A new service in South Korea allows women to flash the latest high-end handbag without forking over a lot of dough.
MBC reports that a luxury goods rental service has customers depositing their own upscale handbagwith a broker which then entitles them to pick out a handbag for a fee of about $20 to $30 per week. If the customer’s bag is rented by another customer, they get a percentage of the rental fees. If they don’t add a bag to the pool, they can still rent a bag for a higher fee of about $50.
Members are reportedly happy with the service.
“I think it’s a great thing, to be able to change up your bag for the price of a cup of coffee,” one customer told MBC. “It’s fresh and new.”
MBC reported that peer-to-peer rental services were first popularized in the United States following the Great Recession of 2008. One notable example of a P2P rental service that has taken off is Airbnb, a site in which homeowners can rent out rooms to cost-conscious travelers.
Now Gangnam, Korea is becoming known for more than just a popular parody song in America. In February, over the course of two days, the Gangnam District Office and police hired a group of 50 city workers to forcefully evict street vendors. This resulted in physical altercations between workers and vendors, and the complete destruction of several street stands.
Running businesses on the streets of Gangnam has been illegal since 2011, without much enforcement. Now district chief Shin Yeon-hee says the area, which has been developing in recent years into a metropolis, needs to be “cleaned up” in order to make Gangnam more “global” and “foreigner friendly” for all of the incoming tourists.
Vendors couldn’t do much but watch as city workers not only harassed them, but took hammers to their stands, destroying all merchandise. Police officers stood nearby but didn’t interfere. There have been reports that a few brave vendors have ventured to set up new stands since then.
Star figure skater Kim Yuna, known as “Queen Yuna,” is dating ice hockey player Kim Won-jung, her agency confirmed Thursday.
South Korean tabloid website Dispatch set the Korean Internet on fire Wednesday after releasing a series of photos, one of which shows Kim, 23, taking a leisurely stroll alongside the 29-year-old hockey player in Seoul with her arm wrapped around him. Kim’s agency, All That Sports, later revealed that the two athletes are indeed dating.
“Most of what Dispatch reported is true as Kim Yuna and Kim Won-jung are in a relationship,” the agency said in a press release.
The couple first met in July 2012 while training at the Taeneung Training Center in Seoul where South Korean figure skaters, ice hockey players and short track skaters share the ice rink throughout the day prior to international competitions, including the Winter Olympic Games, according to Dispatch. They began dating in August 2013. Both of them also recently graduated from Korea University.
The photos published by Dispatch were reportedly taken on Sept. 5 last year, which was Kim’s 23rd birthday, but the reporter who broke the story decided to hold them until now to avoid being a distraction to Kim’s preparations for the Winter Olympic Games, where she controversially settled for a silver medal behind Adelina Sotnikova of host country Russia.
“We set the date for the release of the photos sometime after the Olympics out of consideration [for Kim],” said Na Ji-yeon, the Dispatch reporter who broke the news, according to YTN News. “We decided to release the photos in March after all her [competitions] were over.”
Kim Won-jung plays for the military club Daemyung Sangmu in the Asia League Ice Hockey (ALIH), which is a three-nation league with three teams from Korea, one from China and four based in Japan.
The March issue of Marie Claire Korea is certainly one to look forward to. What are we most excited to see? Park Shin Hye’s gorgeous looks as she pays homage to Audrey Hepburn– the film and fashion icon during Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Clearly, Hepburn’s legacy is one that has endured long after her death in 1993. In fact, the American Film Institute named Hepburn third among the Greatest Female Stars of All Time.
Although it is impossible to recreate a legend, we are awfully impressed with Park Shin Hye’s stunning tribute spread titled “My Fair Lady.” For the spread, the South Korean actresses reenacts iconic Audrey Hepburn styles from Roman Holiday, Funny Face, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Park Shin Hye not only shows her versatility as a model, she points out that she is a force to be reckoned with. The 24-year-old artist has been quickly rising to fame and is most known for korean dramas You’re Beautiful, Flower Boys Next Door and Heirs. In fact, her role in You’re Beautiful shot the actress into worldwide popularity.
Recently, we showed you a very popular trend among couples in Korea. In an effort to publicly show their relationship, many couples will go for the “couple look.” They will match with the same color, shirt, shoes, or even go to extreme lengths and match head-to-toe in identical his-and-hers versions of an entire outfit.
There are many reasons for this phenomenon. Some couples use this as a way of showing affection. Others use it as a clear sign that they are off the market. Some have even reasoned that it makes a big fashion statement because it is so easily noticed.
