Oraegage Pt. 6 – My Type of Old Stores
See & Do Tours
The way in which consumers want special, one-of-a-kind products hasn’t changed at all since the beginning of time. That’s why custom-made products are so special. Through acts of waiting in anticipation and adjusting things to suit one’s preference, the consumer is able to feel a sense of closeness with the finished product. The consumer doesn’t even need to have any sense of taste in fashion, either. This process might even let them discover a hidden preference they were unaware of.
In this part of the Oraegage series, we’ll be exploring old stores that were able to keep afloat all these years by offering unique, one-of-a-kind custom-made products.
7 Hyehwa-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
The 78-year old barber shop continues to open its shop at 8 o’clock sharp every morning. Munhwa Barber Shop brings about memories of its prime years, where customers would climb up and sit atop the wooden board laid across the chair’s armrest. Even the exterior of the shop has remained unchanged over the years. Stepping inside the shop, one is greeted with a scene people might bring up during drinking sessions as they reminisce about the past. The current owner of the shop neatly wears his necktie as he opens up the shop at 8 o’clock. His white coat is a symbol of his pride of having protected this space for over 70 years.
55 Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (Room 302)
Acknowledged by the Korean government, Parkindang is a Korean seal engraving shop. Jeongak, literally meaning “seal engraving”, is a special term applied to the work of those who make seals. Engraving is not simply just an act of chiseling, but an act which must incorporate the essence of the engraver to bring out the strokes of the letter to life. And when the strokes of the letters are brought to life, they are imbued with the characteristics of the owner, essentially becoming physical symbols of the seal owner. This form of art is something that can’t be done on a computer. The seals engraved by artisans and master engravers seem to radiate with specialness.
3F - 4F, 60-1 Supyo-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Fame and luxury doesn’t always have to be so flashy. Songlim Shoemaking is not only the first place in Korea to make hiking boots, but also a famous custom shoe store that has been passed down for four generations. Remaining faithful to its founding philosophy of making shoes which fit the needs of each individual, Songlim Shoemaking has attracted and accumulated a lot of regulars over the past 80 years. Go Sang-don, the first Korean to climb Mt. Everest, and Heo Yeong-ho, the famed explorer who led successful expeditions through the North Pole, South Pole, Mt. Everest, and the Bering Strait, both wore shoes from Songlim Shoemaking. This just goes to show that Songlim Shoemaking is the perfect place to go for people wanting quality functional shoes.
2 Toegye-ro 20-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, Hanyeong Tailor Shop is a very famous place for getting quality tailored suits. Many prominent figures have had their suits made in this very shop, including former president Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. Former president Moon Jae-in also had his suit made here when he served as Senior Presidential Secretary for Civil Affairs at the Blue House. That goes to show how high in quality the suits of this shop are. The shop also possesses fabric which costs several millions of won per yard. The possession of such fine fabric shows that the tailor of this shop has the skill and technique necessary to bring out the true value of these fabrics when crafting a suit. Hanyeong Tailor Shop is the place to go for high quality tailored suits.