Seoul is known for being a leader as a global fashion destination, but also known for its counterfeit goods. South Korea is one of the world's largest economy, 14th in the world. So why do they partake in the counterfeit culture?
There are a couple of reasons why- the first is that the streetwear goods are hard to access and purchase in South Korea. Fake Supreme hoodies can be found on the sidewalk for $25, just outside a Fashion Week convention.
There are also huge shopping malls in the area that carries an exact replica of an embriodered Saint Laurent jacket that was worn by Justin Beiber. The only way you can tell the difference between fake and real is that the fake reads, "Classic Fashion".
There are also Off-White and Gucci grosgrain ribbons that can be made custom to order.
Whoever is making these counterfeit goods is obviously keeping an eye out on Instagram fashion hashtags and street style reports. But this country is unique in a sense that its younger generation is obsessed with fashion trends, street culture, and global trends because it defines your status. It seems as if a lot of these young Koreans really aren't aware of what they are wearing , whether if it is fake or not.
Because of this huge surge in street wear, South Korea's market continues to grow- in 2012 South Korea confiscated 57,0005 counterfeit goods.
The International Chamber of Commerce and International Trademark Association that the global economic value of counterfeiting and piracy could reach $2.3 trillion by 2022 with China and South Korea being the biggest producers of counterfeit goods.