The Next Trendy Destination, Pop Up Shops!

by Michelle Li

Pop up stores have been a huge way for Korean brands to promote a new product that they’ve just launched or even before launch. They set up pop ups which open for as short as one month. But even if the time is short, it’s definitely not just an in-and-out experience where you’re only in the shop for 15 minutes. It’s a lot more interactive! You might find photo booths, claw machines or even a cafe within the store. Plus a LOT of photo opportunities decorated head to toe with whatever theme the brand is pulling off. It’s why many Koreans plan a visit even if they don’t really care for the brand or the product. The stores are aesthetically pleasing plus a lot of fun activities too! Just scrolling through #팝업스토어 on Instagram gives you an idea of how next level brands take pop up stores! Here are some cool ones I’ve come across that definitely makes me want to teleport to Korea right now ✈️

Pilot Office

Instagram | @koreapilot.official

Yes, Pilot as in the stationary brand! Seems unlikely that a brand making pens would open a pop up store but it turned out to be very successful among Korea’s MZ Generation. They opened a pop up store late last year with a “Pilot office” theme, with the entire store painted in shades of their brand colour, mint blue 💙 Named “Collection of Precious Words,” it's a fitting name as there were different writing and drawing activities they provided as you test out the new Pilot stationery. I’m sure we’ve all been to a stationary store and got excited trying out the different pens 😆 Somehow, Pilot elevated this experience as the aesthetic interior gave you Insta-worthy photos to post too! Definitely one of the more unique pop up openings by a brand that I didn’t really expect from.

Too Cool For School’s Mr Rodin’s Gelato Shop


There’s a lot of K-beauty makeup and skincare brands that have opened up pop up stores. One of the most recent ones is Too Cool For School, most known for their infamous Art Class By Rodin Contour palettes. So no surprise that they based their pop up theme around these contour palettes, naming the shop “Mr Rodin’s Gelato Shop,” so cute right? There were games set up around the entire store to promote their new contour shade, like “N-Tone Roulette” and “Find the N.” Games for you to play to win, then to shop their merch and end the visit with sweet gelato 🍦 It was a pop up store that anyone wouldn’t miss so much so that there was a long queue on the first day of opening.


Instagram | @oioikorea

You might have heard of O!Oi as New Jeans are the representative models for them. They are actually a sporty athleisure K-fashion brand with a very sweet and youthful vibe. But what about Knotted? It’s actually a cafe serving the cutest desserts that honestly looks too good to eat. Well O!Oi and Knotted collaborated to open a pop up store (from May 19th to June 3rd) and it looks too adorable 😍 Even before you enter, there is a photo booth greeting you to make sure you’ve definitely taken some pictures before going into the store. Once inside, you’ll find Knotted's signature smiley face everyone as O!Oi’s collab merch with Knotted are hung up. Shop their range of graphic tees, bags and caps to purchase as you devore Knotted signature donuts and coffee 🍩😋


Even though these pop up stores aren’t permanently open, it won’t be hard to find an open one around the time you are flying to Korea. No matter where you are, there’ll always be plenty of pop up stores in whichever neighbourhood or district of Seoul you are in. If you are interested, there are two locations that many brands open conceptual pop up stores at. Seongsu-dong which you can get to know more about in this article, and The Hyundai Seoul mall. These places are both filled with a variety of brand’s pop up stores! I read online that a K-netizen got to visit five pop up stores in one day just in Seongsu-dong 😲 So the chance of not bumping into one as you walk down these streets are very low. Just before taking off to Korea, why not have a quick search with #팝업스토어 for the hottest pop up stores to visit? 

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