Stylish guys take note: You are your accessoriesAttention all stylish men: No look is complete without a cool accessory. But it seems many of you already know that since Stylo, a men’s fashion accessory shop, has no trouble making sales.
Last year, Hwang Ho-seok, founder of Stylo, spent six months traveling in the United States, looking for a new trend to bring back home. Fashion accessories for men were it. At first, the concept was just a curiosity. But Mr. Hwang was sure the Korean fashion market was ready for men’s accessories.
Last October, he opened Stylo online (www.stylo.co.kr). Though there was no advertising, it quickly became popular through word of mouth. Pretty soon, the site’s message board was filled with questions like, “How do you polish silver?”
After the success of the Web site, Mr. Hwang opened the Stylo retail shop near Hongik University this March. The shop has a unique rule: No women allowed, unless accompanying a man. While some women howl about discrimination, Mr. Hwang says the policy will stay.
“Men are not likely to shop at a place crowded with women,” he said. “Our target customers ― men ― need to feel comfortable in the shop.”
Most of the customers are men in their 20s. Stylo has developed something of a following among the underground bands that play in the Hongik area clubs.
Mr. Hwang says couples rarely leave the shop happy. “When a couple comes in it starts out fine. The boyfriend tries things on, the girlfriend critiques them. But pretty soon, they start arguing because the guy has his personal style that he wants to pursue and the girlfriend just wants to play dress up.”
It seems men in this generation really want to express themselves. And how better to do that than by accessorizing?
Telephone: (02) 333-4785
Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Closed Mondays
Location: Exit 6 of Hongik University Station, line No. 2. Walk past Burger King, take second right, walk two blocks, turn left.
by Seokhee Yoon