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Fashion accessories take on new life in drive for style and individuality

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Published : 2014-05-23 20:30
Updated : 2014-05-23 21:08

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”  -Coco Chanel


Style and fashion. Who can live without them?

Especially in an age where people are not shy about expressing themselves and want to advertise what they are all about, having a unique sense of style is certainly a plus.

Shoes, purses, ties, watches, rings, earrings and scarves ― these are all items that people use to spice up their wardrobes and create styles of their own.

Some may be after a one-of-a-kind look, while for others, it’s all about using their imagination to tastefully apply what celebrities are wearing. For those who can afford it, style is sticking to the classics, meaning if it’s not an expensive designer brand, it’s not for them.

Shoes are an item that stylists and fashionistas alike swear is the best bet for entirely changing a look ― and possibly even for changing lives: Walt Disney once said Cinderella was proof that a pair of shoes can change your life. The footwear market appears to be thriving, as more manufacturers cater to the growing demands of Korean shoe-lovers.
An employee stands behind the window display of a Chanel SA store at Lotte Avenuel, Lotte Shopping Co.’s luxury brand department store in Seoul. (Bloomberg)

Sometimes, even the most boring outfit can be transformed into an exciting look with the right pair of shoes. Think of how fetching Dorothy looked in her bead-studded ruby slippers that took her back to Kansas.

And it’s not just women.

Men also are showing an increased interest in the designs that go on their feet.

Purses and bags are another timeless fashion item for women, and many famous celebrities have gone so far as to claim that they would feel naked without the right bag.

Jewelry, meanwhile, appears to have gone in the other direction, as more people seem to be after designs that can highlight their individuality.

A jewelry designer based in Itaewon told The Korea Herald what makes consumers open up their purses when they are out jewelry-hunting.

For men, ties and watches are probably the equivalent to what jewelry and purses are to women.

These days in Korea, it’s not hard to find fashion-forward men trying to accentuate their looks with the right tie and watch to match. Cuff links and men’s jewelry ― mostly bracelets and necklaces ― are also selling well.

According to Auction in 2013, sales of men’s accessories rose up to 10 percent since 2010. As of April this year, the volume rose almost 50 percent compared to the first three months of 2013.

The reason that such news makes headlines is because, traditionally, Korean men did not pay much attention to grooming, as they were too busy being breadwinners. All this seems to be changing rapidly.

People are no longer content with simply appearing decent. We all want that little extra something that personifies us, and in doing so, we become just a little bit closer to stylish.

And when people start feeling better and confident about the way they look, it often rubs onto the other parts of their lives, including how they perform at work and interact with others.

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)

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