A Seoul shop passes the hat and finds women wanting its goods

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A Seoul shop passes the hat and finds women wanting its goods

There’s something irresistibly romantic about the hats at Luielle.
Whether it’s a hat that’s trimmed with feathers and loops of ribbons or a vintage hat made out of velvet, Luielle offers designs that immediately conjure the image of a stylish, married woman on a picnic or at a wedding.
As one of the few boutiques in Seoul specializing in handmade hats, Luielle offers a variety of innovative ― even eccentric ― designs that rarely are found in department stores.
One of the shop’s steady sellers is its “canvas series,” a Victorian-inspired hat featuring a wide brim with a landscape painting in watercolors.
“People love the shop,” says a saleswoman at Luielle. “But many think that their heads will look bigger if they wear hats, when exactly the opposite is true.”
Once customers buy a bonnet and start getting compliments, they become millinery maniacs like the actress Park Chan-suk, a regular patron of Luielle.
The shop is small, yet substantial. Two walls are lined with vintage and contemporary hats. Another wall has Polaroid snapshots of TV celebrities wearing hats by Luielle. A rack outside displays headgear for men.
These hats aren’t cheap. Prices range from roughly 100,000 to 250,000 won ($85-$205), which is perhaps why so many of the shop’s patrons are married women. But since the Sogyuk-dong is becoming a hangout for trendsetters and artists, Luielle is developing designs for younger customers.
Designer-owner Shirly Chun says her prices are justified and has posted a small sign near the entrance that reads, “After all, it’s a matter of value, not an indulgence.”

by Park Soo-mee

The store is located across the street from the Tibet Museum near the ArtSonje Center. For more information, visit www.luielle.co.kr

Theme: Hat shop
Telephone: (02) 720-0309
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Closed every first Sunday.
Location: Across from the Tibet Museum, Sogyeok-dong, northern Seoul
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