Unless you clock a solid amount of time on Instagram, the store W Concept is probably wholly foreign to you. Still, the indie Korean retailer’s feed—a mix of lifestyle photos on neutral backgrounds interspersed with on-model detail shots of bell sleeves and puffer coats in the wild—should look vaguely familiar to anyone in the fashion game. And that’s no mistake: Influencers make up a good chunk of W Concept’s marketing strategy, especially in the US, where the brand launched e-commerce back in February of this year.
Originally, W Concept worked with top Korean designers like Doo Ri and Andy&Debb to create affordable, limited-run collabs. But what started out as a place for widely known brands to experiment with a capsule collection of sorts eventually turned into a launching pad for emerging designers and their trend-based clothes, all delivered outside of the traditional, two-season fashion schedule. (New arrivals from more than 1000 brands—300 of which are offered in the U.S—come on a daily basis.)
Part of the appeal, of course is that W Concept houses brands that haven’t otherwise found a home in the States: “We’re marketing brands that are currently unavailable in the US, and our aim is to bring more exposure to these brands,” Yoona Park, a member of W Concept’s US marketing team, tells me. “With customers who are interested in Korean style and the kitschy chic that is definitive of this style—and through influencers—we essentially hope to gradually spread a new style, culture, and community.”
And it’s working: Throughout the past two weeks alone, I’ve bookmarked more than a dozen photos on the ‘gram with a W Concept tag—it’s how I discovered cool brands like Reike Nen, Ader Error, Hyoon, and Noir. Most pieces on the site are priced between $100 and $250—a touch north of fast-fashion retailers like Zara and H&M—though every so often you’ll come across a pair of slick booties or a wool coat with a $400 price tag. But other than the W Concept’s lack of a fast-fashion label, one differentiating thing you’ll surely notice is the quality: Namely, that W Concept’s offerings are decidedly better-made—it’s telltale details like zippers that don’t catch, seams that are secured, and winter coats that have the heft of, well, a true winter coat. ‘
Ahead, we rounded up our favorite pieces from the site. We’ll wager a guess that you’re bound to see them on the ‘gram, too.