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[Weekender] ‘Style is all about how you put things together’

Tips from H&M Korea’s CEO

Korea is one of the best markets in the world in terms of the number of fashion-conscious male customers, according to Filip Ekvall, the CEO of H&M Korea.

The Swedish CEO talked about his personal fashion style, Korean men’s fashion taste in comparison to other countries and suggestions for spring items in a recent email interview with The Korea Herald. The following are excerpts from the interview.

Korea Herald: What is your fashion style?

Filip Ekvall: I love classic. Classic can be fun, not boring. It’s all about how you put things together. And I call it “classic contemporary style.” Old classic fashion could be boring but when it comes to modern classic, it gets interesting. Instead of creating a traditional style with a normal wide tie, you can go with a slim tie or a colorful shirt so that you get a different perception about classic fashion.
Filip Ekvall, CEO of H&M Korea (H&M)
Filip Ekvall, CEO of H&M Korea (H&M)

Herald: How would you rate Korean men’s fashion compared to other countries?

Ekvall: Korea is one of the best fashion markets in the world. Koreans are all so much into fashion. Everyone cares about what they wear or how they look. They all look sophisticated and have had fashion inspirations on other countries as well. We see that so many Koreans on the street have high fashion taste. We don’t see differences with, for example, Parisians.

When we present collaborative collections with fashion designers, more than 50 percent of those queued in front of H&M stores are men. H&M men’s collections are very well received by our male customers. This shows how many fashion-conscious male customers we have in Korea.

Herald: What simple rules should men keep in mind in terms of style?

Ekvall: Do not just follow trends. You can do it in many different ways. For businesspeople, for instance, it’s better for them to go with simple and basic items like black or stripe suits rather than just following current trends. You can play and make a new look with a blazer and denim pants, or accessories like a belt or socks to make your look more interesting. Try to find your own style to express yourself.

Herald: What items would you recommend for men to include in their wardrobe?

Ekvall: Tailoring and sportswear have merged this season, as casual wear smartens up and suiting has a crisp relaxed cut. Flight jackets set the sporty-yet-smart silhouette, while suits have a relaxed cut that’s still neat and modern. Intense layers of paisley prints or abstract nature prints are found on shirts and shorts for a sense of city protection.

Herald: What are some key accessory items men can add to bring a fresh change to their look?

Ekvall: To freshen up your look, you can work with details by using ties, socks, shoes or belts. In addition, a pair of sunglasses in this sunny weather makes you look smarter and chic.

By Lee Woo-young (
Korea Herald Youtube