Coping with Covid-19: Seoul Inspired WFH Athleisure

Why the fascination with Seoul?

Seoul has been a destination only recently making my Top 10 ‘Must Visit’ locations in the world. It has not always been on my radar, but after I slightly expanded my narrow-minded fashion week gaze, I realised the gratifyingly extensive list of locations around the world, producing some of the most interesting designer collections & (well-documented) inspired cultural moments.

Amid my research, wanderlust, and fashion sleuthing, I found that Seoul has been christened one of the most refreshingly exciting street style epicentres in the globe.

This fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world, has been at the forefront of some of the most crisp styling overhauls within our own fashion culture the past 3-5 years. Their influence is evident in how the West stays looking to the South Korean streets for trend analysis & inspiration – and yes, K-Pop was a factor.

The PUMA x Sankuanz Tracksuit Bottom with tonal striping, slick side seams with graphic novel type Sankuanz branding, and external drawcords.

Where is Seoul in your look?

One of the markers of Seoul’s now eponymous street style for the past few seasons, has been a twofold style juxtaposition of designer minimalism tailored without error, as well as trendy preppy style intrinsically tied to plaid & military design faculties.

Today’s look doesn’t have any of that, though I love me a boilersuit when I can find one in my size, let alone oversized (another Seoul streetstyle characterisation).

Today’s look errs on the side of athleisure – exercising a half & half match of sportwear-for-life function, and polished refinement in all the other pieces that build the ensemble look. That summation means I need only add a blazer, to be able to head to a business meeting and appear professional with ease.

Sankuanz‘ (my pants co-creator) is a label by Chinese designer Shangguan Zhe – a semi-finalist of the coveted LVMH Prize in 2015, and an Asian designer with a cult-following due to his disruptive sportwear & vintage design amalgamation.

I like to think that anytime I have on PUMA anything, I elevate my normal streetstyle, into high fashion.

I never choose my PUMA gear lightly, and they never fail to produce some of the finest & most comfortable pieces for sneakerheads and athleisure lovers.

What do the sneakers say?

In my research about Seoul street style, I found this really informative documentary film on Netfix, called “Sneakerheadz“.

I never knew how much South Korea buys into American pop (and sports) culture, nor how they’ve evolved sneaker culture so far that they’ve now established their own lexicon through self-expression.

Seoulites usually show the streets a steady combination of obscure, technical sneakers in bold colorways, as well as clean, streamlined designs and muted colorways – there’s no in-between!

My sneakers may be PUMA babies, but the styling is much more Seoul.

The PUMA x Ralph Sampson retro mid-top sneaker I’m rocking, is the second-coming of the iconic 80s court silhouette. I could not pass up on the reissue celebrating Basketball Hall-of-Famer Ralph Sampson and his legacy (a legacy which includes him always seen in a PUMA sweat suit with matching sneakers).

It’s so strange for me to be drawn to a high-top, as my PUMA sneaker safe zone, is the regular suede’s, but looking at Seoulites inventive styling choices, gave me some inspiration.

It’s endlessly fascinating that NBA merchandise and other sportswear, is so much more lifestyle-focused, lit, and fashion-focused in South Korea, than even in its American homeland. That casually trendy vibe of some Seoul tastemakers, is what I’m drawing inspiration from, for today…what do you think?

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