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Posted by on Aug 22, 2009 in Commentary | 0 comments

Chosun Ilbo: ‘It Bag’ Fever Gives Way to Individualism

Chosun Ilbo: ‘It Bag’ Fever Gives Way to Individualism

The Chosun Ilbo newspaper posted an article on Aug. 21, informing us that the Korean penchant for using purses as status symbols has come to an end. Sales of luxury handbags have dropped by 50% since January 2009.

Top designer Anya Hindmarch recently said the age of “it bag” is over and consumers have begun to realize that there is no need to pay so much money for a bag that will be out of fashion in the next season.

Here are some cute yet functional handbags and purses for ex-pats living in South Korea who want to support the Korean economy with their hard-earned won.

If you’re looking for a cotton tote bag with Korean sensibility, check out norinori’s shop on This Seoul-based shop specializes in 100% cotton tote bags, like this one called “Prayer.” The size is 16 in. x 14 in. (4) or 40 cm x 35 cm (10).

Make a wish in your own space.

The shop has been on since May 26, 2008. As of yet, there have been no sales. This bag (which costs US$45) would be perfect for an impromptu field trip to the palace with your students. Since it’s cotton, it’s also washable.

The second Korea-based shop is Bysoniasonia‘s. For US$28.30, you can easily justify the purchase of this cute and functional tote bag. The bag is 15.5 in. by 11.5 in. (39.5 cm by 29.3 cm). With a 11-inch-diameter round floor, it will keep your out door food market or flea market purchases from crushing each other. This bag is also cotton so don’t worry about the ivory tone. It’s washable as well. However, if you want a different color, Ms. Sonia will take custom orders. She also sells clutches and vintage bags as well.

If your purse needs run on the small side, check out Atelierdesoyun at She uses linen, cotton and hemp as well as vintage ribbon and trims to design her petite purses and wristlets. Like this wristlet, Linen Hemp Pyramid Triangle Wristlet Pouch in Sky Aqua Blue, is 5 in. wide by 5 in. high by 5 in. deep. Each purse or wristlet is custom-made to order.

Please understand that every item in my shop is made to order. I hand dye the color and craft those design one by one, giving each of them unique character.

I believe it is important to support the local economy of our current residence whenever possible, and that is even more important during these difficult economic times. Buy local!

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