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Koreans are very quality-conscious: Bogner

It is hard for Europeans to distinguish between Asian cultures, and Willy Bogner suggests that may help Korea to come up with effective publicity

“For us Europeans, so many elements are similar in Japan and China and Korea. I think even for Koreans it must sometimes find it hard to differentiate between them ― you have to be very well educated to know when was when and what was what. Maybe this difficulty for outsiders can help us understand how Korea could position itself,” the German entrepreneur told The Korea Herald on Monday at Westin Chosun Seoul in central Seoul. 
Willy Bogner, chairman of Bogner GmbH & Co.KGaA, talks to The Korea Herald on Monday at Westin Chosun Seoul in central Seoul. (Ahn Hoon/ The Korea Herald)
Willy Bogner, chairman of Bogner GmbH & Co.KGaA, talks to The Korea Herald on Monday at Westin Chosun Seoul in central Seoul. (Ahn Hoon/ The Korea Herald)

Bogner has many titles ― he used to be an alpine ski racer; served as head of the 2018 Munich Winter Olympics Bid Committee; runs his luxury sportswear brand Bogner; is a designer, editor-in-chief of a magazine and even a filmmaker. He is currently in Seoul to participate in the Culture Communication Forum hosted by the Corea Image Communication Institute.

“Lot of people specialize in one thing very narrowly. But if you are in the creative business, it is important to be open and try many things and create things that are unusual,” said Bogner.

About Munich’s loss to PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Olympics bid, Bogner said that it was a good way to learn what Munich could do better next time. But he added that he would not lead the committee again.

“Not in the leading position ― it is really a full time job and it was also for me a little bit too much. I have to focus on my business too, a lot of things are happening in my business,” he said.

His sportswear brand is looking to expand its market in Korea. Currently it sells golf and ski wear here, but Bogner expects the brand will be more visible, especially with the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games coming up. He is building up networks and is planning to open flagship stores.

“I see a lot of potential for our line here. Korea is a very interesting market, as it is developing at an incredible pace, the taste for European quality products is rising and Koreans are traveling a lot in the world and can see leading brands in other countries. We see a lot of people who are interested in top-of-the-line quality,” said Bogner.

By Park Min-young  (claire@heraldcorp.com)
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