Whatever the reason may be, matching couple outfits are getting more and more popular everyday. WWD wandered the streets of Seoul on Valentine’s Day to catch a glimpse of the “couple look.”
Sure enough, the matching outfits popped up everywhere during the romantic holiday. One couple argued that they didn’t need Valentine’s Day to be cute with one another. “We dress the same every day,” said Shin Seung-Chul and fiancée, Bae Jung-a.
Check out more couples who decided to flaunt their love for Valentine’s Day:
If you’re looking for something other than chocolates and flowers to give to your significant other this Valentine’s Day, take a note from what many young couples are doing in South Korea on a daily basis.
The “couple look,” or publicly advertising a relationship by wearing matching outfits, is quite easy to spot on the streets, beaches and cafes of South Korea. While it can be as simple as a matching T-shirt or shoes, there are couples taking it to the next level, curating entire looks that match from head-to-toe, from jackets and pants to socks and underwear.
The “couple look” culture has understandably spawned a sizable market for specialized retailers, according to AFP. Many online retailers sell couple attire for snowboarding, swimming and running, as well as pajamas and lingerie for the more intimate moments.
There is no substantial data to show how well these businesses are doing, but many young Koreans say donning the couple look is a sweet way of showing affection for one another and even showing off their relationship in public. Married couples have also been getting in on it as a way of reaffirming their love.
Needless to say, things can get complicated if a relationship goes south. Articles of clothing are a bit more permanent than chocolate or flowers, but at least it’s not his-and-hers tattoos.
Popular men’s magazine Maxim Korea is accustomed to racy, eye-catching covers, but that’s usually due to the scantily-clad women. In this case, however, the editor-in-chief of the South Korean publication is under fire from netizens for a front page headline in the February issue that reads, “How to date Japanese women who haven’t been exposed to radiation,” as well as for his faux apology that blames the Japanese for the mistake.
The controversy began when readers in South Korea initially pointed out the inappropriate nature of the headline. Once the Japanese media picked up the topic, the issue blew up even further, prompting a public apology from the editor on Feb. 5, but his statement only added fuel to the flames.
He began appropriately enough, apologizing for “causing discomfort and inflicting harm” to any Japanese. He explained the article was a guide about how to get a Japanese girlfriend, and the headline on the front page was meant to be eye-catching and not intended to be offensive in any way.
It goes all downhill from there, as the editor subsequently shifts the blame to Japan: “The recent brash remarks coming from Japan concerning Dokdo and the island dispute, Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and the issue of comfort women, have unintentionally caused us to make a mistake,” he said.
“I will apologize for a second time to the many Japanese who harbor amicable feelings towards South Korea and continue to wait for the correct resolution to Dokdo and other historical problems,” he continued. “I wish to thank the readers who reprimanded us out of love.”
Japanese readers were understandably angered, with many calling the statement a provocation rather than an apology. There is no word on whether Maxim will issue (another) apology.
Two beautiful princesses, an adorable talking snowman, and a slew of catchy musical numbers that you find yourself humming unconsciously — the animated film Frozen has all the right ingredients for the perfect Disney movie. But in Korea, this particular film has a specific, older audience applauding on their feet.
Among the thousands of theater patrons who visited their local movie theaters to experience this Disney winter tale since its Korean release on Jan. 16, women in their 30s largely constituted the viewing audience in Korea. This particular age group made up 29 percent of the entire admitted audience, larger than any other demographic.
The film, now the highest-grossing animated feature ever in South Korea, has struck a chord with the older, female crowd. The two princesses, Elsa and Anna, don’t perpetuate the damsel-in-distress narrative — instead, they take the initiative to solve their problems and restore the kingdom on their own terms. Additionally, Kristoff’s character as the common man undercuts the “charming prince” archetype saturated in many Disney films; young girls viewing the film gain a more realistic and grounded idea of love.
But Frozen has left the audience with more than just a positive message; after the credits rolled, the soundtrack behind the film has left a lasting legacy. Covers of the chart-topper, “Let it Go”, originally sung by Idina Menzel, have taken over YouTube, but two in particular stand out.
Korea’s Sonnet Son, currently studying at Berklee School of Music in Boston, gives Idina Menzel a run for her money. Sonnet makes belting and sustaining high notes and musical phrases look like a piece of cake; and her passion for singing, so tangible through this video, will leave goose bumps all over. It is definitely apparent that Sonnet has a promising musical career in sight.
