“The meaning of Mootta [묻다] is the English translation of the Korean word, meaning ‘to ask’. We want to ask what is new, what is trending, what is stylish in the fashion world. We think and believe that everyone has their own values and that each person is different. Everyone can find suitable styles for themselves. Our company is about asking these types of questions to help people figure it out.
Our boss is very interested in fashion, naturally. He is from abroad and raised in the UK, but born in Hong Kong. He wanted to share Korean fashion with the world, and as a result, Mootta was founded 1½ years ago.
To be honest, there isn’t a major difference in the fashion world between Asia and Europe and America, because we all share trends every season through the web or media. That’s the reason why global fashion companies come to Korea to find success and contrarily, Korean fashion companies succeed in America or even in Europe: it’s because the media is very well-developed.
Mootta has two big spheres – one is our online website and the other is doing business with overseas buyers. That means that our customers are both online and also fashion distributors. We have two collections of brands for each of them. The purposes for each are different, but the idea of spreading fashion is the same.
Inspiration can be found everywhere each season. We especially see trends when we are buying. For Mootta, each season we have a large concept that can be slightly modified. Our company is very keen and keeps track of specific designs, as we want to reflect the trends of young Koreans. For example, in the summer in Seoul, Korean girls tend to wear bold colors and big prints.
Among our brands, we have Salad Bowls. The designer creates very casual and chic styles that are affordable price-wise, particularly compared to the quality. They already have stores in Hong Kong and Singapore. Chokonte is another brand we carry: it is very feminine and elegant, and they receive many requests from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, as well as from Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles and New York. The designer develops pieces based on her own modelings, so the silhouettes are more three-dimensional and different from what we normally see. Another is bag designer Violetta Grigio, whose accessories feature a higher-quality based on simple basics. The designer creates the beauty of silhouette bags by making the most of the texture of the material used. They have a number of fixed circle of buyers mainly in Japan and Hong Kong, but also a handful of regular customers as well. Other designers we love include Steve J and Yoni P, who are dual designers, husband and wife. They show their collections in Korea every season and are quite well-known.
Currently, we are currently working on reaching a more global community. Our customers, right now, are mostly from Asia – Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia. Many buyers who enjoy Japanese style and designers are slowly moving towards the Korean fashion market. The quality is often much better here, with stronger and more specific designs. There’s also a very broad and sophisticated variety of colors offered in Korea. The fashion is similar across the countries, but I personally think the street fashion in Seoul is a bit more refined. When I look at the street style at Garosu-gil, the girls there are very well-dressed. Each person is completely up-to-date with the trends. I really like that.
In Korea, the fashion scene is huge. It depends on the customers’ age, but most young people aged between 20-early 30’s go to Garosu-gil. People who want to find more high-end designers [like Alexander Wang, Cartier, Louis Vuitton] go to Cheongdamdong. Most teenagers tend to go to Dongdaemun.
At the moment we are carrying only women’s fashion. We have offered some men’s lines to overseas buyers in the past, but not for the online customers, so hopefully in 5-10 years, that’ll change. Menswear has less details and designs in comparison to womenswear. Therefore, their quality and textural details are very important to their look. It’s more simple.
Most people probably have heard of Korean designers like KAI and General Idea, who shows during NYFW. We are focused on upcoming Korean designers because they have less of a chance to be represented overseas. Hopefully, through Mootta, we can bring them on the surface and introduce them to the global community.”
Check out Mootta for up-to-date Korean fashion. Special thanks to Jasmine Woo and Carrie Suhyun Choi for your time!