobile app that showcases the latest trends in Korean fashion. Furthermore, BRANDI has done over $250 million in sales to date since launching back in 2016. Moreover, they have over 5 million active monthly users. They have also raised over $130 million to date. BRANDI has done a great job of connecting IT technology to the fashion market. They have helped Dongdaemun come online by building a logistic supply chain to drive innovation.

In an integrated logistics center, they offer services like logistics, delivery, and customer response for Dongdaemun fashion sellers. In addition, they have implemented an AI demand forecasting algorithm and same-day shipping services. For 2023, they will focus on providing online and offline showrooms for wholesale and retail sellers.



Soldout is a South Korean limited edition sneakers and menswear startup. Their app has gotten over 300,000 downloads since its launch in mid-2020. Their app offers limited edition sneakers and other street fashion items at affordable prices. Affordable prices are that most limited edition sneakers are sold at a higher price than when they were bought retail. The limited edition sneakers industry has grown not just globally but also in South Korea. Soldout got a $90 million investment from Korean fashion company Musinsa.



Queenit is an online shopping platform for women in their 40s and 50s. The Queenit App is one of the most popular apps in South Korea. As they target older Korean women, many products are high-end department store brands. You can find over 700 brands, and the shopping startup is looking to expand its product to include beauty and accessories. They have raised over $50 million in funding, and some of its investors include Kakao Ventures Corp and Softbank Ventures, to name a few.


Korean Fashion Startup ZIGZAGCROQUIS is the startup behind the Korean fashion app ZIGZAG, an online platform that collects fashion product information from different shopping malls. In addition, the platform offers suggestions based on its algorithm for optimal recommendations. Their recommendations are based on the data collected from consumers’ shopping patterns.

They offer a weekly ranking list that is specialized for each consumer. They also offer the latest fashion trends and an option to put items on their wishlist. Furthermore, their app offers a wide range of fashion brands and already has over 20 million downloads. Their focus for 2023 will be to expand into other regions across Asia.

“We strive to provide a step-by-step service that would help the newly entering shopping websites to adapt to the mobile platform,” said CEO of Croquis Inc. the parent company of ZIGZAG, Jung-hoon Seo.


Korean online fashion startup 29cm

Korean online fashion startup 29cm sells clothes, lifestyle goods, home appliances, food, etc. They started with fashion to give consumers a unique experience with local Korean fashion brands. They get over 1 million visitors to their site every month.  There are over 2,000 brands on their platform. Their site looks more like a fashion magazine than an eCommerce site. Their mobile app has also won many design awards. Korean fashion mobile app StyleShare is a significant stakeholder of 29cm. In addition, they will work together to bring high-quality content and continue to discover new brands and products that will help expand their customer base.


Gentle Monster GENTLE MONSTER is a Luxury Korean sunglasses and fashion brand. They have done a great job making sunglasses fashionable by using K-pop stars and adding innovation. Last year, GENTLE MONSTER partnered with Huawei to launch a sunglasses collection with integrated electronics. It has a device that lets users talk on the phone without putting anything in their ears. The bigger news has been the partnership with BLACKPINK’s Jennie. Last year, Jennie uploaded a cryptic Instagram post about a possible collaboration with GENTLE MONSTER. It was a part of a new campaign featuring top fashion photographer Hugo Comte.

W Concept

W Concept Korean Fashion StartupKorean Fashion startup W Concept was launched by the Korean eCommerce platform WIZWID. W Concept is the digital marketplace that introduces independent, mostly Korean fashion brands to a broader market. They have also started integrating independent designers from the U.S. and European markets. W Concept does not hold all its inventory. Instead, W Concept builds partnerships with independently run brands that don’t have the resources to do retail on a large scale. Once an order is placed, the brands send the items to W Concept, who then sends the item to the customer.

W Concept is now one of the top fashion retail sites in Korea. They have expanded to markets in China, Canada, and the U.S. W Concept has done a great job finding the right influencers to raise brand awareness. In addition, their social media is one of their best tools for getting their brands out to the masses. They even have a concept store in New York that showcases the designs of limited collections from popular Korean and other Asian designers. Customers can not go home with the items at the pop-up store but can scan a QR code and have the items delivered.

“With the amount of potential in Korean designer brands, that have been in the market for a long time, I’m very happy to see their aesthetic sense and hard work shining through,” said CEO of W Concept’s Cecile Kim.


Korean Fashion Startup RAWROWKorean online fashion startup RAWROW is an online accessory shop known for its practical designs. They are known for their backpacks, glasses, and luggage. They became popular in Korea through viral campaigns on Facebook. Furthermore, RAWROW currently exports its products to over 13 countries like China, Singapore, Japan, and Germany.