From a completely different music genre platform, 32-year-old Korean singer Park Hyun-bin makes his mark by transforming ‘Let it Go’ into a Korean trot-style pop song. Trot, also known as ppongjjak, is a genre of music that is associated with an older generation of Koreans, but it’s still leaving an impression today. Park’s enthusiastic and almost goofy demeanor accompanied with a very skilled and talented voice distinguishes him from the many covers that pervade the Internet.
Along with other Korean female singers, including Ailee, Lee-Hae-ri, and Lee Yu-bi, who have famously covered the song, Frozen’s ‘Let it Go’has given many Korean musicians a chance to showcase their voice, talent, and musical ability.
Our generation is often criticized for the amount of social media we indulge in on a daily basis. We are told that we rely on it far too much. We are poked fun at because people think we are unable to go five minutes without looking at our phone. Even worse, we are told that our friendships and relationships are diluted thanks to social media.
It’s no secret that a handful of people have nothing but negative things to say when it comes to the topic of social media, but this is a story that will prove them otherwise.
Because we focus so much on the negative aspects of social media, we’ve overlooked how it has helped us: we’re able stay in touch with old friends and family members living overseas, long-distance relationships have a chance of surviving despite the difficult circumstances, and most importantly, we are able to meet people that may have never crossed our path.
Through social media we can meet our future best friend or love interest. In fact, we can meet some of the most unexpected people imaginable. For 27-year-old Samantha from Los Angeles, that’s exactly what happened.
In February 2013, Anaïs, a French fashion design student living in London, got her first glimpse of Samantha through a YouTube video featuring the aspiring American actress. Shocked by their similar appearances, Anaïs could not help but looking into Samantha’s background and finally sent her a message.
The twins learned that they were both adoptees, both born in the same country and shared the same birthday.
Convinced that they were related, the two began visiting one another and even spent 10 days in Korea to find out where their separation took place.
The girls decided to document and turn their amazing story into a film. Now, a year later, we finally get our first glimpse of their incredible discovery.
The idea of being paid to eat sounds great doesn’t it? It will sound even better once you find out that this South Korean woman makes over $9000 a month just for eating dinner. I know what you’re thinking– where are the job applications!?
But before you go and quit your day job to become a full-time eater, you should probably know that there’s a catch. Seo Yeon Park, the beautiful 33-year-old who makes a living off of eating, must spend her dinnertime in front of a webcam to appease hundreds of adoring fans.
A little awkward? You bet.
But many of the Koreans who tune into Seo Yeon Park’s live-channel argue that paying to watch Seo Yeon eat is perfectly reasonable. We want to emphasize that although Park is noticeably attractive, there is no nudity or sex involved. Many people are quick to assume that her popularity is due to some strange fetish among viewers, but fans argue that they primarily watch Seo Yeon Park to heal their loneliness and their hunger pangs.
“People enjoy the vicarious pleasure of my online show when they can’t eat that much, don’t want to eat food at night, or are on a diet,” Seo Yeon told Reuters.
For this reason, Seo Yeon only eats top quality food that costs about $3000-$5000 a month. Seo Yeon will spend several hours eating (trust us, this girl can eat!) and spend a few more hours chatting with her fans. The entire show is roughly 4-6 hours and available every night. The show contains a live chat room and has become very interactive for her fans.
“For Koreans, eating is an extremely social, communal activity, which is why even the Korean word ‘family’ means ‘those who eat together,'” says Professor Sung-hee Park of Ewha University’s Division of Media Studies.
This is precisely why the show has become extremely popular among individuals who don’t want to eat by themselves.
“One of the best comments I ever received from a viewer who said that she had gotten over her anorexia by watching me eat,” says Park. “That really meant a lot to me.”
As a token of appreciation, many fans send in money. Seo Yeon Park gets paid so much that she was able to quit her day job at a consulting agency and now puts her full attention towards eating.
Lucky for her, Seo Yeon’s metabolism seems perfectly capable of adjusting to her job. Fans have watched her consume 4 whole pizzas in the span of a few hours and still maintain a fit body. Now that’s impressive!
If you still find yourself puzzled by all this, you’re not alone. In fact, Seo Yeon often receives harsh criticism from people who don’t support her channel.
“I get some really awful commenters who make me reexamine ‘why am I doing this again?’ but at the end of the day the positive feedback overwhelmingly outweighs the bad, so I am happy to continue.” she says.
And she’s not the only one! Over 3,500 people have been doing similar online programs sponsored by restaurants.
We’re not quite sure that this is a fad that will work in America, but we’re certainly interested in seeing how this progresses in Korea.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.