For visitors with shopping at the top of their agenda in Seoul and beyond, it may be hard to keep up; Korean fashion is furiously fast and fickle.
But from Seoul's distinctive street style (loud statement pieces are the calling cards) to runway chic, these top 10 South Korean fashion brands are defining some of Asia's trendiest looks.
For the moment anyway.
"Spain has Zara, Korea has 8seconds," says "InStyle Korea" fashion editor Sujin Yang.
Launched in February in 2012 by Samsung subsidiary Cheil Industries as a domestic competitor to foreign fashion brands such as UNIQLO, 8seconds' heavy marketing paid off with ?60 billion ($54 million) in sales in 2012.
The brand's goal for 2013 is ?150 billion ($134 million) in sales. It hopes to bring its success abroad with international stores open by 2014.
The name is supposed to signify the length of time that we perceive as the "now," according to the brand's somewhat convoluted mission statement.
With colorful and creative displays, the stores are some of the most fun to visit in Korea.
A signature 8seconds look combines neon tribal print leggings, Space Age-silver bomber jacket and retro polka dot blouse, all at extremely low prices, in the Forever 21 range.
8seconds Garosugil flagship store: 535-12 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul; +82 70 7090 1144
Myeong-dong branch, 50-1 Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul; +82 70 7090 2272
2. Lucky Chouette
Lucky Chouette is the variegated, street-inspired and accessible line by Kim Jae-hyun, who was chosen to be part of Seoul's 10 Soul -- a fashion project launched by the Seoul government to promote upcoming Korean designers.
"Kim Jae-hyun is already a familiar figure in the fashion world through her Jardin de Chouette line," says Yang, adding that Kim's atelier is always crowded with Korean celebrities.
Silhouettes tend to be chunky and casual -- skirts are short and flared, blouses are oversized.
Prints play a big part in the Lucky Chouette design, as does the owl, which is supposed to symbolize luck.
Lucky Chouette Cheongdam store, 21-15 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul; +82 2 3444 1002
Lotte branch, 2/F Lotte Department Store, 1 Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul; +82 2 772 3211
3. Steve J. & Yoni P.
Having debuted their first collection at London Fashion Week in 2007, this duo's designs can be found at foreign high-fashion retailers such as Opening Ceremony.
In Korea, the initial wave of popularity that greeted them is as strong as ever.
The clothes are wearable, but with an unexpected kick in the details.
The brand's flagship store in Hannam-dong this season is a playground of summery dresses with floral prints, fancifully re-imagined stripes and paisley.
Steve J & Yoni P, 685-12, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul; +82 2 543 4766
4. Beyond Closet
This menswear label is the creation of designer Ko Tae yong, who created costumes for the hit Korean wave drama "Boys Over Flowers."
Launched in 2008, the brand stocks classic and collegiate baseball jackets, sports jackets and button-downs in vibrant and boyish blues, reds and yellows.
While the look won't exactly fly at a job interview, it's great for sartorially conscious men in their twenties and thirties whose masculinity isn't derailed by a healthy dose of cute in their wardrobes.
The brand's runway wear is available for purchase on their website or at the showroom.
Multi-brand shop A Land also stocks the line in its various locations (Myeongdong, Sinsa-dong, COEX, Gangnam, Hongdae and the Mokdong Hyundai Department Store).
Beyond Closet showroom, B1, 560-2, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
A Land Myeong-dong, 53-6 Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul; +82 2 1566-7477
5. Jain Song
"Jain Song is known for her sharp, sophisticated and clean looks," says Yang about the designer's eponymous label.
Song interned with her mother, veteran designer Kim Dong-soon, before launching her own collection in 2004.
It's been a successful riding from there, with collaborations with high fashion boutique 10 corso como, LG Mobile, Estee Lauder and Iope.
The brand has an online shop, and its Hannamdong flagship store Mo Jain Song, which opened this year, is quickly becoming a popular hangout for the city's young and stylish with its pretty outdoor cafe and carefully cultivated rooftop garden.
The flagship store stocks a variety of curated lifestyle items along with the fashion line.
Mo Jain Song, 739-6 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul; +82 2 797 6231