RAWROW signed a contract to get funding from Shinsegae International, the fashion arm of Shinsegae. They will now focus on working with Shinsegae and their expertise in global brand management.

“Securing the management know-how and infrastructure to grow the business further is necessary for startups with brilliant ideas,” said CEO of RAWROW, Lee Eui-hyun.


Korean Fashion Startup Brich

Fashion startup in Korea Brich is an O2O service delivering the latest Korean fashion trends online. Their goal is to deliver a more personalized shopping experience to consumers. They focus on small Korean fashion labels and have partnered with over 100 brick-and-mortar fashion boutiques in trendy areas in Seoul, like Gangnam and Apgujeong. Brich gives these independent Korean fashion brands an online outlet. Therefore now shoppers can see their items or browse through the entire collection of brands in Brich.

Brich has raised over $6 million in funding from Korean VC firms like Intervest.



LinkShops is a Korean apparel online shopping mall. They have over 1 million items from over 8,000 stores in Dongdaemun, Seoul’s biggest offline shopping district. Retailers can use LinkShops to shop at Dongdaemun 24 hours a day. Furthermore, they connected with thousands of Dongdaemun wholesalers and retailers to sell on their online platforms. There is a membership fee for joining the platform. The newest styles are uploaded on LinkShops by wholesalers for retailers to purchase. In addition, LinkShops will help wholesalers remind them of shortages or if items are out of stock. Therefore think of LinkShops are the largest brokerage platform for the Korean fashion industry.

“Linkshops aims to provide a more convenient and efficient service for both parties,” said the Vice-Chairman of Linkshops, Young-Ji Oh.


Korean Fashion Startup StripesKorean Fashion startup Stripes is a Korea-based apparel company that designs and manufactures men’s clothing. They specialize in offering consumers personalized styling services. Therefore, consumers can personalize their clothes to get the right fit. Moreover, they have a website as well as an app. Both allow customers to get tailor-made shirts that fit perfectly. Furthermore, tens of thousands of measurement data are used to offer the best fit possible. In addition, they can even choose their desired fabric.

Swatch On

Korean Online Fabric Shop Swatch On

Korean online fashion startup Swatch On sells a variety of unique, high-quality wholesale fabrics. They aim to make the process of fabric sourcing as easy as possible. They offer visual fabric guides and great customer service to simplify the ordering process. Therefore, Swatch On serves as a global community for up-and-coming fashion designers and provides access to local South Korean fabrics. In addition, they have a large selection of over 170,000 products from over 2,000 wholesale suppliers based in Korea. In addition, they offer free fabric samples, and if a fabric is out of stock, they will recommend the closest match possible.

Their focus for 2023 will be to introduce fabric suggestion tools using AI technology and lower prices. They have a large collection of fabric swatches from Dongdaemun. Furthermore, the data contains a photo, detailed descriptions of the material, and a video of the sample being stretched and squeezed. All of Swatch On’s clients are based outside of Korea. Furthermore, their biggest client is the United States, representing almost half of their sales.


Korean Fashion Startup Codibook

Korean online fashion startup Codebook is an online shop that offers daily tips on the latest Korean fashion trends. Codibook provides several choices and recommendations from other satisfied consumers. They upload new and different styles of fashion items.  Therefore, once a consumer selects an item of clothing, Codibook will provide a variety of choices to go along with that item. Therefore Codibook becomes your very own personal stylist. In addition, they also have a mobile app that allows users to share items with their friends on social media. Codibook is a one-stop shop for those interested in fashion tips and independent Korean fashion brands.


Korean Fashion startup ClosetshareKorean fashion startup ClosetShare is an app launched by The Closet Company. It allows consumers to earn money by sharing/renting their clothes and accessories in Korea. Therefore, users can share their items on ClosetShare and track how much money they have earned and their rental status. In addition, those that apply for both sharing and renting their items are offered shipping and cleaning services through the ClosetShare app. Furthermore, they offer an insurance plan (5,000 won a month) for potential damages or loss of items. Korean VC firm Kakao Ventures has been an early investor in Closet Share.

Closet Share is an exclusively domestic clothes sharing service that allows one to earn money by sharing one’s closet. We provide a fashion sharing experience that anyone can enjoy easily through updated services, including enhanced search functions and curation based on AI,” said CEO of The Closet Company, Juhee Seong.


KaesaKAESA offers sustainable luxury handbags and accessories through its online platform. They are a design company that uses sustainable and ethical materials such as vegan leather and natural plant-based materials. Therefore KAESA is focused on creating luxury products that positively impact the environment. Their handbags and accessories are designed for longevity. Therefore the interior design of each product carefully considers utility, embedding organizational layers to fuse style with everyday functionality. Their top-selling product line is the Aria Crossbody Bag which doubles as a bag organizer.