Popular boy band EXO opened shop “BOY WHO CRIED WOLF (BWCW)” to commemorate the release of their newly repackaged album, “Growl,” in Garosugil’s OUTLAB on Aug. 10.
BWCW sells merchandise from popular street brands in Korea such as PEACE, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING, LIFUL MINIMAL GARMENTS, Nude Bones, and BURIED ALIVE, which are representative of EXO’s style.
Among the displays of trendy baseball jackets, T-shirts and snapback hats, the shop also offers a variety of exclusive items such as portable fans, stickers and passport cases with many including collectible pictures of the members.
The shop has a schoolhouse theme with the building separated into nine different areas including the Dorm Room, Class Room, Cafetorium, Common Room and Gymnasium.
|K-pop group EXO. (S.M. Entertainment)|
The Class Room is decorated with metal school desks, and the gymnasium has a variety of sports equipment on display alongside clothes for sale. There are also lockers assigned to each member along the wall, with slots available for fans to send letters to the group.
“I like that all of the rooms have themes. It’s very fun,” said Kim Jo-ul, a 16-year-old high school student from Seoul.
BWCW was designed to offer an interactive experience for fans, with the members’ scribbles, photographs and polaroids plastered on walls and other surfaces. From random messages to fans that read “Do you like to play basketball?” to “Beware of the stairs,” it feels as if the members were handed markers and let loose to draw and write on everything in the store.
“I really feel like EXO was here. It feels different from other shops where they only sell merchandise,” said Koo Han-ul, 16, a high school student from Seoul. “You can come and see the personalities of all of the members with the pictures and scribbles displayed all over the shop.”
The Cafetorium is an actual caf where hungry fans can chow down on hamburgers and sandwiches with a variety of beverages.
“I got hungry after looking around the store, so I really like how you can actually eat here as well,” said Cho Ae-rim, 13, a middle school student from Seoul.
Overall, despite the high price range of the merchandise in the shop, fans from all over Korea as well as abroad are packing in to look at the exclusive merchandise as well as the members’ candid scribbles all throughout the store.
Jenny Chen, 21, from China, said, “I came to Korea to visit with my family, but when I heard about the opening I couldn’t resist taking time to come to Sinsa-dong to look at the shop.”
EXO has also been actively promoting the store using their official Facebook page as a means of communication with fans. They announced that each member has a favorite item in the store, encouraging fans to interactively find which members prefer which items within the shop.
The 12-member group EXO debuted in 2012 with the EP “Mama” and quickly gained popularity for their catchy tunes and diverse members. EXO is split into two sub-groups with six members each in EXO-K and EXO-M that perform in Korean and Chinese, respectively. EXO-K members work in Korea while EXO-M members work in China, with four of the members being Chinese nationals.
The K-pop group’s repackaged 14-track album was released Aug. 5 with three new additions to the group’s previous album, “XOXO (Kiss&Hug)” including tracks “Growl,” “LUCKY” and “XOXO.”
By Cha Yo-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org